Google Universal Search in Korea

In an effort to broaden Google’s market share in Korea, the search engine giant has recently overhauled its search engine in Korea.

Korea is one of the world’s most wired countries and one of the few where Google continues to struggle against local search players.

The concept of Google Universal Search aims to blend video, news, books and other formats in addition to the traditional web page results and has been adopted in most of where Google has presence elsewhere.

NHN Corporation’s Naver leads the Korean search engine market. According to users, the interface of Naver suits better to Korean Internet users because of its visually appealing pages and reliance on human interaction instead of software to get results.

“The interface change will distinguish us from other search engines in Korea, where growth potential is huge given its broad base of Internet users,” Lee said at a news conference. “We’re not setting any domestic market share target, but we expect the new services will help.”

The Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet company adopted universal search for its English version last May as other Web-search engines also tried to integrate different types of information.

Rivals such as Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and IAC Interactive Corp.’s Ask.com search engine adopted the universal search concept late in 2007 with varying results.