In this series of posts, you will learn the little known, hands-on facts about Korean search market, guiding you through the right pathway of local SEM in Asia.

How Dominant is Naver in Korea?



In 2004, Naver took over the No.1 spot from Daum which now ranks local No. 2 in the Korean search market and has been acquired by Kakao Corporation, the operator of locally dominant instant messenger KakaoTalk.

Constantly increasing its market share for more than a decade since, Naver now accounts for more than 70% (the figure goes even higher to around 80% among younger generations living the time where Naver has improved its dominance) of the South Korean search market.

How peculiar the Korean search market is?



Deciding not to compete with Google in terms of search engine algorithm, Naver has created itself a unique search ecosystem that has further been developed by both advertiser and searchers suiting themselves thereto.

Fact #1
In the SERPs of Naver and the local No. 2 Daum, “Organic Search is Just Nothing.”


Below is the most standard Naver SERP that you will face very often (SERP slightly varies by keyword you would be searching for).

 

Naver-SERP_Importance-of-translation-in-ppc-ads

Figure 1: A Naver Result Page for searching ‘Corporate Solution’

 

Of the Naver search engine result pages we are to note, that each element that takes priority over the organic search results has its own algorithm that affects element’s ranking factors in a way totally different from SEO for organic searches, and this is where the idea of ‘Naver Optimization’ comes from.

Fact #2
A whole new SEO theory applies to “Naver Optimization”


Taking Naver SERPs into account makes it very obvious that you should focus on something else than SEO for organic SERP if you want your website, blog or “cafe” (open or membership community platform that replaces a website for small businesses), or specific page thereof, to rank high in Naver.

I would call such sort “Naver Optimization” strategies for which vary between big, multi-national companies, and small, local businesses.

Onto the next article I discuss “Naver Optimization”