Monday, September 10, 2012

How Korean citizens search for news on the web

As followers of this blog are well aware, I've been very interested for a long time in the difficulty Google had in achieving any market share in South Korea. (if you're interested, just enter "Naver" in the search bar to the right and read some of the posts)  Here, despite having the fastest and most advanced broadband networks in the world, Google failed to achieve any significant market share in search until the arrival of the iPhone at the end of 2009.  Only four or five other countries in the world hold this distinction.
The continuing popularity of Naver as a "search" engine is mainly due to the fact that the service is offered entirely in the Korean language, but there is more to it than that.  Naver's services are fundamentally different than Google's, as described in this post.  Today's Korea Joongang Daily contains an article entitled "Portal sites scrutinized for selective search results."   Anyone who uses Naver will already know that sponsored search results are returned at the top of each search results page.  However, I found the accompanying graphic (click to see a full-size version) to be a rather startling indication of how dependent many Koreans have become on the major web portals as a guide to the news they read or view.  Do you agree?

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