When it comes to SEO in Korea, there is no way around Naver. With its 70% market share, it occupies more of the Korean market than Google does in the US currently. In this post I am going to give a short overview on Naver and show you what is important from an SEO point of view.
The SERPs of Naver are not only flooded by paid links but also heavily occupied by social media and user-generated content sites, such as community sites, blogs, microblogs, wikis and Q&As.
The ‘web results’ category, which is closest equivalent to Google’s standard results, is only one of many. However, Naver normally favours paid and social categories and shows most of them above the web results. (You can read more about the compilation of the Naver SERP’s in Mike Litson’s post on SEO on Naver.)
No SEO without social media
Results in the social categories are normally completely occupied by posts made on Naver’s own social platforms. Participating in Naver’s social media world is almost mandatory in order to increase your exposure on Naver. However, Naver has never really disclosed any specific information on SEO on its platforms.
It is difficult to say with absolute certainty which factors or combinations of factors are most important in order to achieve good rankings. Let me shed some light on this matter by sharing my experience on one of the most important social categories in the Naver SERP: the Naver Café.
Naver’s home-grown community platform: Naver Café
Anyone registered on Naver can start a café for free in order to build up a community on a topic of his/her interest. The owners of successful cafés with high traffic, engagement and a considerable number of members are often collaborating with companies. Most of the time, coupons and sweepstakes are used in order to promote products or brands.
The design of the whole page, including banners, widgets and side bars can easily be customised. Naver demands only one part of the left side for advertisement. Overall, the structure of all cafés is very similar. Customisation is mainly limited to the top banner and internal rules when it comes to memberships and postings.
The real challenge: Using Naver Cafe for SEO
After this really quick introduction the question now is: how can I get a good ranking with the help of Naver Café?
From our experience we know that the following nine factors play a major role in getting a high position for a café post on the SERP in the Naver café section:
- Number of members
- Activity rate
- Keyword positioning
- Time of posting
- Keyword density
- Incorporation of media (photos and videos)
- Number of user recommendations
- Number of user comments
- Keywords in the cafe- and posting-tags
Moreover, an optimisation of Naver Café through these factors from an SEO point of view is very important. Naver Café postings can and do cross-rank in other sections such as Web, Image or Video results as well.
The order of these factors is not random, but our attempt to give some initial guidance on their relative importance. I will go into more detail and show how these factors work and their importance for SEO on Naver in my next post.
I have also prepared a couple of case studies in order to support these findings. I will share them with you in a future post after explaining all factors in detail – so stay tuned!