At the beginning of the year in 2008, Wikipedia was the one who gave surprise to the internet search world. The Wikia Inc., an enterprise with well-known online encyclopedia is the leader in web 2.0. Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikia Inc. has recently introduced a new search engine to compete with Google search.
Wikia Inc. that was co-founded by Wales has successfully developed the basis of open sources based on the web 2.0 philosophy of “participation, share and group intelligence” and succeeded in building a new search engine platform through the cooperation work of search engine oriented engineers who finally created a product like Wikipedia.
It is now starting the ‘Search 2.0′ era. The next generation search engines are being developed and poured into the market to succeed the fame of Google and Naver. Already the cyber world is heated-up with the search. Search has already established in the internet market as one of the leader. The internet industry has been saturated for several years and oligopolized by a few enterprises.
In accordance with the KoreanClick, 65% of the internet search market was shared by the two companies of Naver and Daum. And top 10 internet companies share over 85%. The market is in the growth stage passing from the dissemination stage.
In the internet field where the speed of technology development is very high, it is very hard to see more innovative services these days. None of the ‘killer contents’ has been introduced after the Daum Hanmail (1997), Daum Café (1999), Cyworld (2001), Naver Knowledge iN (2002), and Naver Blog (2003). The productive internet ecosystem is being disrupted.
In this kind of market environment Search must be one of the most influential parameter among many variables. Google and Naver implanted the firm belief that one can hold supremacy in the market with only one, search technology. The environmental intra-structure became ripe. The internet environment is being changed. High speed communication network is rapidly moving from wire to wireless. Internet tools have been diversified to TV and mobile phone. Desk-top PC is fading away and web-top world is fading in. The search engine is also evolving together with this trends.
The right answer for the future search technology that will lead the market is simple. It will be depended on the accuracy of the answer to the user’s question.
The future search trend would likely be processed three ways. First of all it is the ‘individualized’ search that gives artificial intellectual type of answers based on the s individual user history.
Secondly, ‘specialization’ that could provide rich and distinct information would be the general trend. The ‘3D reality based search technology’ is being focused as the audio files draw attention among the internet contents.
Lastly, the artificial intellectual search technology will be introduced to provide more accurate answer through processing of the collected information based on semantic web technology rather than providing the immediate type of answer.
Tony Kyung-il Lee, the President and CEO of Saltlux Inc. makes diagnosis, “During the year of 2008 a new paradigm of search will be formed through the commercialization of the next generation search service that will overthrow the currently existing search engines like Naver and Google.”
[All road leads to search.] 2008 may be recorded as the year of demonstration of this truth. The Search has been the keyword that heated up the internet industry for several years. The success stories of Google and Naver created the concept of “internet=search” and the world has changed to the search centered society. The search has been absolutely powerful to obtain so much information from all the locations in the world. Without search no one can talk of the internet itself.
The trend of time would not seem to be changed in this year. The search oriented internet circulation structure would rather be stronger. It is forecasted that the internet service would continuously be changed from search to portal, from portal to media, and from media to search again in the year of 2008. The search will expand its service territory from PC based desk-top to other various terminal like mobile phone and TV being engaged with the mega-trend of “convergence”.
Especially, the mobile search service which provides search environment in the mobile phone similar to desk-top will surely heat the communication and internet industries in 2008. The mobile search service has already technically been realized even though the user environment, transfer speed and recognition are inferior. The communication and portal businesses have declared the second generation of search era and compets for the leadership in the market. The search service attracts interest being gathered in upon the new market of IPTV. 2008 would be the experimental year for the success of the new IPTV’s soft landing.
New search technologies that have been developed in the laboratories would likely be introduced to the market. The typical technology is the semantic web platform. The semantic web based search engines will be established as the universal service. A new creative search technology will brilliantly be shown up and the next generation search runner will be exposed taking over Google and Naver.
The war on the search has already been started. The several companies have made reconstruction of their organizations and have been ready to compete in the market. For recent several years Naver has been predominant. Even though Daum, Yahoo, SK and KTH have sharpened the swords, the Naver’s empire becomes stronger. The search industry was blinded under the shadow of Naver. However, the market situation may not be forecasted. Strategies to attack and protect have been established by different companies already.
Naver will focus on the depth information retrieval. Its protection strategy is to meet the customers’ needs through customized retrieval results. Expecting industry first 1,000 billion Won sales, Naver may probably be successful in the Japanese market with the alpha version of retrieval engine in Japanese that has already been developed.
Daum is preparing an offensive marketing strategy based on the profit from retrieval advertisement that is being increased since 4th quarter 2007. Daum watches for the reversal of the lead in the market with UCC marketing what they think they have got the leadership in the market even though the copyright is another issue.
Together with Konan Technology, SK Communications is planning to penetrate into the search service market after the merge with Empass. They will seek the synergism between the strategies of the mother group company, SK Telecom and Cyworld-Empass.
◆Interview with Tony (Kyoung-il) Lee of Saltlux Inc.
“An era of the next generation search is now starting. It is an old fashioned to put a simple keyword and to simply list numerous information on the monitor. Search technology is being evolved to search semantically defined information. Now, the semantic web era has been started.” Tony Lee comments.
Tony Lee, the president and CEO of Saltlux Inc. is and expert in search technology. He has been working in this business field for longer than 10 years and is also working as a director of Semantic Information Technology Association and as the Chairman of the HCI Special Committee. Tony listed the “Semantic Web” as the key topic among search technology for this year. Semantic web is the next generation intellectual web that creates a new information through reading, understanding by the computer instead of human being. The current internet can only show the information what the user input based on the HTML language while the semantic web is the intellectual web that may be communicating with human.
Tony emphasizes, “It was the enterprise side where the semantic web business stated. The government and some of the enterprises are already using the semantic web search technology. In this year semantic web will be the general trend in the industry market and a few similar services will be introduced into the consumer market.” Tony continues, “2008 will be recorded as the first year of the next generation search engine era.”
The search service market is the single dominant market by Naver with the market share of 78.3%. The second market sharer is Daum with only 12%, and Empass, Yahoo and Google together share 5%. This trend of Naver’s dominance will be continued in 2008, too.
Total internet advertisement market is continuously roseate as ever. The market is forecasted by the Internet Marketing Association to grow 20% every year for the coming 4 year period. It will share over 20% of all the advertisement market. The keyword ads geared with search will lead the demand of the ads. It is commonly agreed opinion that the search ad market size in the year 2010 will be 1,000 billion Won, being equivalent to the total internet ads in 2007.