Sunday, March 28, 2021

Is Google search finally gaining traction in Korea?

Over the years I've posted frequently on the topic of Internet search engines and Google's failure to penetrate the Korean market, which was dominated by Naver.  (see some of the prior posts here)  Recently, The Korea Joongang Daily published a short article indicating that the long term trend of dominance by Naver began to change sometime after 2016.  The article contained this graphic (click for a full size version) indicating the shift in market share. As noted in the Joongang Daily article, " Google’s presence was negligible at 0.78 percent only five years ago, according to data tracker Internet Trend, but the share shot up to 41 percent this year, the average of the index between Jan.1 and March 10.  At the same time, the share of the homegrown portal shrank from 86 percent in 2016 to 53 percent this year. The change in the share indicates that the gain of Google has primarily come at the expense of Naver.  Both Naver and Google declined to confirm the numbers.  Industry insiders say that people in quest of unpaid query results turned towards Google especially for their research or work-related tasks." The shift reflected in this graphic, based on market share data from Internet Trends, would seem to indicate that something important is happening in the search market here in Korea.  Koreans in large numbers may be finding value in searching the global, multilingual internet, rather than relying only on Naver as a Korean language domestic portal for various types of information.