Search Engine Market Share in Korea 2024

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Search Engine Market Share in Korea 2024



A business only becomes real once it exists on the Internet. Or at least this is what people say. While we wouldn’t necessarily go all-in on such obvious hyperbole, an online presence is definitely important for customers to get to know your business and get in touch with you.

However, nowadays it’s not enough to simply have a website; people also need to be able to find it. With so much competition and infoxication on the internet, this task is becoming harder and harder for small and medium businesses.  Fortunately for them, a well-executed search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, can make flourish almost any website.

SEO is a great tool to improve a website’s position in search engine results for those with a low budget and for whom investing in a complete search engine marketing (SEM) solution isn’t a viable option.

Google is undoubtedly the first search engine people think of when we talk about SEO. However, although it’s the search engine most people use on their desktops or laptops, there are plenty of other options, including Ecosia, an eco-friendly option, and South Korea’s Naver.

South Korea Search Engine Market Share in 2022

Naver is a quite unique search engine since it is used almost exclusively in South Korea, and it is greatly localized for its population. Still more of a portal than what we think as a strict Search Engine, Naver offers organic search results, user-generated content, shopping, video, and more. It is trusted for most of the population and it has the privilege to beat Google’s dominance in its market. Let’s take a deeper look at the statistics.

Korean Search Engine Market Share in 2022 Q2

Digital usage in South Korea is very specific and has some key differences from other countries. While Google still gets a certain amount of traffic from South Korea, the most popular search engine in the country is Naver, mostly due to its advanced features and ability to better understand the Korean language. However, over the last few years, we can see a slow but steady rise in Google. This is getting more noticeable in the 4th quarter of 2022.

Search Engines Oct. 2022 Nov. 2022 Dec. 2022
Naver 63.67% 62.52% 62.81%
Google 30.69% 31.80% 31.41%
Daum 5.00% 5.06% 5.14%
Zum 0.24% 0.24% 0.24%
Nate 0.17% 0.17% 0.17%
Others 0.23% 0.23% 0.23%

According to the data, Naver is used by 62.81% of Korean internet users, while Google usage rounds 31.41%. Investing in SEO for NAVER Mobile and Google is a great way to help a business get ahead of the competition, even when operating on a low marketing budget.

Korean Search engine market share by device 2022

In 2015, the Pew Research Center concluded that South Korea had the world’s highest smartphone ownership rate with every participant in its survey between the ages of 18 and 34 saying that they owned a smartphone. That is why, when designing an SEO campaign for a Korean audience, several search engines should be considered, and mobile users should definitely not be an afterthought.

Each and every search engine will have its own unique specifications. In some cases, SEO would be enough to get a significant return on investment, and in others, it would be better to go for a more complete SEM campaign.

However, SEO seems to be less effective on Naver so the majority of businesses opt for pay-per-click (PPC) marketing instead.

Specialized Digital Marketing

Those designing digital marketing campaigns need to know which search engines their target audience is using and should direct their campaign towards them. Therefore, knowledge of the different search engine algorithms and a multi-platform approach is essential in order to improve a website’s visibility.

Digital marketing is useful for both personal and business websites. Although the website owner can create a digital marketing campaign themselves, it is often worth deferring to a specialized freelancer or firm with experience in this field, especially in the unique scenario presented by regions such as South Korea.

A good digital marketing firm knows how to design the perfect SEO campaign for a specific audience in order to improve a website’s performance across multiple search engines with differing specifications.

Professional expertise is also useful to avoid search engine penalties and help websites recover from them on the rare occasion that they rear their ugly heads. This is a specific process that differs from one search engine to another, and that often requires those filling reconsideration requests to contact the search engineers and managers directly.

South Korea is one of many examples where creating an SEO-friendly website is not as simple as following a single search engine’s guidelines. Instead, it’s necessary to consider the tools that your target audience will be using to access your website and adapt it to perform best in those environments.

This is even more important for international companies that want to reach a worldwide audience as they will need to perform well across a larger number of search engines, each with its own ranking metrics.
Sometimes, is it simply easier and more effective to hire a specialized digital marketing firm with the knowledge and experience to create a solid digital marketing campaign based on a business’ specific circumstances.

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Screenshots: 11. Jan 2023 Update

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