goo (search engine)

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Goo (or goo, the first letter is not capitalized) is an Internet search engine (powered by Google) and web portal based in Japan, which is used to crawl and index primarily Japanese language websites (before switching to Google). Goo is operated by the Japanese NTT Resonant, a subsidiary of NTT Communications.[1]



NTT is an experimental search technology founded on March 27, 1997. It was a mix of NTT Laboratories' search engine (a Japanese analysis technology) and Inktomi (a US engine). Initially, the NTT group offered a search system. They started service with 3 staff members including NTT Multimedia Business Development Division manager Yoshie Tsukamoto (MSN Division, Microsoft Executive Officer, Current Manager of ACCESS Media Business Planning Department). Five months later, they served over 10,000 page views daily.

In 1998 expanded beyond technical cooperation. In May NTT participated in operations as an experiment, and the management staff increased to more than 10. They launched webmail as "goo-free e-mail", and also offered content such as news, sports, weather, etc. as a "goo hot channel", in collaboration with companies in their respective fields to recruit advertising sponsors. They established themselves as a portal site. It spread the idea of searching the Web and sponsored a "search ironman" event. Yuji Seki, the first winner, became manager of the Surfer section of Yahoo! Japan's search division.

Commercial operation[edit]

NTT-X was established as an operating company in 1999, and goo began full-fledged operation. In May goo started "goo shop", a shopping mall, a tie-up with Recruit, a joint project with Nikkei Newspaper Inc., an Internet research project jointly with Mitsubishi Research Institute, further enhanced as a portal. Goo's most popular service, "goo dictionary" started as the portal's free dictionary service in partnership with Sanseido. It was then working with rival Yahoo! JAPAN. Goo search results were displayed on Yahoo! JAPAN where there was no applicable search result. In 2004 and beyond, the search engine and information provision service of the portal site of the NTT provider such as OCN, Plala, WAKWAK, etc. are often using goo's search engine.

"Teach me! Goo" was a user participation type Q & A site, 2.88 million monthly visitors (as of January 2007), formerly partnered with "OK Wave".

Other services included "environmental goo", goo blog, content distribution of the former BROBA. Goo was operated by 300 people as of 2015.

Domain dispute[edit]

Popcorn of the Kurashiki City of Okayama Prefecture acquired the domain name in August 1996. Although the domain acquisition at that time had been operating as a non-adult site where the schoolgirl on the theme, became famous. In 1999 an adult site opened at that address. In November 2000 NTT-X, then goo's operating company filed a request to the Industrial Property Arbitration Center (currently the Japan Intellectual Property Arbitration Center) to relocate the domain, and in January 2001 the centre ordered the transfer of the domain. Popcorn complained about this and raised an application for domain usage to the Tokyo District Court in opposition to NTT-X in February 2001. The Tokyo District Court offered in April 2002 a ruling to dismiss Popcorn's claims. The appeal was rejected.


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