Naver is the most popular search engine in South Korea. Even though Google is a predominant search engine in most countries, Naver held approximately 84% of the search engine market share as of August 2014.
Unlike in Google, where users are able to look for a variety of types of information in different tabs (e.g., Web, Images, News), Naver is vertically structured to show various types of results on a single page under different sections (e.g., site, blog, café, image, knowledge search). Naver’s success in the Korean search market is due to the fact that it includes a large number of user-generated content from company pages and individuals’ blogs and cafes (a version of web forum) in search results. L2’s ongoing study of beauty brands in South Korea illustrates that site (31%), blog (26%), and shopping (26%) appear most most frequently in the top three results areas in desktop organic search for 64 beauty brands on Naver. Similarly, blog (39%), shopping (21%), and site (19%) appear most frequently in the top three sections on mobile organic search.
These results show that when users search for one of beauty brands (e.g., Clinique) on Naver, there is a strong likelihood they will see user-generated content as results.
This suggests that since user-generated content plays an important role in search engine results page (SERP) on Naver in South Korea, companies should pay more attention to user-generated content on their official blog and work with local bloggers/influencers to generate more of such content to increase their visibility on Naver. Some have already done so. Ten beauty brands (16% of brands in the L2 study) attempt to recruit users (mostly college students) as brand supporters or ambassadors who are required to participate in either online and/or offline events and post their activities on the brand’s official blog and their personal blog.
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