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What's best for Korean domains?
.kr, .co.kr or .com?
bill

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3934892 posted 5:12 am on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

What would you advise for a domain name for a Korean audience, for a business website?
  • example.kr
  • example.co.kr
  • example.com

    I'm looking for a B2B domain and am leaning toward the 'example.co.kr' format. However, I'd like to hear what others have to say.

  •  

    GrendelKhan TSU

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 6:10 am on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

    in order:

    1. .com
    2. .co.kr
    3. .kr

    with the slight disclaimer:
    .com and .co.kr are both about the same depending on some other factors relative to the business.

    eg. .com is still most prevalent, but .co.kr is standard enough were from a biz marketing side... the different is nomincal.

    from an SEO or other image factors, though .com good for all the reasons its good... it will crawl a better/faster if the host server is in korea. As foreign company looking to look more "korean" then .co.kr would be better in terms of raw first impression (its basically assumed that foreign companies do not use co.kr at all). I haven't really done .co.kr's from out of country servers, so can't really say.

    bill

    WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Best Post Of The Month



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 6:52 am on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Interesting.
    Would a .com need to be hosted in Korea for SEO purposes (for Naver and Daum)? Even without using Webmaster Tools, Google will automatically assign country relevance to a ccTLD. I'm not familiar with how the Korean engines work in that respect. For example, would a Korean language .com site hosted outside the country run into problems with the leading SEs?

    GrendelKhan TSU

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 8:34 am on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Would a .com need to be hosted in Korea for SEO purposes (for Naver and Daum)?

    In that very narrow parameter of only looking at host country ccTLD assignment etc: Yes.

    But in larger scope the total SEO sense for Korea given, its not quite as straight-forward.

    Naver and Daum are completely different SEO beasts. But very broadly speaking, you will do better on Daum than Naver for pure SEO plays.

    Naver has all the search and is very different approach and tough for SEO in the strict by-the-book sense. And last I tested... korea hosted sites did significantly better for even near same content. Others may say differently, but I would bet it more the case than not.

    Daum is more like "US SEO" cause of its connections with Google (use google for its web results). But its search volume is a DISTANT second to Naver.

    But for both:
    * US/foreign hosted sites are have a speed performance drop. Japan might be ok, but for a site from a US server it is significant enough to effect usage.

    but for REF: West Coast US servers will ping better better than East.

    * its still true that web page search is very low in the ranks of combination SERPs of both. So how it actually gets exposed and for what percentage of searches by default is a major consideration for any pure SEO strategy.

    * You need to register your site (or pay on an Ad block basis) with most portals here (yes, that is still done here). At least, you do if you are to get anywhere outside of the web page search area (which again, is very low in the ranks).

    * Some companies may happy with Yahoo korea or google korea (and some) Daum optimization only... (like some are happy not worrying about Google optimization.

    Some. But in the reverse... do well on Naver and you really don't need to worry about others.

    soo....
    IF you did all the other SEO stuff needed to be done for Korean market. Then, "no" the server location issue can be minimized for Korean big two portal SEO (except for the performance issue).

    But in an of itself: host in Korea.

    For example, would a Korean language .com site hosted outside the country run into problems with the leading SEs?

    Short answer: yes.

    Longer answer:

    Again, any ccTLD can lead, of course... theoretically. But what section? Web page results area? or say.. business site search results area?

    Also, same rule applies that it depends on what keywords you are going for... if it a targeted keyword category, and if you've registered your site with the portals.

    Hope that helps.

    So sayeth GrendelKhan{TSU}

    [edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 8:42 am (utc) on June 17, 2009]

    GrendelKhan TSU

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 8:50 am on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

    For a simple, very general "what would I recommend" standpoint (based on what you said so far):

    For a foreign company looking to localize.

    1) co.kr on a korean host.
    2) .com on a korean host
    3) .co.kr outside korea host
    4) .com on a outside host

    Additional recommendation (Strongly recommended- IF POSSIBLE):
    1) establish a naver blog or daum cafe
    2) register the site with the majors

    Of course, HOW to register a site and get a blog is a total different question/can-of-worm

    The heavy disclaimer:
    Recommendation and results may vary depending on particular site and company situation and objectives.

    bill

    WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Best Post Of The Month



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 8:57 am on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Those are some great recommendations. Thanks very much for that summary.

    Is there any stigma attached to domain names with hyphens in them? I know that in the English SEO world we tend to stay away from hyphenated names when possible. Have you noticed and impact on that side for Korea?

    bill

    WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Best Post Of The Month



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 9:00 am on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

    I notice the plain old second level .kr doesn't seem to garner much respect. Why is that? I see a lot of companies in places like Japan and Singapore (just to name a few I have direct experience with) where they have really jumped at moving from established third level domains down to the second level when it became available.

    GrendelKhan TSU

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 9:28 am on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Is there any stigma attached to domain names with hyphens in them? I know that in the English SEO world we tend to stay away from hyphenated names when possible. Have you noticed and impact on that side for Korea?

    stigma? Yes. but it is used a lot. (I see it a lot -- for what that's worth)

    SEO effect? Not so much.

    Naver is a bit more finicky with dashes from what I could tell (did a some cursory testing where seemed like naver just didn't like dashes as much relative to Daum was more forgiving), but honestly it was inconclusive that it made a difference overall. I never really hardcore tested it much as I hadn't needed to. In the end, I just played it safe. heh.

    That said, I have noticed korean engines and perhaps, MORE importantly... Koreans themselves are not so good at breaking out words that are mushed together (not surprisingly). A simple factor language issue.

    eg (sorry for the bad example but):

    bluewidget = blu ewidget?
    whereas "blue-widget" is clearly blue widget

    This will obviously be even more the case for more peculiar or obscure words.

