Google continues to try to increase its local presence in countries where its market share is small. After localizing many products in Russia, building special services for China, now Google focuses on Korea.
One of the first changes is a new homepage for Google Korea (English version) that uses icons to represent the services and provides more information if you hover over the icon. The homepage includes links to search services (images, news, blogs, groups), but also to Gmail, Google Talk, Calendar, Notebook, Toolbar, Desktop and Picasa.
"It was important where our classic minimalism wasn't working that we adapt," explained Marrissa Mayer to Search Engine Land. Asian Internet users want a more visual experience and Google's plain text pages aren't very appealing.