The Globalization of Search



Yahoo China

Images by rustybrickBob Xu, and Colin Zhu,
used under the Creative Commons license.

This past September 16, Financial Times posted an article about the contest between search engines for dominance of Internet search traffic in different parts of the world. Whereas Google is dominant in North America, they have had trouble breaking into markets in other parts of the world. In China, for example, the majority of Internet search traffic goes to Yahoo holds an advantage over Google in other parts of Asia, and (according to FT) Naver receives 60% of South Korea’s search traffic.

The article discusses how and why different search engines are able to establish dominance in different regions:

Some common themes lie behind these local success stories, internet veterans say: Google has played second fiddle to rivals who invested much earlier, perfected their technology to work with local languages and came up with innovations that Google is now having to copy.

These companies have since been able to consolidate their hold thanks to their well-known local brand names and a strategy that often relies on combining search with a range of other portal-like services to keep users on in-house sites.

Article by Richard Waters, Robin Kwong, and Robin Harding in Financial Times. SIG-III Blog post by Aaron Bowen