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New stuff from Google Korea

Google Korea introduces Q&A Search, Topic Search and Textcube Blogging

9:40 am on Sep 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ok, looks like Google Korea recent updated its site and launched some new services that have been brewing for while in the Google Korea R&D center… (who knows if down the road if you see it elsewhere, but for now it seems exclusive to the Korean market).

* Q&A search, (kinda a meta search of knowledge search sans Naver +_+)
* Topic search (think trending(hot) topics/issues aggregated on one page ala google news)
* and its Korean blog service, Textcube (the “Blogger” of Korea which Google acquired not too long ago. kinda Blog 2.0 on korean steroids)
Take a look new google korea [richardmin.posterous.com]

Not exactly sure WHEN they did… but it was definite fairly recently. Just goes to show you how different the Korean market is.

READ: no one actually uses Google Korea much for search in Korea (Currently, Google Korea has about 2-3% of the search market share). Google Korea has been tweeking the front page for a while… even had animated icons for a while (recently removed for simple image icons). And they had blog search and dictionary search, youtube and others services on the front page to reflect the market, but this is first I’ve noticed they launched those services publicly.

Note: the previously ADDED drop-down menu to Google Korea that was reported is now.. gone. (that lasted about a month lol.) Not surprising actually considering that not too long before Google ADDED it, market leader Naver REMOVED it from there search box (after years and years of having it). Really makes seems to highlight Google is still one-step behind on Korean market front. (Naver and Daum also increase their search box size over a year ago). *sigh* Not that Google Korea is really concerned with it as its seems more and more they are just using Korea as a test bed and for R&D.

PS. Google's contract with Daum for sponsored links comes up this year... and its pretty much the worst kept industry secret that Daum isn't going to renew. Yikes!

Very good moves and new services from Google Korea!

Will it be enough for Google Korea search to gain traction or make a significant impact in the market? Not likely. As usual, its pretty much going to more interesting for everyone OUTSIDE of Korea than in Korea.

Although one might be looking at the future of services coming to you all soon(er or later). ^^

so sayeth GrendelKhan{TSU}

12:46 am on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Q&A search [google.co.kr]

Is that anything like Google Answers, or is it closer to the Naver model you've described before?

Topic search [google.co.kr]

Are those just scraped news excerpts? That's a cool layout and way to drill down to stories.

Textcube [textcube.com]

That's a lot more advanced looking than Blogger. It almost looks like a full-blown CMS. Is that a popular service?
7:10 am on Oct 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Q&A search

Is that anything like Google Answers, or is it closer to the Naver model you've described before?

1) Q&A
No. Its neither really...its more a meta search of Knowledge search results.

ie: it crawls Yahoo Korea Answers, Daum knowledge search, and perhaps other knowledge search engines (there a few smaller ones) and pumps the results out a fairly standard looking SERP. I supposed that could be useful... but the big problem is no Naver knowledge search results in the mix (NHN blocks Google bot).

which leads me to wonder how useful or how appealing it is without the number source of knowledge search/answer in the results.

Topic search

Are those just scraped news excerpts? That's a cool layout and way to drill down to stories.

2) Topic search
not just news...as far as I can tell its scrapes from everything online... blogs, sites, forums and news. aggregating and rank trending topics based on phrase volume and frequency etc (I assume). Seems useful since it aggregates across sites, but of course, others are doing similar quite successfully but with exclusive content (eg: Nate Talk has one that is quite popular, but only for content within Nate). I also didn't see any Naver results. sigh.

Even worse though is that results page layout breaks in Firefox (though works fine in Chrome. heh). Shows you how much respect FF gets out there. But come on!

Here is some more detailed info on the google korea new services [infonetdigital.com], but when it comes down to it the most interesting service (imo) is:


That's a lot more advanced looking than Blogger. It almost looks like a full-blown CMS. Is that a popular service?

3) Textcube.

Yes. It was very popular in-and-of itself before G. But now with Google backing I hope to see good things. THIS is the most interesting to me and has the most potential outside korea (imho).

As I said, Textcube was very popular blog platform prior to Google scooping it up ...no small feat given it an independent system (not made by the portals themselves). Think Wordpress of Korea, but without the massive plugin library or developer community. (but the make up for it by just sticking most of the it all in the default blog system to start).

And with good reason.. its quite good. slick and robust. Like many Korean web services imagine any blog platform you've seen and put it on steriods, speed and stick a lot of pretty paint on it to boot. (openness, connectivity (other networks), and open-support community customizations (eg: plugin development) was always the downside. BUUUUT when Google bought it..I was hopeful of the potential to open it up (relatively speaking) once implemented with the big G machine.)

hmm... yes, I guess it really toes the line of a full blown CMS.

And now its live with Google integration (Woot!) and it looks like have kept the most (if not all) the bells-and-whistles of the original textcube, but with google id logins, networking, an open api, etc. (still checking it all out). [note: I was able to use my google id to signin and register... so I don't see why anyone couldn't. Its all korean but you should be able to register).

textcube google integration stage 1: WIN!

It should be noted, this by FAR is the MOST "localized" ...or better yet "nativized" an offering Google has put forth in Korea to date. As such, I give it the best chance of actually making some headway.

Note, I said, "chance". As good as it is though, I doubt it will have too much traction within Korea. There is just not enough people using Google and too many people entrenched in Naver or Daum blog systems.

However, this DOES have exciting implications for the "rest of the world" if they ever roll it outside the Korea walled-garden.

"regular" Blogger (or even dare even many many wordpress folks) will take one look at the slick out-the-box textcube (with google login and I'd assume US social media network connectivity by the time it reaches the US) and be "blog with envy", so to speak.

Also, another point to mention is that this could be another well timed release as there are still a lot of bloggers migrating to US blog services to escape to the "real name" legislation that passed. And most of the them complain about having to "downgrade" or lack of features. Google release provides them the best of both worlds. "Freedom" of service and wealth of Korea style features.

I'll try to pull up some screenshots of the dizzying array of gfx tools and templates that come as default with it. Even has pretty robust analytics and tracking tools by default (doesn't look to be connected with GAnalytics though). I just spent 20minutes customizing my test blog and I feel I've barely hit all the DEFAULT settings.

Note: the settings are super easy, intuitive and no programming necessary. There are just a lot of things you can tweek. just about EVERY element of the blog can be customized. Anyone who blogs now or thinking of it can easily set up in 30 seconds with a blog that looks better than 80% of all existing blogs. but if you get into the tweeking there you could easily spend hours with it.

If this rolled out worldwide... many of premade "skin/theme" type companies/services you find for Wordpress ... just wouldn't be needed (at least, there would be far fewer). You can make blogs better looking than 80% of the ones out there with the default settings and templates.

so sayeth GrendelKhan{TSU}


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