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Top Korean Search Engines: A Comprehensive Guide

What are the most used Search Platforms in Korea?

There are over 5 million google searches per minute in the world, but surprisingly only around 3 out of 10 Koreans use Google as their go-to search engine. The technological advancements in Korea over the past few years has made it easy for anyone to find information about anything conveniently from their pocket. Interestingly, Korea boasts high usage of their local Korean search engine, Naver, so when do Koreans use other platforms?

Korean Search Engine Preferences & Purposes

Understanding the nuances of platform preferences is crucial. Korean search engine user data highlights shifts in choices based on gender and age. Men lean towards Google, Naver Band, Facebook, and TikTok, while women favor KakaoTalk and Instagram. Koreans in their 40s-50s prefer more Korean-based apps like Daum, Naver Band, and Kakaostory compared to other age groups.

When looking at search intent by platform, we can split people’s interests based on 4 main categories that initiate people’s search for information.

  • Location-Based Searches

  • Brand and Product Reviews

  • Hobbies and Interests Searches

  • Work and Academic Searches

While individuals from most country’s try to find local restaurants and cafes on Google maps, Naver asserts its dominance in Korea. Out of almost 5000 respondents, 68% selected Naver as their first choice out of 21 other platforms for local/spatial information exploration, especially those in their 20s and 30s. 

Top 5 Search Platforms for Hot Spots in Korea

Additionally, Naver emerged as the go-to search platform for exploring product and brand reviews as 67% of respondents prioritized Naver over the next runner ups Youtube and Instagram. Collectively the latter applications had only 15% participants choose them over Naver as their first preference.

Top 5 Search Platforms for Brand and Product Reviews in Korea

While Naver also ranked highly in the third category of searches, regarding search towards hobbies and leisure activities, Youtube also produced a high amount of users. On average, 56.2% of people had Youtube in their top 3 choices . The majority of Gen Z had higher usage of Youtube and Instagram, while Naver was favored by Millennials and the generations above. 

Top 5 Search Platforms for info on Hobbies and Interests in Korea

When looking at users' top 3 preferences when searching for work or academic purposes, search portals such as Naver and Google were prevalent with roughly 80% and 42% average usage respectively. Further, there was also a high proportion of average YouTube usage of 46%. Interestingly, there was a relatively higher proportion of using Google among men, while women had a higher proportion of using Naver. 

Top Search Platforms for Work and Academics in Korea

In conclusion, the unique Korean search engines, coupled with a growing interest in global content, present a promising opportunity for companies abroad to promote their products and services. At the same time, it underlines the importance of adapting to Korean search engine marketing channels for international companies trying to enter the Korean market.

Waterbe's specialized knowledge of the Korean market is ready to assist overseas enterprises, offering a pathway to successful entry into the dynamic Korean marketplace, ensuring growth, and prosperity for future ventures.


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