    So, depending on your URL this might far outweigh the dash seo issue (which again is admittedly only based on my cursory and dated test)

    I notice the plain old second level .kr doesn't seem to garner much respect. Why is that? I see a lot of companies in places like Japan and Singapore (just to name a few I have direct experience with) where they have really jumped at moving from established third level domains down to the second level when it became available.

    just a "standards" issue. started with co.kr and people see that as default standard.

    its just not done that much yet. maybe there are still enough .co.kr domains left that there isn't a big push for the second level .kr. This I'd imagine to be a factor of so many sites/entities still using portal resources as opposed to establishing independent sites.

    now that you mention it.. I'd even go .net before just .kr. (that thanks to daum)

    - Grendel"we don't need no stinkin .kr!"Khan{TSU} ^_^

    [edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 9:31 am (utc) on June 17, 2009]

    LifeinAsia

    WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 3:35 pm on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Do .co.kr domains still have a requirement that you actually be/have a registered entity in Korea?

    GrendelKhan TSU

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 7:34 am on Jun 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Do .co.kr domains still have a requirement that you actually be/have a registered entity in Korea?

    I believe so, yes.

    I know there was a "trustee" service you could pay a fee to get a local address for domain reg. Not sure anymore honestly... I'll ask.

    GrendelKhan TSU

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 2:16 am on Jun 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

    @lifeinasia

    check it out:
    no extra fee for the trustee service. You DO need a local address to register a co.kr, but any decent local koreans domains should provide it as part of registration fees if you request it (as a foreign company)

    LifeinAsia

    WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 3:48 pm on Jun 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

    That's good. I have mixed feelings about physical/legal entity requirements in country to register a domain.

    I can somewhat see the rationale behind it- supposedly stopping people from registering global names locally. But local registration companies usually pop up to bypass that restriction).

    However, it prevents the "rightful" company from registering "their" domain name locally until they establish a local presence. For example, ACME Widgets wants to start selling their widgets in Korea. Rather than open a full-fledged branch office (with all the associated red tape and expenses), they decide to just go through a Korean importing/distribution company. With local presence restrictions, they wouldn't be able to register acmewidgets.co.kr. Sure, the importer could register it, but then they would be the technical owner, not ACME. If anything ever went sour in the Acme-importer relationship (nah, never happens! :) ), ACME would most likely lose any control over the domain and the import company could turn it into an adult site and tarnish ACME's brand.

    GrendelKhan TSU

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 5:57 pm on Jun 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

    preachin to the choir, as the say. ;) (ie: totally agree.)

    Korea internet regulations are way super over uselessly protective on some things (see korea youtube plight, and need for local presence to have merchant accounts or case in point, domains)

    ... yet on the other hand, completely obliviously lax on others (require Korean resident registrations number -kinda like social sec numbers - for everything and activeX everywhere... both huge security risks).

    its enough to drive one's blood pressure through the roof.... er... or so I hear.... heh.

    - so sayeth GrendelKhan{TSU}

    [edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 5:57 pm (utc) on June 19, 2009]

    walkman



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 9:03 am on Jun 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Register all of them (if you can) and redirect them to one via 301.

    GrendelKhan TSU

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 11:26 am on Jun 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Register all of them (if you can) and redirect them to one via 301.

    that might not be a good idea in many situations.

    eg: If you did that, you'd have to make sure you forwarded to a "front page" that is in korean (not to the English version) as you would turn off a lot people off the bat if you ended up on the all english version.

    NOTE: that is not an argument for auto-forwarding via geo-location... I despise and usually do NOT recommend it ... or in the least, tell ppl to at least provide VERY easy method and obvious way to switch country/language by choice.

    In any case, the "all roads lead to one domain 301 forwarding" method would often cause more negative than positive impact as there are many issues to deal with regarding design, language, forwarding and domains... ESPECIALLY with multi-country sites/services.

    Point is, I'd highly recommend giving a thorough look at the local market situation before making a decision to blanket 301 forwarding to a single domain.

    but each to their own. ^^

    so sayeth GrendelKhan{TSU}

    bill

    WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Best Post Of The Month



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 12:24 pm on Jun 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

    I think he's referring to simple brand/keyword domain preservation. I wouldn't see a problem with buying these and forwarding all of them to one main Korean site:

  • example.co.kr [main]
  • example.kr [301 to example.co.kr]
  • example.com [301 to example.co.kr]

    The 301 would redirect visitors to the other domains immediately to the preferred domain. I don't think the end user would even notice.

  • GrendelKhan TSU

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 1:39 pm on Jun 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

    lol ahhh...... er... yah.. I knew that. I was just testin ya.
    *ahem* :p

    ie: yup, that'll work. ^_^

    though I assume by forwarding to the .com you are implying that you'll have a completely separate domain for the Korean market from a current biz site -- as opposed to a .com for English of main site and .co.kr (same domain name) for Korean?

    bill

    WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Best Post Of The Month



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 12:42 am on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

    In this case, for me, I was looking at a new unique name specifically for the Korean market. We have talked here before about the popularity of .com names in Asia. Some of my biggest .com sites are not in English. Therefore I included that when asking about the Korea market.

    xiaop

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 4:15 am on Jun 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

    I think .com on a Korean host, and Korean "Content-Language" is better.

    bill

    WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Best Post Of The Month



     
    Msg#: 3934892 posted 6:53 am on Jun 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

    Welcome to WebmasterWorld xiaop.

    Korean "Content-Language" is better

    I completely agree with you there. Any site I would make for the Korean market would be entirely in the local language.

    Why would .com be better than .co.kr or .kr for you?

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