This week an intro to optimization for Baidu, the difference between Baidu Japan and the Chinese version as well as the latest on Yahoo search. And not to forget, more foreign blog services are blocked again.
Optimize your site for Baidu
What does Baidu like in a website is an important question for those targeting Chinese internet users as the search engine dominates the Chinese search market.
Baidu search results are different from the leading American search engines as far as having “clean” natural searches on the left side and the sponsored results on the right side. Baidu prefers paid results over natural results if there is demand from advertisers.
A Chinese search for “Shanghai hotels” will show you a full page of paid results
Click here to see the full page with sponsored results.
There are still a lot of areas where the SERP’s are not loitered with paid results. This is the part where optimizing your website for Baidu comes into play. Fili, over at Filination.com has done a great job of listing the basics for Baidu.
Some snippets from the article:
Site location and domain name : If you are opening a Chinese website/mirror/translated-mirror, then you should know that it seems Baidu would love you more if you have a China domain, like .com.cn or .cn, or if you’re hosted in China. Domains and webhosting in China are amazingly cheap, though extremely slow for outside access.
Translated SEO parameters: Make sure it’s not only content and text that are written or translated in Chinese, but also other important SEO parameters like the image “alt” field that describes the images in your blog etc…
Metadata : … That’s also true for metadata, namely metatags like keywords and description. While Google lowered the importance of this factor to almost nothing, Baidu still loves metadata.
Baidu’s popular Japanese p*rn search
Baidu Japan is live and according to the first impressions the majority of its users, 55.9%, are coming from Mainland China which is somewhat of a surprise at first sight. There may be a good reason for this as Ya I Yee points out in a post with the title “Baidu Japan’s P*rn Images”.
But…as you saw the title, some Chinese Male Bloggers have noticed that it’s quite convenience to use the Japanese search engine to find something that could be found easily on other search engine – a scale of porn images, like this link and this( Warming: DO NOT click them if you are under 18).(edit: links deleted)
According to the theory of Chinese Government, dirty images are not permitted and any foreign websites who provide porn pictures should be censored. So I’m wondering if the Baidu Japan will be blocked one day?
The question will be, will Baidu get blocked in China or will they start censoring their search results in Japan?
Yahoo Search Engine Yisou
Yahoo China, which is part of Alibaba, has a new search engine, Yisou, in Beta.
Luyi Chen over at China Web 2.0 Review explains:
Before Yahoo China was acquired by Alibaba in 2005, Yahoo China run a separated search only site Yisou. Yisou terminated its operation in late 2005 after acquisition. In August 2006, Yahoo China unveiled Yahoo.cn to provide search service. Now, Yahoo China plans to relaunch Yisou under a new Chinese name.
You may remember, we reported a search service called Easysou, which is developed by Yahoo’s Engineers. So if you compare new Yisou with Easysou, you will know new Yisou is based on Easysou. Yisou has an innovative user interface, the search results is tabbed and ajax-powered. In web search, it will adjust the number of search results in a page automatically according to resolution rate of your monitor, then you need not pagedown or scroll the screen to read all the results, that’s quite useful. But its tab design has its shortcomings; for example, Yisou now can only return 10 page results. In case you haven’t found results in first 10 pages, sorry, Yisou cannot provide more results for you.
On the right sidebar, it shows related search keywords, thumbnails of images search results and music search results. Music search results can be played directly without leaving the page.
Like Lu Yi Chen, I also wonder why Yahoo feels the need to have 2 search engines. It may have something to do with what Yahoo China President Zeng Ming recently said.
From Pacific Epoch
Yahoo China’s main focus is improving search services, rather than the company’s Internet portal, according to Yahoo China President Zeng Ming, reports Beijing Times. Zeng also said Yahoo China will develop customized and ‘artificial intelligence’ search capabilities in 2007.
Foreign blog services almost all blocked
It’s an ongoing farce here in the Middle Kingdom that keeps at least all the foreigners living here busy. After having had the luxury for some time to have access to blogspot blogs the Nanny has decided that it’s time to add a block. As we speak, Livejournal, Xanga and WordPress blogs are all unavailable and I may have missed some.
The Chinese version of MSN spaces is still available as are the many Chinese blog providers. These are subject to the Chinese censorship regulations.
Like I mentioned, it affects foreigners living in China more than the average Chinese user.
Gemme van Hasselt is an Internet Marketing Consultant, living in Shanghai, and owner of the China Directory.