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Korea update: Google K's first signs a life.

been waiting for years for this but G Korea making moves

3:25 am on Dec 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No time to go into a super long analysis... and I know a few who already aware of this... but thought I'd throw a few bullet points out there on the G stuff for others scanning the scene.

On Google Korea:

- setting up reseach center in Korea (I think it was for slotted for like $10million). Expect Google labs back "West" to get an influx of crazy cool Korean stuff.

(GK says: "duh! been yellin at em to do this forever)

- made deal with SK Telecom to develop mobile search engine in korea. Reports of huge usage for mobile internet search usage already (genreally a "mobile internet" exclusive content system through Nate . com)

(GK says: great move... skip the localization troubles...go straight to an open "blue ocean" zone)

- almost "official" that google will oust Overture Korea for PPC with Daum . net (2nd largest portal - reaches 80% of the market). This is the first major win in the syndication arena in Korea for G.

(GK says: writing is the on wall)

- Naver . com --which is THE search engine here (about 70%
of the search market)-- Overture contract is up for grabs soon. Will naver renew with Overture or take up upstart Google Korea? Or will they oust everyone and go with their own PPC system?

(GK says: wouldn't you like to know... =P)

- In any case, its true that if Overture Korea loses Daum AND Naver...they got some SERIOUS troubles ahead of them. That's like 95% of the market. Yahoo Korea is a weak and 3rd here and the other portals combined still add up to a only a small fraction of the market. I couldnt' imagine Overture could keep on without major staff cuts if they lose both. And since Yahoo Korea has done anything interesting in ...years.... I dont' see them leading their Overture arm outta the mess. definitely gunna be some trouble in paradise.

Other Misc:

- I'm pretty sure G Korea is filtering its "adult" results. er...not that I check. ahem

- KT (Korea Telecom) announced it will invest and is developing a "sematic web search" engine. Korea Telecom owns about 90% of the land telephone lines in Korea...but has suffered a string of failures with any of its online and internet related value-added services efforts. This sounds like yet another attempt for them to get in the "internet game".

(GK says: We'll have to see... but sooner or later... ya figure ONE of their dozen tries should "take"...some show promise (like U2 messenger and U2 messenger phone - no headsets), but in the end have all been poor "me too" products. But "sematic" web and search is a still enough on the horizon that if they get it right and get it right FIRST...could be a staging ground for a KT coup. ya never know).

- Koreans generally know Google Korea now as a big company...but ask any "normal" netizen...and they all say Google Korea site still looks like a 5 year made it. Maybe G Korea is ok doing things in teh background, and going inside-out (korea to ROTW), but I'd think Korean market would be a perfect place to make a "fancy" google UI or something to test out as well. Why not? how about a not the crappy looking personal page anyone? (ie: Google with some freakin CSS or decent looking fonts)? "Combined search" SERPs for REAL anyone? Or even better, Google KNOWLEDGE search (yahoo is seems to be doing well with Answers, and google HAD a base for it with its paid answers...why not make it free?)
(I mean, at least, as something to play around with?)

What have they got to lose? Their 0.7% search market share? :rollseyes: Its not going to affect their syndication deals, (at least, it wouldn't/couldn't for many years to come).

Maybe if I complain and scream loud enough? heh. They got the steak...why not a little of the sizzle? (at least in Korea?)

So sayeth GrendelKhan{TSU}

[edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 3:44 am (utc) on Dec. 4, 2006]

6:04 am on Dec 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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An outstanding summing up of the state of the Korean market by our resident expert. ;) Thanks for the detailed write-up Grendel!
11:41 am on Dec 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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its "official" Google will be Daum's PPC provider, replacing Overture.

And since its one step further, and already semi-official (if not already announced and I missed it), I think its safe for me to also finally say now that Overture dodged the bullet and will renew with NHN.

Whew! delay the inevitable! lol.
(srry, overkorea still annoys me).

Though Over still in the same bind for the long term, unless Yahoo Korea does something amazing in the next couple years, NHN will at some point not be a partner they can rely on.

12:36 pm on Dec 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to ask this, but are you guys advocating Google dominance in Korea?
8:47 pm on Dec 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to ask this, but are you guys advocating Google dominance in Korea?

huh? er.. no. Not at all. Almost the opposite. (And actually, I don't really get where you are getting that from.) +_+

don't you know the saying?
All your base belong to google...except in Korea.


In fact, its doubtful google will ever have "dominance" here. They are not even a player in their core competency... web search (if you didn't know, after 5 years here, they have less than 1% of the search market now).

That's not changing in any forseeable future and they aren't touching other areas where "dominance" would apply.

um...actually...what ARE you talkign about when you say "dominance"?

I was just making some broad update statements as a FYI of recent signs of life outta Google Korea (I've been waiting 5 years for it. heh). Namely, finally getting a decent syndication deal for their PPC ads (Daum . net).

One day it might a decent rise as a destination search site for english websites (if not already), but koreans don't really do that that much anyway...so that's nothing to brag about. Any desires to become more than that at this point is heresay, and even if it were so, success in that regard would take long enough for it not to be interesting at this point (I can't imagine google ever having more than 10% market share without a radical paradigm shift).

Mobile search and establishing a research center are obviously completely different things as well and have nothing to do with portals or web search, nor will result in any kind of dominance.

If anything Korea might be a furtile testing grounds for new fancy stuff to "ship back to the States", but its likely that will stay would stay in the background here.

so, "No". The "Korean internet" is dominated by Korea made sites and will be for as long as anyone cares about. might as well advocate for someone giving me a lamborgini for free as much as advocate big G dominance in Korea.

any takers? ^_^ I'll be happy to convert.

[edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 8:49 pm (utc) on Dec. 13, 2006]