Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Korean websites saddled with search-blocking code

When foreign fans type in “Psy” on major search engines, the results rarely include the Korean singer’s official homepage. The reason lies in a technical problem with Korean websites.

According to industry sources, many Korean websites, including Psy’s homepage, have taken steps that block tracking and indexing by foreign search engines and portals. In detail, such websites usually insert a code like “robots.txt” to keep outside parties from indexing the details of their pages.

The trouble is that a growing number of Korean homepages are exposed to traffic and search queries by non-Korean users.

Psy’s “Gangnam Style” naturally increased the search traffic related to the word “Gangnam,” but the official homepage of the posh district in Seoul does not appear prominently in the search results on major foreign portals.

Government websites, especially tourism-related ones, also face the same problem of limited Web exposure. English-language websites by Korean state-run agencies, experts said, should address the issue as such restrictions undermine their efforts to promote the country’s tourism and other policy promotions.

Google Korea and local online partners conducted research on the issue and discovered that 78.5 percent of Korean colleges and academic websites use the search-blocking option.

However, the measure turned out to have little effect on increasing the overall security of the websites. (Korea Herald) 

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