Yahoo Japan to bolster search results with NHN Japan’s Naver Matome

Yahoo Japan president Manabu Miyasaka, NHN Japan president Akira Morikawa

Today Yahoo Japan (TYO:4689) and NHN Japan held a joint press conference to announce that the two internet giants would be working together to integrate NHN’s Naver Matome curated content into Yahoo Japan’s search results. The intention is to bring a human element into Yahoo Japan’s search, thus creating a sort of hybrid search experience.

For those of you not familiar with Naver Matome, which began back in 2009, my colleague Yukari gave a wonderful overview of the curated service earlier in the month as part of our ‘Japanese internet in depth’ series.

Yahoo Japan will also set up a specifically designed search engine for curated Naver Matome results. That engine will also be deployed to Naver Matome in order to provide a better search experience. Work on this project will begin in April.

As you can see in the chart below, Matome’s growth has staggering, currently with 41 million visitors a month and over 1.2 billion page views per month. It’s growth over the course of 2012, in terms of monthly visitors, has out-paced even Facebook and Twitter. Needless to say, today’s deal ensures that the platform still has some growing left to do.

Monthly visitors of Naver Matome, Facebook and Twitter.
(comparison of November of 2011 and November of 2012, in unit of 1,000 visitors)

Monthly pageviews of Naver Matome (in unit of 100 million pageviews)