Japan’s Top Search Keywords in 2010 By Yahoo! Japan

It is a year-end buzzword ranking season. Yahoo! Japan, Japan’s most popular search portal, though the backend search engine has been gradually switching to Google’s one (everyday more people report that their search results are the similar with the Google’s results), eventually gets the highest number of search volume in Japanese.

Yahoo! Japan just released the most searched keywords ranking both on PC and mobile during 2010 [J].

PC search

ranking keyword meaning 2009 2008
1 YouTube No.1 movie sharing site 1 1
2 Mixi No.3? social network
(PC No.1)
2 2
3 Google No.2 search 4 4
4 Amazon No.2 online mall 6 6
5 2 channel No.1 bulletin board 3 3
6 Rakuten No.1 online mall 5 5
7 Niconico Douga No.2 movie site 7 7
8 Twitter World and Japan’s No.1 Microblogging
9 Ameblo No.1 celebrities blog portal 14
10 Goo NTT’s portal 8 8

Some notable changes

Last year, most top ranked keywords kept the same positions from 2008. However, this time there are some interesting changes as you see above.

Google and Amazon, two world-class services were searched more, whilst the gigantic anonymous BBS 2-channel and the largest e-shopping mall Rakuten stepped down. Rakuten and Amazon Japan are direct competitors so, even Rakuten is leading the market, it may not be a good sign for them. (it is search “volume” so you may also tell that Rakuten became to be so common to make people less search though.)

Another big newcomer is Twitter, ranked at 8th from out of the ranking (top 100). Facebook jumped into the ranking, too (39th).

CyberAgent Ameblo, is also showing their traction. I can tell that their vacuuming all TV talents into their blog and microblog (Ameba Now) platforms goes successful.

Boosted web services:

  • Cookpad(recipe site) 14th(20th in 2009, 47th in 2008) (Asiajin)
  • Google Maps 22nd (42nd, not ranked)
  • Zozotown(apparel mall, recently allied with Yahoo! Japan) 24th (46th, -)
  • Ameba Pigu(CyberAgent’s avatar social) 30th(-) (Asiajin)
  • Ameba(CyberAgent’s head brand) 42th(-)
  • Gree(No.1 Social Network, 99% for mobile) 43rd(73rd, -)
  • Rakuten Travel 47(59th)
  • Navitime(cellphone navigation service) 68th(90th)
  • Pixiv(UGC drawing site) 40th(-) (Asiajin)
  • Gmail 56th(99th, -)
  • Mobage Town(No.2? Social Network, mobile only) 75th (94th, -)

Services Losing positions:

  • Zenryaku(mobile profile site) 48th (34th, -)
  • Wikipedia 52nd (26th, 19th)
  • Rakuten Market(full name of Rakuten’s shopping mall) 59th (37th)
  • Gurunabi(restaurant review site) 76th(53rd)
  • Hotpepper(restaurant coupon site by Recruit) 82nd(58th)
  • @Cosme(cosmetic products review site) 97th (87th)

“Free Game” went up from 69th to 46th, the word both Gree and Mobage Town used a lot to describe their service on TV CM. Both “Movie” and “Map” downed around 10, but “Weather Forecast” got 21 ranks up (see my article on Japanese weather services).

Mobile search

ranking keyword meaning 2009 2008
1 Mixi No.3? social network 1 1
2 Mobage Town No.2? social network 3 3
3 YouTube No.1 movie site 4 5
4 Gree No.1 social network 5
5 2 channel No.1 bulletin board 2 2
6 Google No.2 search 6 7
7 Rakuten No.1 online mall 7 9
8 Twitter World largest microblog
9 Amebro CyberAgent’s blog portal 8
10 Amazon No.2 online mall 9 8

2-channel lost its popularity on the mobile ranking, too. Twitter comes up also on mobile this year.

See Also:

The 2009’s ranking we covered

Social illustration network Pixiv now has 1.5 million members, racks up 1 billion PVs monthly

Japanese “social illustration site” Pixiv continues to amaze. The site, which lets users present self-made drawings to other users and offers a number of basic social networking functionalities, now counts a whopping 1.5 million members [JP]. Not bad for a completely domestic site that’s only available in Japanese (although  some foreigners exhibit their works on it as well).

Here’s how a typical page looks like:

Let’s crunch some numbers: The service was established in September 2007. Pixiv’s user base stood at 100,000 in March 2008. In June 2009, the site had 1 million members, meaning it added half a million people in about six months. It took 838 days to go from zero to 1.5 million members.

More impressive stats:
Pixiv now racks up 1 billion page views per month (up from 720 million monthly half a year ago). Members post 18,000 drawings per day.

There are more social drawing services in Japan, but no other site can stack up to Pixiv in popularity.

The eponymous, Tokyo-based company has 20 employees.  If you want to know more, Wikipedia offers a great English entry on Pixiv.

“Social illustration” network Pixiv now has 1 million members


Pixiv [JP], a Japanese-only “social illustration” network (Asiajin articles), today welcomed its one millionth member. The site boasts a healthy growth rate, as the user base stood at 100,000 in March 2008.

