Search engines have become an integral part of our daily lives.
Whether we are looking for information, products, or services, search engines serve as our go-to resource for accessing a vast array of online content.
This holds true for Vietnam, where the use of search engines has witnessed a significant surge in recent years. As internet penetration rates continue to rise and smartphone usage becomes more prevalent, search engines have become indispensable for both individuals and businesses in the country.
In this article, LesMichels will explore the use of search engines in Vietnam, delve into the factors driving their popularity, and highlight their importance for businesses operating in this dynamic market.
Search Engine Features and Local Adaptations
Search engines in Vietnam have tailored their features and adaptations to meet the specific needs of the local market. They have prioritized language support, local content, and relevant search algorithms.
To address the complexity of the Vietnamese language, search engines have developed advanced algorithms for Vietnamese language processing. These algorithms accurately understand search queries and provide relevant results and suggestions in Vietnamese.
To ensure access to local content, search engines have collaborated with Vietnamese partners to expand their coverage of local websites, including news portals and e-commerce platforms.
Search engines have also optimized their interfaces for Vietnamese users, incorporated voice recognition for voice searches, and provided localized versions of their services.
Additionally, search engines actively engage with the Vietnamese community through partnerships and initiatives that support local organizations, universities, and startups, contributing to the growth of the Vietnamese technology ecosystem.
Overview of the Search Engine Market in Vietnam
The search engine market in Vietnam is primarily dominated by Google, which holds an overwhelming market share of 97.3%. Google’s popularity stems from its powerful search algorithms, extensive coverage of online content, and user-friendly interface. It has become the search engine of choice for the majority of Vietnamese users, providing them with accurate and relevant search results.
While Google is the undisputed leader, there are a few other players in the market. Coc Coc, a local Vietnamese search engine app, has carved out a niche for itself and holds a market share of 2.2%. It offers a tailored search experience, catering specifically to Vietnamese users’ needs and preferences.
Despite a declining market share, Coc Coc is claiming on his site to have over 29 million users on desktop and mobile platforms. This could suggest that the Web-browser remains relevant in the current Vietnamese digital landscape.
On the other hand, both Yahoo and Bing have a relatively minimal presence in the Vietnamese search engine market, each accounting for around 0.2% of the market share. While they have their loyal user base, their usage has declined over time, with users predominantly gravitating towards Google and CocCoc.
It’s important to note that these market share figures are subject to change as user preferences and industry dynamics evolve. However, the dominance of Google, followed by the presence of CocCoc, showcases the Vietnamese search engine landscape.
More on CoC CoC, the Vietnamese Search Engine
CocCoc was launched in 2013, and is specifically designed to cater to the needs of Vietnamese users, providing them with a localized search experience. Developed by a Vietnamese company, CocCoc has gained significant popularity in the country and has emerged as one of the competitors to global search engine giants like Google and Bing.
Key Features and Adaptations of Coc Coc:
- Vietnamese Language Support: Coc Coc places a strong emphasis on handling the complexities of the Vietnamese language. It utilizes advanced language processing algorithms to understand the nuances of Vietnamese queries, including the tonal aspects and complex grammar.
- Local Content Indexing: Coc Coc has made efforts to index and present a wide range of local Vietnamese content. This includes news, entertainment, e-commerce platforms, and other popular websites that cater to the interests and preferences of Vietnamese users. By prioritizing local content, CocCoc ensures that users have access to relevant and localized information.
- User-Friendly Interface: Coc Coc has optimized its interface to provide a user-friendly experience for Vietnamese speakers. The search engine is designed with intuitive features and localized elements, making it easy for users to navigate and interact with the platform.
- Voice Search Capability: Coc Coc incorporates voice recognition technology, allowing users to perform voice searches in Vietnamese. This feature enhances the convenience and accessibility of the search engine, particularly for mobile users who prefer voice-based interactions.
- Localized Services: Coc Coc offers various localized services beyond search, such as CocCoc Browser and CocCoc Ads. These services provide a comprehensive ecosystem for users and advertisers within the Vietnamese market.
Coc Coc and AI
In May 2023, CoC CoC officially launched dual products that incorporate ChatGPT 3.5 – Coc Coc AI Chat and Coc Coc AI Search. These two products mark the debut of the Coc Coc AI Lab ecosystem, a newly established division responsible for the research and development of AI-driven products within the company. Will this iniative help Coc Coc to regain market shares?
It has to be noted that these products are not related to the initiative of the former company CEO, Victor Lavrenko who has announced a new “Coc Coc AI project”. According to current CEO of Coc Coc, Mr. Nguyen Vu Anh, he currently does not have the right to use the Coc Coc brand.
The Use of SmartPhones Dominates the Vietnamese Search Engine Market
Firstly, let’s remember that Vietnam has witnessed a incredible increase in internet penetration rates these last two decades.
As of 2021, the country has achieved an internet penetration rate of 74%, more than doubling in 10 years (in 2011, only 35% of Vietnamese had an internet access, and 1% in 2001).
Secondly, the rapid proliferation of smartphones has played a crucial role in driving search engine usage. With 93.5 million smartphone subscribers in Vietnam in march 2022, mobile devices have become the primary means of accessing the internet for many individuals.
As of November 2022, the internet traffic in Vietnam was vastly dominated by mobiles phones, who accounted for over 86% of all internet connexions (and only 12% for PCs, and 2% for other devices such as tablets).
This shows the importance of “Mobile-First” thinking when working on Digital Marketing in Vietnam. Websites and SEO strategies must be aimed at smartphone users above all else!
In terms of mobile phone usage on Vietnam’s territory, major cities like Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City showcase the highest smartphone adoption rates. Hai Phong leads the way with 78.4% of adults using smartphones, closely followed by Da Nang at 77.8%.
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City also demonstrate significant smartphone usage, with rates of 74.5% and 75.7% respectively.
Meanwhile, some provinces, such as Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Nam Dinh, and Thanh Hoa, are lagging behind with numbers ranging from 12.4% to 15%.
Why Vietnamese Businesses Should Invest Now in Search Engines Optimization
In the upcoming years, search engines will become indispensable tools for businesses in Vietnam, playing a crucial role in their online success.
Despite the current statistics showing that only 20% of Vietnamese businesses have a website, and e-commerce accounts for just 6.5% of total retail sales in the country, the upcoming trends indicate an imminent boom in the digital landscape.
Vietnam is poised to be one of the fastest-growing internet economies in the next 10 years, as highlighted by the e-Conomy SEA 2021 report by Google. Furthermore, a recent report by the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade’s E-Commerce and Digital Economy Department projects substantial growth in the e-commerce market. In 2021, the market recorded an estimated value of USD 13.7 billion, reflecting a 16% growth compared to the previous year. Looking ahead, the market is expected to expand at an impressive annual rate of 30% between 2021 and 2025.
On the scale of the country’s economy, the E-Economy accounted for USD 21 billion in 2021, i.e 5 percent of the country’s GDP, a number that is projected to reach USD 43 billion by 2025.
Considering these projections, it becomes evident that the current figures do not reflect the full potential of the Vietnamese digital landscape. The low percentage of businesses with websites and the relatively small share of e-commerce in total retail sales merely indicate the early stages of an impending boom. Now is the opportune time for Vietnamese businesses to invest in their websites and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, as the market is on the brink of significant growth.
We have develop these thoughts in an additional detail article: Why is SEO an underestimated strategy in Vietnam?