Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More on Naver vs. Google

According to an article in the Korea Times today, Naver takes pride in being one of the planet's few internet companies that can claim to be a "Google Beater."  The other three countries, as mentioned in earlier posts on this blog, are China, Russia and the Czech Republic.
The article further noted that Naver has improved its search results in order to recognize the search habits of individuals so that they can be provided with the type of information they prefer.  As if this weren't enough, the article states that Naver "...doesn't want to hear talk about an open web environment."
Altogether, this article provides convincing evidence that Naver is not really an internet search service.   Rather, it is a walled garden Korean-language database which tells Koreans what other Koreans think about things.  While the internet is global, Naver tends to be national and rather narrowly so.
Contrast Naver's goals with the mission of Google, "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."  Google operates in all the world's major languages while Naver excludes all but Korean. This is not simply a matter of language.  It also extends to internet content--books, videos, blogs and all of it.  Naver simply ignores most of the world's information.  Let's assume a user wants to see whether a book has been written about some topic in European history.   Would sh/e use Naver or Google?    I think the answer is clear.

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