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The 4 top search engines in Korea: How to use NAVER and how it differs from Google!

In Japan, Google and Yahoo! are well known as the main search engines, but in Korea, the independently grown search engine "NAVER" boasts an overwhelming share of the market.

In this article, we have picked out four search engines with high market share in South Korea. We will focus mainly on "NAVER" and "Google," the two strongest of them, to solve the following questions.

How can I use NAVER for SEO and advertising?"

What are the specific differences between NAVER and Google?"

Please make sure you understand the structure and characteristics of Korea's unique search engine and make use of it for your inbound measures and web marketing.

Top 4 Popular Search Engines in Korea

First, we will introduce the TOP 4 most popular search engines in South Korea. Below are the search engine share percentages as of May 30, 2024.


The above data shows that "NAVER" is the most widely used search engine in Korea, boasting an overwhelming 56.97% share. It is followed by "Google" with 34.64%, a search engine that is slowly increasing its market share.

Also, although a fairly small number, "DAUM," a search engine originating in South Korea, and "bing," the second largest search engine in the world in terms of market share, were found to have 3.64% and 3.41%, respectively.

Let us now take a closer look at the characteristics of the above four search engines.


Official Site

NAVER" is a search engine that boasts strong popularity in South Korea with the No. 1 share rate. NAVER, the parent company of the messenger application LINE, was released as a search engine in 1999.

In 2003, NAVER launched the "NAVER Blog" service, which further boosted its market share by taking advantage of the blog boom. Currently, there are more than 42 million registered users, and 16 million people access the site every day.


Official Site

Google" is the world's number one search engine with the largest market share in Japan, and was released in 1997 by Google Inc. It is characterized by a simple search engine that is distinct from the information-intensive "portal sites" that had been the mainstream until then.

In the past, its market share in Korea tended to be in the low single-digit range, but in recent years, it has expanded its market share to approximately 35%.


Official website

DAUM is a search engine originating from Korea, provided by Kakao Corporation, which operates the messenger application "KakaoTalk.

The launch of Korea's first webmail service called "hanmail" and the release of the community service "Cafe" led to a temporary increase in market share. Currently, the share rate has dropped to 3.64%, and DAUM users are in the minority.


Official Site

bing" is a search engine released by "Microsoft". It boasts a TOP3 share rate in Japan, but its share rate in Korea tends to be small at 3.41%.

Since it is the default search engine installed as standard in Windows, many users utilize it for business purposes. it features different search technology from Google, and in 2023, it has an AI-based chat function.

NAVER Strategy] Search Engine Features and Differences from Google

Both NAVER and Google are search engines based on advertising revenue. However, because of differences in their operating policies and management strategies, their search systems and SEO/advertising mechanisms are also very different.




Portal site type

Simple design with only a search window

Content policy

Up-to-date and frequently updated information

Information that addresses user needs

Highly ranked

Content within the platform

Organic search




Below are the features and functions of NAVER that you should know about if you are considering Korean Web marketing.

  1. Uniqueness of interface and search results

  2. The same SEO strategies as Google will not work

Let's take a closer look at how each of these differs.

Uniqueness of interface and search results

NAVER and Google have the following policy differences.


Emphasis on providing content that meets the needs of users


Emphasizes content that provides up-to-date and frequently updated information

Google has a very simple search screen, while NAVER is a "portal site type" that categorizes information into various categories, similar to Yahoo! This category system is gaining popularity in Korea, with around 50 categories.

In the case of Google, all search results are ranked according to Google's evaluation criteria, but in NAVER, the order is determined in two steps.

  1. Determines the order of categories related to search keywords

  2. Determines the order of content to be displayed within a category

For example, an actual search for "Internet" will display the following search results.

The same SEO measures as Google do not work.

SEO measures for Google tend not to work for NAVER, because the algorithm used by NAVER is completely different from Google's.

NAVER gives priority to content provided through the NAVER platform, such as NAVER blogs and NAVER ads, making it difficult to rank high in the organic search results as in Google searches.

Therefore, general corporate websites are also difficult to rank highly, as only 3 to 5 NAVER categories are ranked highly in each category, most of which will be filled with content from within the platform.

Korean Marketing] Tips for utilizing the search engine NAVER

The following are some tips on how to make the most of NAVER, a search engine that is notoriously difficult to SEO.

  1. Be aware of listing rankings and impression share

  2. Use of listing ads

  3. Use of NAVER Blogs

  4. Use of extensions

Be aware of listing rankings and impression share

NAVER has a system whereby the listing rank is indicated by medals. Google used to display the medals as well, but they are no longer displayed.

However, NAVER does not have impression share. Impression share is the ratio of the number of times an ad was actually displayed out of the total number of times it could be displayed. Please refer to the following for the formula to determine impression share.

Impression Share (%) = Number of times an ad was displayed ÷ Total number of times an ad could be displayed

In ad operations, it is important to keep the impression share for keywords close to 100%. However, since NAVER cannot measure this, it is necessary to closely check the number of times an ad is displayed and its placement in the market, and to study and improve it.

Use of Listing Ads

If you are going to conduct marketing using NAVER, you should also consider operating listing advertisements. As mentioned above, it is difficult for general websites to be ranked high, so many Korean companies use listing ads to attract customers.

NAVER's listing ads are structured to appear in blue at the top, so they tend to catch the attention of users. In addition, the system has the advantage of displaying up to 20 ads that are appropriate for search keywords, so they are more likely to be viewed than other general categories.

Using the NAVER Blog

Another recommended marketing strategy using NAVER is to utilize the "NAVER Blog.

Blog culture remains popular in Korea and is the most popular category, and since it is the only category in NAVER where SEO is effective, it can be used as a great marketing tool.

NAVER blog templates like WordPress exist, and it is not too difficult to operate. In order to operate effectively, please keep the following points in mind.

  • Update your articles regularly to keep them up-to-date.

  • Be aware of and include relevant words.

  • Include many original images.

As with SEO in Japan, it is important to create consistent content with appropriate keywords.

Use of Extended Functions

We recommend using the optional "extended materials" feature when running ads on NAVER. The following ad display options are available for extended materials.

Power Link Image

A photo can be inserted next to the title.

Image type serve link

An image with a link can be displayed.

Blog Review

Blog reviews can be used as advertisements

The advantage of the "Power Link Image" is that it allows you to display a photo related to your product or service for a more specific appeal. Image-based Servilink" is another image-related option, but this one allows you to mount a link on an image.

Blog Review" is a feature that allows users' reviews posted on the NAVER blog to be used as advertisements. Real customer feedback increases the credibility of your product or service and creates an opportunity to attract new customers.


In Korea, NAVER, a search engine with its own unique mechanism, boasts a high market share. If you are considering marketing measures utilizing a search engine, it is important to first understand its unique structure and features.

In addition, marketing methods in Korea, which is known as a digitally advanced country, are evolving on a daily basis. Therefore, it is necessary to understand not only traditional methods, but also uniquely evolved techniques and trends. In order to conduct effective Web marketing, it is important to always be aware of the need to gather information.

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