The new Google mobile search service that was launched in the US in March last year is now available in the UK, France, Germany and Canada, and has been improved.

The upgraded service is claimed to offer faster searches and "more relevant results", according to the BBC.

Previously, mobile phone users using Google had to specify a search type in advance, or afterwards choose between different indexes such as local results, images or websites. This has now been changed.

A Google spokesman told the BBC: "The big thing that people will notice is that they just get the results they want, without them having to think ahead of time what sort of information they are looking for".

"You don't have to click through so many pages on that tiny little screen and on those tiny little buttons."

He added that mobile phone users tend to want specific information as opposed to browsing, continuing: "If you are looking to buy a digital camera then you are not going to do all the research for it on your mobile phone - it's not practical".

"But if you are looking for a restaurant and you are out and about, it's as easy to access the number and address on your phone as it is to call a directory service."

As the statement suggests, the key improvement is more location based searches, as Google says that mobile searches are more often than not used to find something near to where the mobile user is - for example, a cinema and film listing.

This announcement comes after Google's chief exec told delegates at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos that location-based advertising on mobile phones was going to cause a revolution for organisations like his own.

According to the BBC, Google has now set up engineering groups in North America and the UK to develop new applications.

These may include offering results in the form of a timeline or map, says the BBC.