Sunday, February 3, 2008

Google Launches Korean-Style Web Search

Google has just announced that it will reshape its Web search engine service into a categorized, graphic-rich style that serves the Korean users' taste. This reinforces the basic point made in my earlier post on how language and culture place bounds on web-surfing in South Korea. In redesigning its Korean-language search services, Google is going to attempt to satisfy the preferences of Korean "netizens." I recommend they go all the way and try to introduce features that will provide Korean-language surfers with the information they are searching for. One of the most popular features on Naver is "Knowledge In," where netizens ask questions that are answered by other Korean web surfers. This service has a heavy social-networking, as well as search compontent. But to be clear about the limits, it is Koreans asking other Koreans for answers. This is a very different sort of question than asking Google to search (or more accurately "crawl" ) the entire internet for mentions of a topic. In other news, there are reports that Naver is introducing services to make its "search" of the web appear more comprehensive, like Google's. The development of these two contrasting services and Naver versus Google market share will be most interesting to follow here in Korea.

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