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Old 26th July 2007, 08:28 AM
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Search Engine Optimization for Baidu

Jimsun Lui
July 25, 2007


Baidu is most popular search engine in China. Google China is second to Baidu. Lots of Internet marketers in the West do not know much about Baidu, and assume its¡¦ ranking algorithm is similar to Google China. It is purely based on the assumption that when it can beat Google in a large market, its¡¦ ranking algorithm should be comparable to Google. Unfortunately, it is wrong. Baidu¡¦s search result is mixed up with lots of paid links and natural links. It is difficult to distinguish them. In addition, the natural ranking algorithm is not very sophisticated and many spamming and illogical results can be found. According to a study by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) in year end of 2006, Chinese users perceived that Google¡¦s search relevancy is much better than Baidu.

Why Baidu can be No.1 in China?

If its¡¦ ranking algorithm is much inferior to Google, how come Baidu can be more popular in China market? There are 4 possible reasons I can think of:

1. According to CNNIC, Google China has server down time and frustrated users.

2. Baidu is developed by local Chinese, driven by patriotism and language friendliness, general Chinese users tend to use Baidu.

3. Baidu was established before Google entered into China market. Thus, Baidu has first mover advantage.

4. Baidu is famous for its strong MP3 search and lots of young internet users are searching for songs in MP3 format daily.

However, CNNIC also revealed that white-collar urban professional in major China cities, and citizens with overseas study background tend to use and love using Google China. Usually, their spending power is much higher, and Google China has advantage in this niche.

You can click here to learn more about Internet usage in China, the information is revealed by CNNIC.

Optimization Tips

1. Title and Meta Tags

Like Google, Title tag is also very important. Unlike Google, Meta description and Meta keywords tags are still very useful in improving ranking in Baidu. As always, we do recommend clients add meaningful Meta description and keyword tags because they are still important for some popular localized search engines.

2. Content

It is similar to other popular search engines. Your website copies should have keywords you want to optimize. The higher the keyword density, the better is the result. If your keyword density is too high, it can adversely affect search engine rankings in other search engines, however. Therefore, we recommend 6-12% for Baidu optimization.

3. Linking

Unlike Google, Baidu does not have a sophisticated algorithm to determine link relevancy and link quality. Quantity seems more important than link quality. Incorporating keywords in internal anchor text has some positive effect on Baidu ranking.

4. Content Language

Since Baidu is developed in Mainland China, if your site has simplified Chinese, you are easier to get exposure in Baidu.

People may also wonder if English keywords are used in China. From our experience, it really depends on your industry and targeted visitors. For example, English keywords are used by high income office workers, manufacturing and trading firms, or banking professional. If your target is general mass market, Chinese keywords are dominant in frequency of use.

5. Alt Tag

Alt tag with keywords incorporated into Alt text is good for Baidu optimization. However, it is not advised to stuff too many keywords inside.

6. Server

If your site is mainly targeted for Mainland China, we recommend you hosting your site in Mainland China. It helps your Baidu ranking significantly.

It is not essential to get or .cn domain names, however.

7. Geographical Market

China is a very big company. Internet marketers are difficult to target every province and city of China. You must determine the location of your high value customers. If they are mainly based in Mainland China, your site should use simplified Chinese. If you are targeting Hong Kong and Taiwan, your site should use traditional Chinese.

Of course, it does no harm if you include both Chinese versions. If the wordings can be more localized to the city or province you target for, it can yield better conversion rate.

Also, Baidu is only popular in Mainland China, particularly in the northern part. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, Baidu is an insignificant search engine player.
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Old 26th July 2007, 08:37 AM
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Re: Search Engine Optimization for Baidu

Originally Posted by DavyBUK
China is a very big company.

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Old 26th July 2007, 12:43 PM
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Re: Search Engine Optimization for Baidu

DavyBUK... thanks for posting - very interesting reading... wish we had more posts like this... cheers, Asiaplay
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Old 3rd April 2020, 02:47 PM
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Re: Search Engine Optimization for Baidu

Baidu as a service offers around 60 different SERP features and products, including:

Baidu Baike (Encyclopaedia).
Baidu Space (a social network).
Baidu Patent Search.
Qunar2 (a travel booking system).
A specialized online search for the visually impaired.
Baidu Baike
Literally meaning Baidu Encyclopaedia, for all intents and purposes we can infer that Baike is the Baidu equivalent of Wikipedia.

It contains little more than 15-million articles (all complying with Chinese government censorship).

These can usually be identified easily within search results as they use the URL path*.

Baidu Wenku
Wenku falls into the category of UGC-based Knowledge Products, as does Baike and Zhidao.

Originally launched in 2009, Wenku was a portal for members to upload and share files, and online versions of books for free.

However, the platform was open to abuse and became a host for pirated content.

As of this writing, Wenku is home to 223,636,659 uploaded documents.

Baidu Tieba
Meaning “paste bar,” Tieba is a social interaction platform and makes up approximately 10 percent of all Baidu traffic.

Users input a topic into the search bar, and they can then view other peoples ideas on a specific topic (think of this as a version of Reddit).

Latest estimates from 2014 show that there are more than 8 million “bars,” ranging from films and popular culture to politics and sports.

Baidu Zhidao
Zhidao is a question-and-answer-based platform, similar to Yahoo Answers and Quora.

It relies on user-generated content and is moderated, with any content relating to pornography, commercial advertisements, or direct personal attacks removed.

The platform is gamified. Users are rewarded with “credits” when they answer questions posted by other registered users.

Baidu Jingyan
Baidu Experiences is a feature similar to Zhidao.

Users can share their experiences and knowledge on how to perform a specific task or solve a problem, as well as sharing a full account and “how to,” without answering a very specific question.

Baidu Weigou
Weigou acts as an e-commerce “middleman” platform, connecting users with specific product vendors.

Likewise, Baidu also produces product listings for users through its Aladdin and Temai features.

Baidu Fanyi
Baidu Fanyi provides instant free multilingual text translation and webpage translation services.

It supports 28 kinds of popular languages such as Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Spanish, and German, and covers 756 translation directions.
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