Naver is fascinating: it is one of the only search engines that has been entirely designed around its users. They actively participate in the shaping of the search engine by adding content, articles, questions and interesting facts.
It therefore offers more opportunities for a brand to reach the South Korean market, however Naver is very different in many ways compared to our main search engine in the occidental world… Here are some insights into Naver that, hopefully, will help you in launching successful SEO campaigns on Naver.
Sharing knowledge: The ultimate aim for Naver
No need to say Naver is the most popular search engine in South Korea, with nearly 70% market share in 2011, according to this recent report. But why such a success?
Above all, it seems that Naver is very keen on sharing knowledge with its users and preferably in Korean language. It also seems like the page results will vary according to the topic: if the keyword is related to a topic that has been widely spoken about and for which magazines, online articles, books, and other papers can be found, Naver will display those features and will gather information to be displayed. If the topic is not as popular or lacks in references, then Naver will have a look at blogs and other content created by Internet users.
Many categories equal many opportunities
Here is an example of a popular topic where a lot of references can be found: when typing “올림픽” (Olympics), below are the results that come up (please note that all of Naver’s opportunities are not dealt with in this example, however many are taken into consideration):
As you can see above, the page is quite long and Naver separates the results into several categories.
1. Topic overview: This subcategory gathers info from different sources and shows an overview on the topic directly in the SERPs. Naver puts the info together and frankly it seems quite difficult to predict the content of it.
2. Encyclopaedia: This is a subcategory easily accessible. Creating an article in Korean about your brand and submitting it to the Naver Encyclopaedia platform will help you appear there (see image below). You will be able to insert hyperlinks to pages containing relevant info on your brand, insert an image or even a video. You can also create a page about a logo itself.
3. Timeline related to the topic: This feature appears on time.search.naver.com and is related to events. Those results are automatically extracted by Naver who reconstructs the timeline from dates collected.
4. Images: Naver extracts them from websites, blogs or any source that has been indexed by Naver. It is therefore possible to create an account and optimise an image in order to make it appear in here.
5. Websites: At last! Here is the place you can find your website if you index it in Naver. SEO works as well for Naver but slightly different to Google. Note that only the 5 first ones will be displayed. In order to appear on here, your website needs to be optimised with relevant keywords and above all, need to be indexed on Naver.
6. Dictionary: It will give you the definition of the term you asked Naver to search for. It will also give you the translation of the term into English or any other language you would like to choose. It does not offer many opportunities, if any, in terms of displaying your brand or products.
7. Knowledge iN: A series of questions internet users can ask and answer (see image below). You will need to create an account and create questions you will be able to answer in order to help Korean internet user use your services or products. It will also allow other users to answer the question…
8. Videos: Those videos can come from different platforms such as www.youtube.kr, www.pandora.tv, tv.chosun.com, www.tving.com or even Naver Blog. You can therefore upload a video in one of those platforms; optimise it with highly relevant keywords in order to appear in this category.
9. News: come from recent articles about topics related to the keyword you searched for. It comes from online Korean newspapers but also from the Naver News Platform itself… It seems quite difficult to appear in this category unless the topic relates to a niche, as Naver in that case will look for information in less popular news sites.
10. Maps: Displays South Korea map only. It offers an opportunity to display your company only if you have a South Korean address.
11. Power Link: These are ads. You can create a campaign and display your ads in this category. Prior to doing so, you will need to open an account and ensure your company ticks all the boxes Naver imposes.
12. Web Documents: These are articles, posts related to the topic you are searching info on. It offers many opportunities for your company through the publication of articles related to your products or services on many forums.
13. News Library: One of my favourites! It does not offer any opportunities for a company unless it has been mentioned in “traditional” newspapers. This category displays scans (see image below) of newspapers articles which have been published between 1920 and 2000… How cool is that!?
14. Music; Books Extracts & Books and Magazines: They are in fact shopping platforms. You can sometimes read magazines and download music online for free. It can give you the opportunities to sell your products online.
There are also two main features that have not been displayed on this results which are Naver Café and Naver Blogs (see screenshot below for blogs). Those two platforms seem to give you the best opportunities to display your website or articles related to your company. You will need to create an account for both platforms and ensure you keep them active by posting articles every so often.
Naver offers many opportunities for your company to be advertised on. The easiest one is, of course, Pay Per Click or Power Link. However, there are many other ways to display your website on Naver for little costs. You just need to ensure which categories would be best for you to appear in and, with the help of professionals and native South Korean specialists, it does not have to be all that difficult to enter the economically lucrative South Korean market.
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