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Google seeking Korean users
bill

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 9:33 am on May 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

article [joongangdaily.joins.com]
At Korea University yesterday, Google began a bus tour in which students can climb into the two-story vehicle and try out Google's desktop search engine and receive Gmail accounts, which have 2 gigabytes of storage.
The bus will visit major university campuses in Seoul and the COEX Mall over the next three weeks.
Google has a search engine in Korean (www.google.co.kr) but doesn't have offices here. Recently, however, it has been showing more interest in the Korean market.

As we know Google has to take a very different tack in the Korean market. Do these sort of promotional stunts promote usage in Korea?

 

itisgene

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 4:16 am on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not really...
Few people here talk about Google. (BTW, I moved from the US three weeks ago.)

I found a recent rankings(5/11/05) from rankey.com for the Korean SEs.

SE Ranks - Name - Total Korea Ranks - SE Share
1 - 네이버/Naver(NHN) 1 - 62.60%

2 - 야후코리아/Yahoo Korea 4 - 15.19%

3 - 엠파스/Empas 5 - 9.89%

4 - 파란닷컴/Paran 6 - 6.46%

5 - 구글 한국어/Google.co.kr 31 - 1.60%

bill

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 6:23 am on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Other than the outsider issue (not being a Korean company), what other issues are you seeing that are holding Google back in that market?

GrendelKhan TSU

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 4:40 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

hey guys long time....!^^ as for your question bill.... sooooooooooo many reasons, that Ive stated or at least implied in many posts here....

1. but the most obvious one being:
it just doesn't "look" korean. Its doesn't feel korean. it doesn't act korean....ie: it ain't korean. so it ain't happening.

2.second is...as I said...though not as "in" as it once was: ppl are still set on knowledge search as the number one kind of search (default). And portals rule here. speed is NOT a big issue EVERYONE is fast as hell cause everyone is on broadband 10times faster than the US. Releavance may play a hand in helping G down the line..but for now...its still knowledge search.

3.. third they really haven't tried--to be a destination site that is. They don't dominate by default like other countries cause of all the stuff I've posted about other search on this forum...so they'd actually have to put some $$$ and effort into it if they wanted to really make a dent in this market. So sit back watch and wait...then move in. They got time...they got money...and they HAVE made significant ground even with a tiny presence here.

that said, google HAS recently been doing more than just the bus tours here to kinda probe the market. They had street signs (!) up in a popular area of seoul (the "rodeo of seoul") and sponsored a free community Seoul event. There are other things... like they finally released DESKTOP google korean version. (briefly on its index page...now buried in the "all about google" page. +_+ note: Naver already had its out for sometime now as I mentioned in the past. don't know how it compares. (haven't tested it much).

but all-in-all its still basically BEHIND the scenes for the Big G in Korea. They provide search results for Daum and others now....so that serves them well here. And PPC for some of the portals.

Fact is....its doubtful Google could EVER make way in this market via its normal site as is. And they know it. If don't do it korean way...you don't do it here. And they know that too. Its more likely they align with someone (or buy) to get a real boost -- if that is there intention (big "if")--or they could concentrate on other aspects of the market which are still far beyond US market stuff (like mobile or other internet technologies). With them buying dodgeball dot com and stuff like that....I would be surprised if they popped up where no expected out here.

PLUS, with rumors are FLYING around about Yahoo Korea trying to buy NAVER(ack! forgot to post about that. srry. ;)---good move for Yahoo if they pull it off....yahoo needs some serious help out here)...you think Big G is fine to continue to do there thing and watch how that plays out first before doing anything major.

also, cyworld still is the new gem... going strong... and its got legs. Spaces (MS) you notice is yet another attempt to imitate this successful Korean model and compete with Circle (lycos/Daum). Very meager attempts I might add. Who knows (now) how that will play out...but the more I dig into cyworl/daum planet the more impressed I am (technically speaking). And its numbers are impressive as well...with about 12 million members last I looked. that's a quarter of the entire popular of the country.

It ain't no joke. Don't really see where it can go down the road yet....but they got plenty of momentum as of now to figure it out.

