The organic search engine market in Korea is currently dominated heavily by Naver. The search portal giant has enjoyed 70% of the SEM market share since 2011, and in 2012 recorded the highest PPC revenue in history.Not complacent to bite the dust, competitors Daum and Microsoft had already started a search alliance in the organic search field in 2009, the same year that Bing decided to show Daum search results in its SERPS (see screenshot below).
Bing has now expressed further commitment to cooperation with Daum, and April is seeing this alliance progress a step further into the PPC realm. Both portals have the shared goal of tackling the near- monopolistic search engine landscape in Korea.
However, it is not just Microsoft and Bing looking to join forces to remain competitive in Korea, additional internet platforms in the region such as SK Telekom’s Nate and Zum are already paving alliances with Daum for paid searches; with all platforms currently displaying adverts pulled from Daum’s advertising platform.
All four search platforms combined have a search engine market share of approximately 18%, and Daum has voiced an ambition to increase its current advertising clientele of 190,000 to 230,000 in order to challenge Naver’s current number of 260,000.
However, it remains to be seen whether forging industry alliances will materialize to keep the Korean search engine market competitive.