Naver (네이버) is the largest portal and search engine in the country. Naver has somewhere around 60% of the total number of searches conducted in the country, and Korea is one example where the search engine Google has failed to make any inroads. Reasons for Naver's popularity over Google in Korea include:
- Input: Korean users can use Naver without having to have Korean installed on their computers, which means that a Korean abroad would still be able to conduct a search in their language without having to install Korean input. On Naver the keys fpdltldrjf would turn up a search for racing girl (레이싱걸), whereas on Google this does not turn up anything. As this is a java-based function, a url with the characters appended would not work; one has to begin inputing the characters on the search bar for it to register, whereupon the user can select which word(s) he or she is trying to use.
- Base of operations: As a local company, there is a stronger backing for Naver than the US-based Google.
- Local information: Naver is extremely good for finding information such as subway stations, driving maps, bus stops, etc., and a search for any of these will also bring up a map right on the search page with information similar to what one would find in a phone book. On Google a search for a subway station will generally bring up pages with the name of the subway station in the text, and not always direct information on its location, nearby amenities, and so on.
- KnowledgeIN (지식인): this is a question and answer service by and for Naver users, where one user asks a question, others answer and the conversation becomes saved. Users who give consistently good advice are given higher ratings than those who do not. There are somewhere around 40 million saved conversations on this part of Naver.