PCWorld has an overview of the testing Google is doing with its Hong Kong, Korean and Taiwan homepages, serving icons and animated graphics which fit well with the overall Google theme and market its Google Account tools outside of search.
At first glance, my reaction is “why not in the US?”, but in the US and Europe Google has positioned itself as a simplistic and results driven search engine. Google has had a more difficult time breaking into the Asian market, and these changes may be more appealing to the tech savvy media driven user.
“We’re actually now experimenting with trying new kinds of homepages, for example in Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, that are a completely different type than we’ve tried before on our U.S. site as well as our European sites,” Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google and the company’s president of technology, speaking to investors during a conference call.
Most notable is the South Korean Google Site, which keeps Google’s theme but adds a more, well, exciting experience. In addition, the Google services are where the user can easily find them, not tucked up in the top left hand corner of the site like in the US version.