What will be Google Korea's next move?

Other | 2006/05/05 12:13 | Web 2.0 Asia
I agree with the recent article "" (via ): Google Korea may not exactly be a flop, but Google is not gaining ground and thereby living up to its global brand here in Korea. It's an open secret.

As the article suggests, Naver Knowledge iN (as well as other Naver Search components) rocks. I use it all the time, including last night when I was trying to figure out the part of the movie "M:I 3" that was unclear to me.

The movie premiered only last night, yet all the answers to any possible unclear plots of the movie were already there at Knowledge iN. You get the picture, right?

I think the success of Naver search has been largely helped by the fact that Korea is a very homogeneous society where people often have very common and shared interests. I mean, every society has its memes and zeitgeist, but I think Korea is a little more special. 48+ million people packed in a small country that's equipped with dead efficient broadband and mobile networks. That's an interesting (and even a bit dangerous) combination.

This means, chances are Naver knows what you want to ask it about. For instance, if Park Ji-Sung (the footballer of Mancester United) scored a goal, then when you type "P" in Naver search, Park Ji-Sung's name comes to the top of automatically suggested keywords list.

People criticize Naver doesn't depend on superb technology as much as it does on human intervention and therefore the service is not highly scalable and can only be thriving in some small, homogenous societies like Korea.

But anyway, when it comes to the Korean market, Naver is here to stay and rule. This leads to an interesting question: Google Korea's next move. Back off? or
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