Google Korea Sees (Sort Of) Impressive Growth

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A recent wave of articles documented Google’s lack of market share in South Korea – this corresponds to an apparent lack of success.  And, while I can’t argue with that conclusion, there are signs that Google could still turn things around.

First, the bad news: as reported by Read/WriteWeb’s Richard MacManus, “local search company Naver.com has more than 77 percent of all Web searches originating in South Korea . . . .  Second in the South Korean search market is another local product, Daum.net, with 10.8 percent share, followed by Yahoo’s Korean-language service with 4.4 percent.  Google has only 1.7 percent of Korean Web searches.”

That’s despite a number of “compromises” (some would call them concessions), including a light redesign of the Google Korea home page and the (soon-to-come) implementation of ID-checking practices.

But, as promised, there’s an upside (from Google’s point of view): a new article in The Korea Times states that Naver is growing by just 1.2 percent per month, compared to 4.9 percent for Google.  Now, math-types will be quick to point out (and will be right to do so) that five percent of a small number can be less than one percent of a big one, but that data still has some positive implications.

Also interesting is the fact that “Google Korea has been named the foreign company that most Koreans would like to work for,” according to The Chosun Ilbo.  And it seems that’s even better than being the domestic company that most Koreans would like to work for, because “[s]ome 90.2 percent of the respondents said they wanted to work with a foreign company.”

Is Google Korea doing poorly?  Yes.  Will it continue to do so?  That’s a harder question to answer.

Google Korea Sees (Sort Of) Impressive Growth
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