There are significant differents between Chinese and Western SEO that companies must keep in mind during their marketing strategy in China.

Western companies in China must forget Google and think Baidu

Google is not a big player in China due to the censoring and controlling the online information exerted by the Chinese government. As opposed to Western countries, Baidu is the search engine leader in China with around 80% market share by revenue and with more than 600 million users monthly. The search engine is the main difference between do SEO in China and in Western countries.

SEO Search Engine Optimization, Ranking algorithm

As is a different platform, there are some differences in the SEO rules between Baidu and Google and companies that are interested to improve their ranking on the Chinese search engine must keep this fact in mind in order to develop an effective SEO strategy in Baidu.

Homepage:

Baidu gives a lot of importance to the website homepage, while Google pays more attention to deeper pages. The Chinese search engine gives more weight to the homepage and its content is an important factor for a good ranking on Baidu.

homepage

In addition, it is important include optimized keywords on the homepage with the aime to rank better on Baidu. The homepage must have the most competitive and important keywords that you have included in the SEO strategy.

Website indexing:

Baidu is much slower at indexing new websites than Google and even the indexing process can take quite some time. During this procedure it’s important to continue updating the website content as usual because once the website is indexed, ranking and traffic will rapidly increase.

indexing

Link Building:

Websites have two kinds of links, inbound links and outbound links. The number of those links is one of the most important ranking elements for SEO independent of the search engine. Nonetheless, there are some factors related to links that are different between Baidu and Google.

baidu-ranking-factors-link-profile

  • In contrast to Google, for Baidu quantity and quality of the inbound links have almost the same importance. Therefore you shouldn’t spent too much time looking for quality links with the purpose to improve your position on the Chinese search engine because it doesn’t matter.
  • Chinese links play an important role. Including outbound links from other trustworthy and relevant Chinese websites is more valued for Baidu than gaining links from English websites.
  • Thanks to SEO strategies it is possible rapidly improve the website ranking on Baidu, while Google improves the rankings gradually and constantly during some months.
  • Be carefull with Baidu’s penalizations. The website ranking could rapidly decrease on Baidu if the Chinese search engine decides punish the site. However this rarely happens on Google.

Content:

Baidu prefers content written in simplified Chinese characters while Google prefers English content.

content-people-01

Baidu gives a huge importance to a constantly update of the website content, particularly on the homepage. To improve Baidu ranking it is essential add fresh content regardless of the originality while Google is seeking long information of original content.

Duplicate content.

While Google hates duplicate content, Baidu is more tolerant and doesn’t penalise  websites with duplicate content. In China is very common copy the content to other websites.

duplicate

These are the main differences between Google and Baidu SEO. Now companies know they have to develop a different SEO strategy in China than in Western countries in order to locate their websites on the first page of Baidu.

These differences stems from the huge cultural gap between Western and Chinese mind set. The vast majority of the western countries will think quality, no copy because it is considered a big no no and considered as a lack of intellectual capability. They think that everyone has to do their own research. Chinese are more like : copying is great, saves time. Let’s copy something and then improve it, saves time, money, perfect.

As you can see the Search engines don’t even stem from the say thought process, therefore as a foreign company you need experts that a deep understanding of the Search engine to design an efficient SEO strategy to increase your visibility and ultimately your sales on your market in China.

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