NHN/Naver roundup

Other | 2007/11/28 18:27 | Web 2.0 Asia
Here are some recent news on NHN, the 800-lb giant Korean company behind the Naver portal.

A new Japan office

(Via NmindPlus blog) NHN Japan recently moved into a new office - obviously a super hip/cool place. Here are some pics. (Note the Tatami conference room - something you won't see in the Googleplex).

There's been many talks that NHN currently regards Japan as the "next holy grail" and the company will launch its ever-famous Knowledge iN Q&A service in Japan soon. (It's no secret that Naver's Q&A service was copied by and ). Of course, the whole purpose of the Q&A service is to get users produce highly relevant content for search queries, by introducing the concept of question and answer. Which means it's likely that the Japanese market will soon see an improved Naver search service, tied closely with the Q&A service. Watch out, Yahoo Japan.

... Meanwhile, domination in the Korean market continues...

(Via Read&Lead blog) While Daum and other players seem to have gained some turf in terms of search page traffic (i.e. the # of visitors to each portal's search page):

(Sorry the graph is in Korean, but the top, green one is Naver)

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... But in terms of search page views and visit duration (staying time), Naver still dominates other portals.

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So this roughly means that when people use Naver search, they tend to stay longer and visit more pages than when they were on other portal's search sites. This might suggest that Naver is providing better search results on a given query.

... But not everyone is welcome

The phrase "Not in another hundred years" apparently isn't only being used by girls who dump guys - Naver recently banned someone who posted commercial content 20 times in a row on Naver's Q&A service from using the service for 100 years.

A user, who sells health supplements online, uploaded content of commercial nature that is guised as an "answer" for the Naver Knowledge iN Q&A service. Noticing this for 13 times, Naver prohibited this user from logging in Naver for a week. After a week's probation, the user started posting commercial content again - hence the ban for 100 years.

It's quite important for Naver to make sure all commercial content gets published only through their advertising program. Naver's search result page, meanwhile, is being increasingly criticized for having too many ads.