Naver has a very unique way of displaying its search engine results pages (SERP) and in our blog post on Naver Cafe optimisation we already gave a short overview on the composition of Naver’s universal SERP. On February 21, Naver officially announced and implemented the inclusion of its Opencast content as an own category into the search results of its universal SERP. Before looking into the implications for SEO in Korea, let’s first take a closer look at this new category called Opencast.
What is Naver Opencast?
Naver Opencast was introduced in 2008 and is very similar to a social bookmarking platform. The main goal is to share unique and great content found on the web in a compact and easily digestible way. Each registered Naver user can own an Opencast ‘publisher’ page and assign it with a title, description and tags. However, in order to become an Opencast publisher, one must go through a complicated verification process. This process can only be completed by receiving at least five recommendations by other users via an email verification system.
After being verified, it is possible to start sharing links and bookmarks from the web with the help of Opencast tabs. When creating a tab a category from a preset list (e.g. travel, IT, entertainment, etc.) needs to be chosen, and a title as well as a description needs to be added. It is possible to select from different tab designs and each tab normally includes four to eight thumbnails and/or links, depending on the chosen design (see image below).
Readers can then find this tab on the Opencast website next to all other tabs published by other users. The tabs are either presented in a flow view (like in the image below) or can also be displayed in a list view, and the order of appearance can be sorted by date, publisher or popularity. For further information you can take a look at the official service introduction and tutorial videos provided by Naver.
Integration of Opencast in the Naver universal SERP
Looking at the Naver SERP, positioning of the new Opencast category heavily depends, as for all other categories, on the keyword term. For a travel-related term we used in the screenshot below we can see that it is placed as 7th out of 17 categories.
The Opencast search result section normally contains three Opencast tabs, whereas only the first one is expanded by default (see image below). Besides the shared content in the form of thumbnails and links, tab title, the first part of the tab description, and the Opencast publisher page title can be seen for the first expanded search result in this new category. You can either choose to go the publisher’s Opencast page by clicking on the tab title or directly go to the promoted content or website by clicking on the thumbnail or hyperlink below.
Implications for Search Engine Optimisation on Naver
The Opencast site is equipped with its own search engine and it seems that results for the Opencast category on the Naver homepage are pulled from that search engine’s database. Some of the main ranking factors are recency, popularity and keyword usage in the title, description and tags of the publisher’s Opencast page as well as in the tabs themselves. By providing great content worth sharing, companies can try to catch the attention of popular Opencast publishers within their own industry and use this new chance of search engine visibility for increasing referral traffic from Naver.
Happy to hear about your opinion on this new category or other chances on how to utilize social bookmarking for SEO in Korea!