Google Korea Goes For Eye Candy

    May 30, 2007

When a high-ranking Googler said that South Korea will “play a very critical role for Google,” I thought the company might be preparing to make some major change or concession.  Sure enough, something unusual occurred: the Korean version of Google’s famously “clean” home page was spruced up with some colors and animated buttons.

All right, so that development wasn’t too major, and it’s definitely not ominous.  But it still represents an interesting choice in Google’s campaign to win over the Korean market.  The Search Engine Herald reports that even Marissa Mayer, who has always advocated the traditional, “clean” look, says, “It was important where our classic minimalism wasn’t working that we adapt.”

And the new interface was actually introduced by Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, who seems to have put his faith behind it.  “This is a big, big day for Google,” Schmidt said, as reported by the Middle East Times.  “We can get the Korean audience who will understand and prefer a more sophisticated Google experience.”

Well, I’m not sure how “sophisticated” cutesy little cartoon pop-ups are, but that’s beside the point; described in those terms, the new look sounds like something that may be implemented on a much wider basis.  Would that be good?  Bad?  You can decide for yourselves and let Google know.  The company is, as the very existence of this new look proves, open to suggestions.