There are significant differences 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 of 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 doing SEO in China and in Western countries.
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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.
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.
In addition, it is important to include optimized keywords on the homepage with the aim to rank better on Baidu. The homepage must have the most competitive and important keywords that you have included in the SEO strategy.
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.
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.
- 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.
Baidu prefers content written in simplified Chinese characters while Google prefers English content.
Baidu gives huge importance to a constant update of the website content, particularly on the homepage. To improve Baidu ranking it is essential to add fresh content regardless of the originality while Google is seeking long information of original content.
While Google hates duplicate content, Baidu is more tolerant and doesn’t penalize websites with duplicate content. In China is very common to copy the content to other websites.
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 stem from the huge cultural gap between the Western and Chinese mindsets. 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 have 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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