Google’s having problems in China, just as any other non-Chinese search engines. Similarly, non-Korean search engines simply cannot penetrate the Korean market.
I will explain the reasons for the reasons behind this in the next post. Meanwhile, setting aside what Google must change to its website, here’s a strategy I think could work for Google.
* Establish a nationwide partnership with PC bangs.
PC bangs are basically Internet cafes. While most Korean households own computers and have fiber optic broadband connection, people still go to Internet cafes. Seoul, the nation’s capital, has about 5,200 PC bangs. That means for every square mile, there are roughly 22 PC bangs. Almost everyone goes to PC bangs, whether they’re playing games, looking for information, chatting online – it’s basically a place for entertainment, or even for a place to kill time while waiting to meet a friend.
Online games have been known to partner with PC bangs for a long time in Korea to increase exposure to PC bang users. Google, if finding a way to enter this market and making Google the main page for all PC bangs would enable a safe way to reach a higher share in the Korean market.
But that’s just one strategy. Google must change its face in order for Koreans to become truly loyal to its services.