The Money Plant
Baidu developed « Money Plant algorithm » and updated it lately as an anti-cheating algorithm that discover and punish hyper-links business both selling and buying as well as other ways of hyper links cheating.
Many SEOers look at it as if it was a Chinese version of Google panda. « Money Plant » is supposed to show how it « purify » the content of Baidu. Thus it is an algorithm that gives a death penalty to link farms, sites with cheating links, link trading sites and the links on it. It is basically a tailor made algorithm for « black hat Baidu SEOers ».
A 2.0 upgrade
As soon as a site is regarded as a cheater, which means it uses spam links and low quality content, Baidu punishes it by different ways which will cost webmasters longer time and more effort to recover from it :
- Add stricter filtration which will slow down the submission of the site to Baidu and the update of the site.
- Stop giving power to pages that have purchased links (especially those links from portals and local news sites).
However, those bureaucratic explanation are only what Baidu is expressing publicly. The reality is not exactly the same. Two words have to be understood : link and quality. So what is the definition of link problem and low quality content by Baidu.
Baidu punishes certain type of links. The links on forum, blogs, big website are safe but as soon as it is highly spammy links, the punishment can be harsh. Therefore, you should avoid hidden anchor text and links, anchor text irrelevant to the topic of the page, deceiving jump, redirect, doorway pages for black SEO and automatic spamming link.
What you need to know is the importance of the website optimization. Website that rely on external links have mostly lost their position but not all of them. Those last site use more basic and common SEO methods such as building backlinks, especially purchasing friendly link, and blogroll links. More over, links in comments that support blog are not punished even if they are links purely and obviously reserved for optimized page. For example, a page with 10 links from one blog to it everyday can have a better position than others.
On the contrary, sites that focuses on the optimization don’t decrease and many of them got better positions. For instance, Baidu always emphasizes that those purchased links, especially those links from portals and local media sites, will get punished. It is not always relevant. Now, portals like Sohu, Sina, qq, netease and media sites such as Pclady begin to refuse advertorial publications and delete previous advertorials. Regarding the ROI though, it is much worse than before.
Low quality content
All the Baidu algorithm updated are taking into consideration the quality content. However we also discovered that meaningless accumulation of keywords, massive ads and malicious code are the real targets of Money Plant. Copied content are not really punished by Baidu but still get a minus in the ranking. So we won’t advise you to do so. Quality is very important.
So what are the solutions ?
It mainly depends on the website condition but problems are usually the same :
- Lower keyword density. Mostly because the density of keywords that Baidu thinks is natural has dropped from 6% to about 1%.
- Report to the complaints center of Baidu.
- Diversify internal links. It was very popular before to put links of the homepage on all the innerpage. Now, if Baidu can’t find any link between innerpages, it punishes it.
- Delete problem links, especially exchanged links. Problem links from other sites can affect your own site.
The English name of the algorithm has a totally different meaning from the Chinese one. It means « Money first ». Weird isn’t it ? Not that much when you know that Baidu shoots a big cash cow for big sites such as Sina and netease. Now SEOer can hardly pay them to get links and thus get good result. This will convert many companies into Baidu SEM clients.