Pixiv claims the site sees 720 million page views monthly and that users submit 15,000 illustrations daily. It’s not hard to believe. Look at this pretty impressive Google Trends graph (especially after April 2009):


The idea behind Pixiv is to provide talented amateur artists with a platform to present their drawings to other people. Registered users can rate these drawings, write comments on them, bookmark them etc.  The usual social network features are in place, too: befriending, profiles, messaging etc.

Here is a typical image (click for a larger view):


Premium members pay $6 a month to get a badge on their profile and some other benefits (judging from what I heard, Pixiv also attracts quite a few gaijin who can’t talk Japanese but somehow fight their way through the registration process).

Look here for a list of other social drawing services from Japan.

Monetize Hacks #3 Report (part 1)

24th night at Roppongi Hills, the third Monetize Hacks meeting was held by some web directors from Livedoor and Hatena by welcoming 120 web directors and entrepreneurs in and around Tokyo.


The first monetize Hacks [J] was called for web directors greeting and exchanging ideas around 15 people, the second one [J] was a group competition style with 30 people, now the third one with seminar style is with 120 web people who are keening on how to maximize website monetization in Japanese websphere.

The main theme is “User Billing”. Seven Japanese popular web services directors/leaders made presentations.

1. Yahoo! Japan Research [J] (Asiajin articles)

Yahoo Japan's Logo

Researcher of Yahoo! Japan Research Masao Kakihara gave a general view of service monetization strategy.

2. Pixiv (Asiajin articles)


Takanori Katagiri told Pixiv and its monetizing experiences.

Pixiv is now getting a million users, 0.7 bilion page views/month and 15,000 new illustrations per day. 140 servers supports it.

Currently not so profitable (yet). They combine banner ads, contents match(Overture), Amazon affiliate, membership fee (525yen/month).

He also talked how to increase affiliate income by pushing well-sold items heavily.

3. Unoh


Unoh is a 15 people company which is running Photozou(photo sharing), NeoAd(mobile ad), Machi-Tsuku (mobile game). CEO Shintaro Yamada‘s talk was about their new mobile geo-location game Machi-Tsuku monetization. How fixed-rate billing and item-sales systems make difference on sales and user behaviour.

He pointed out how avatar/item charging services (like Gree) are designed carefully not to exchange money and virtual points directly, which is often done in social game sites in west, which seem less successful on profit-wise.

4. Kayac (Asiajin articles)


Yui Tamada, director, Kayac said “No one can predict what service takes off. Small start, get user feedbacks.” They impose themselves to create 99 new services in one year, which results making one service every 2-3 days.

Combination of web application consulting and a lot of original services for selling brand works effectively as free advertising/technology-showcase.

Success stories: Wonderfl (online Flash builder), Koe-bu (voice social network community), Pocket Friend Conti (mobile avatar)

“Make things first, monetization comes later.” “Originality is important.”

(continued to the part 2)

Promotion Character Battle: Digital Deer vs. Analog Bear

NAB's Logo

Since Tsuyoshi Kusanagi stepped down from the role promoting digital terrestrial TV service (see this for more details), NAB,  the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan, were forced to introduce a new promoter, which is Chide-jika[J], punning the words of digital TV and deer.

In opposition to the deer’s activity, users of Japan’s largest Internet forum 2 channel[J] together created an anthropomorphic bear character in parody, named Analoguma[J], and a number of geeks following the boom launched sites introducing his profile and fight song all around Japanese blogosphere.

NAB announced it would accuse fan-art reproduction without permission to the prosecutor as violating the original’s copyright, which caused an ironic burst in popularity of the deer promoting a new broadcast system and his tough opponent who wants to conserve the current system.

Some people composed a fight song for the bear, containing vocal made by the singing synthesizer Hatsune Miku(pdf), and those were uploaded and introduced on Japan’s CGM-based video sharing site “Nico Nico Douga[J]“.

The embeded video shown below is quoted from YouTube, since its original stored on Nico Nico Douga is prohibited to be quoted.

The other people launched a parody site having the domain name of “chidejika.jp”, which takes you to a set of many fan-art drawings on the illustration SNS pixiv[J].

Chide-jika Analoguma's Logo

Chidejika’s Profile
Date of Birth Dec. 1st, 2003
Due Date to be completed by July, 2011
Habitat Private Broadcasters in Japan
Height 1 meter (3.3 feets)
Weight 15 to 20 kilograms (33 to 44 lbs)
Specialty Good at making a straight look at camera
Strong Point Never feel rushed
Weak Point Meddlesome
Favorite Food Salad
Infavorite Food Deer Courtesy Cracker
Analoguma’s Profile
Date of Birth Apr. 27th, 2009
Due Date to be postponed from July, 2011
Habitat TV Viewers in Japan
Height 1 meter (3.3 feets)
Weight 15 to 20 kilograms (33 to 44 lbs)
Specialty Sitting hight
Strong Point Peekaboo-like laughing at the opponent
Weak Point Never swallow the bait
Favorite Food Deer
Infavorite Food Salad

via IT Media News [J]

See Also: