SEO for China’s Baidu Search Engine

Inspired by an 800 year old poem, China’s premier search engine is called Baidu. The poem is about a beautiful woman chasing her dreams but has to overcome many of life’s obstacles.

Why Baidu SEO is Important

Baidu is much different than the well known Google and Search Engine Optimizers (SEO) find it very challenging trying to rank websites on it.

Baidu is a Chinese language and if they have not already passed the English speaking internet users in numbers, they soon will. And now, obviously China is a superpower with a population of over one billion people.

When it comes to ranking on Baidu the SEO has to go in a different direction. Where Google rankings are normally done by relevance, Baidu seems to be those that pay the most, get the best rankings. According to Arno, it is believed that the best way to get a high ranking on Baidu, is to invest money on their pay per click promotions.

Problems With Censorship

Government regulations in China require Baidu to censor its content on a regular basis. There is even a special agency in place for the sole purpose of seeking out articles that they feel should be censored. (Wines) Since this is a very real reality, anyone with interest in getting on Baidu should carefully learn the Chinese internet regulations.

A few things that you should know are that China employs a type of firewall to separate global internet and its own. The nickname for this is The Great Firewall of China. This is only one of their defense mechanisms they use to be able to censor internet content. Here are some reasons they will censor an article of content:

  1. If one incites hatred or racism, or tries to divide the people’s solidarity
  2. If one disrupts China’s policies on religious matters, or propagating cults and superstitions
  3. If you insult third parties (libel)
  4. If you try to organize an illegal protest
  5. If one attempts to conduct actions affiliated with an illegal civic organization

Putting censors on such a large amount of information is a major undertaking to say the least. Most of it is done by different search engines. The way it is set up, Baidu does most of the censoring instead of the government doing it.

Submitting Content Directly to Baidu

In order for a website to appear on Baidu, writers must submit their content updates to them. If this is not done, the website will not appear at all. This is because the Baidu spiders just won’t visit websites that have not been previously submitted.

If you don’t think you’ll have any issues with the Chinese government, and you can submit your content updates on a regular basis, you will probably do ok on Baidu. Because once you are in it treats all articles just like the normal search engines do. Any metadata such as tags or keywords will be very useful. But you have to remember the favor paid to the pay per click customers.

Sources

Arno, Christian. Eight tips for understanding Baidu SEO. Econsultancy. September 2, 2010

Baidu. The Baidu Story. ir.baidu.com

InternetWorldStats. Internet World Users by Language. June 30, 2010

Wines, Michael. China Creates New Agency for Patroling Internet. The New York Times. May 4, 2011

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