[edited by: bill at 12:10 am (utc) on May 17, 2005]
[edit reason] fix formatting [/edit]

GrendelKhan TSU

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 2:03 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

SE Ranks - Name - Total Korea Ranks - SE Share
1 - 네이버/Naver(NHN) 1 - 62.60%

2 - 야후코리아/Yahoo Korea 4 - 15.19%

3 - 엠파스/Empas 5 - 9.89%

4 - 파란닷컴/Paran 6 - 6.46%

5 - 구글 한국어/Google.co.kr 31 - 1.60%

it is important to note that daum is not listed here though it is probably second for volume of search. The reason is rankey is done by categories and Daum is listed as a portal site. Further, cyworld is grabbing the most eyeball nowadays and Nate . com which are also listed in other categories.

again highlighs:

** Web search is still NOT the most popular search here. though there is feeling that Knowledge search isn't as sexy as it used to be...it still very much dominates the search scene here.

** google is very low on the search totem pole as a destination site...though they are definitely working behind the scenes and making more active advertising moves in the Korean market. (heh. google has to advertise...that's funny if you think about it--maybe they should buy a couple keywords on Overt re, who dominates the PPC market here. lol :p)

** spaces and circles are babystep copies of the "mini-hompy" models, namely cyworld and daum's planet.

** And korean portals (from what I see) still seem to dictate/lead/inspire the newest changes to yahoo (and other) portal interfaces in the US.

Woz

WebmasterWorld Senior Member woz us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 2:13 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yo Grendel, long time no see.

>** spaces and circles are babystep copies of the "mini-hompy" models,

Um, don't understand that one. Can you explain further please?

Onya
Woz

GrendelKhan TSU

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 3:27 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yo Grendel, long time no see.
>** spaces and circles are babystep copies of the "mini-hompy" models,

Um, don't understand that one. Can you explain further please?

Sure. Sorry about that. Mini-homepy. That's just what they generically call the cyworld and daum planet business model: "mini-homepy" (pronounced: mini-home-pee). I know how it sounds but...its short for Mini-home-page ^^). Every member can creat their own mini-homepy using cyworld (for example) pre-packaged templates and items. The system is VERY robust and features are deep, well beyond what you see in the circles and spaces offerings. (hence, they are "baby-steps" cause I imagine they will add features if the mini-homepy model looks to do well for englishlanguage audiences).

Think....blog, forum, friendster, and personal portal mashed together and on heavy steroids. And you are getting a tiny idea of cyworld.

I've written a posts on cyworld mini-homepy before and how lycos(daum) Circles effort is the US adaptations of the mini-homepy model. And now that MSN's has joined the fray with Spaces, I am wondering if its picking up some momementum or msn and lycos both are looking to put a big push to this market. They need SOMEthing to make a dent in Yahoo, I'd think.

However, from what I see so far though, neither offering is anywhere near as addictive, interesting or rich in features as the korean originals..which is too bad. Part of it was "lost in translation" I'm sure, but some of it I probably just "testing" the market.

I wonder how ppl feel about them that have never seen/used cyworld. Or wonder if ppl did have a carbon copy of cyworld (english) whether it would pick up faster. Guess we'll have to see. ^^

Really should take a peek...oversimply: Cyworld dot com is main site where you can buy stuff for your mini-hompy and do extra stuff....but don't just check out the main page of the site...

its the pop-up mini-hompy that is the meat and bones of cyworld.

here are some typical examples: (I have no idea what you will be able to see or hear. There are activeX installs, music automatically comes out, and animations etc etc. if I recall properly, it gets TOTALLY MESSED UP IN FIREFOX!--which I noted as a reason FF will have big trouble here). So if you don't install stuff or hear stuff and it looks weird...its cause it didn't "take" in your browswer.

anyway....what you do see, I can promise you is probably less than 5% of all the features.

So here are some random ppl cyworld, so you can see for yourself. (don't worry these personal mini-hompys but are set to "public" --its a setting-- and its certainly not advertising them for anything).

www dot CYWORLD dot com
www dot cyworld dot com/busterboys
www dot cyworld dot com/cold28
www dot cyworld dot com/mongmongnae

I really wish I could show screenshots and give a run down of some of the more basic elements just so you can play around a bit more effectively...but alas.... no go on this forum. :(

Daum's Planet offering is nowhere near as popular, but its got some cool features (like inline mulitmedia and animation building tools!) that cyworld doesn't in hope of taking some of their market. ;) there are a few smaller sites as well.

anyway, well..so not to digress from the topic tooo much...
THIS is one of the reasons that Big G needs to advertise and doesn't hack it here as a desitination site in Korea. How can you even compare this crazy explosion of features in cyworld (and portal's search engines) with Goog's logo and search box? You can't. its just a different world out here.

But it works.

The G bus? Signs in the street? Its interesting...and nothing wrong with it....depending on their goals for this market. but potentially dangerous. Anyone who's been for any amount of time would know why (and I've said): koreans want things done in the korean way.

being a foreign company entering this market CAN be done..but its gotta be done right and gotta be done big (or riding on some inhouse-local brand/site). They got the big part (if they want) but...... the jury is still out on the Big G Bus approach.

heh. :p

moltar

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 3:50 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

koreans want things done in the korean way

I am not entering a Korean market, but just wondering how is this done?

GrendelKhan TSU

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 8:16 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am not entering a Korean market, but just wondering how is this done?

now THERE's a whopper of a question.

simple answer....
just a get a korean with know-how to do it for you. :p

SEO, keyword advertising is very very very different and diverse here. PPC is about the only thing that ppl would be familiar with...just about EVERYTHING else follows different rules or is just....different.

perhaps if you could narrow your question to a something very specific? otherwise.... you're in for a few months of heavy lecturing. lol :p ;) heck I could go on about cyworld as a advertising channel for a doctoral thesis alone. And that's just for cyworld....which doesn't even scratch the surface.

However...if you are referrring to just matching the LOOK of site...here's a couple simple rules to start with:

** lots of "fancy" graphics and images, lots of flash is ok too. GOTTA be SLLLIIICCCKKKK looking.
** very busy and jam packed with everything including the kitchen sink is preferrable.

Remember: SPEED is NOT an issue.
ie: How would you design a site if EVERYONE had broadband (from the beginning--such that they were USED TO IT) at like N times the speed of broadband in the US? SEO is not a concern in the same way as it in the US...so nevermind all that stuff you learned as well.

bill

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 8:58 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

...please don't rile Grendel. We only let him out once in a while... ;)

Please give us another thread about the Yahoo/Naver rumors if there's any more news. That sounds huge!

You've done a great job of explaining where Google doesn't fit into the local Korean market. Could you summarize any areas you feel that Google has done the right thing in the Korean market? (You seemed to like some of the promotional things, and their behind the scenes work...anything else?)

GrendelKhan TSU

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 9:55 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Please give us another thread about the Yahoo/Naver rumors if there's any more news. That sounds huge!

done. ^_^
Yahoo seeks to buy rival Naver [webmasterworld.com]

...please don't rile Grendel. We only let him out once in a while...

You've done a great job of explaining where Google doesn't fit into the local Korean market. Could you summarize any areas you feel that Google has done the right thing in the Korean market? (You seemed to like some of the promotional things, and their behind the scenes work...anything else?)

ACK! you can put both those statments in the same post! :X lol

that's another doozy question. .... my fingers are tired already from thinking about it.... gunna have to wait till my next release from the dungeon. ;) :p lol

sooo...1 minute summary: the best thing they've done so far?

...is wait.

Overture has gone VERY VERY VERRRRRRY deep into their pockets (imo) to get the market share they have now in Korea...and the landscape change so rapidly here (cyworld explodes on the scene....yahoo rumors to buy naver...etc etc) its never totally clear where its really going....

so.....watch, wait, continue to work behind the scenes, test a bit here and there (signs and buses)..... and then pounce.

which way and how they will pounce is real the question.

I have my ideas (of course).....but somethings I think are better left for me and the crypt keeper. ^^

GrendelKhan TSU

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 12:16 pm on May 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

lol had to add a note.......
when I asked a bunch of colleages about the google bus....

they all said it reminded them of bus for mental insane/instituationalize patients.

take it as you will... but that's what they said. ^^ lol

bill

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 901 posted 1:12 am on Jun 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe they're going for the non-traditional SE users market? ;)

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