BAIDU VS GOOGLE SEO

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Creating autonomous cars is not a novel concept for Google, which began its quest in 2009. It continues to improve the technology that powers its self-driving cars. In June 2021, Waymo, a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, secured $2.5 billion in an investment round.

Baidu cloud push service is a cloud service that pushes notifications to mobile devices (e.g., tablets and cell phones). Baidu is one of few push services available in China.  

As Google (GOOGL) maintains its stronghold in the global internet search arena, Baidu, Inc., (BIDU) has the upper hand in China, with 72.37% of the nation’s market share as of May 2021.   Google China, a subsidiary of Google, ranked fourth in China’s online search market, with a 1.95% share.

Baidu is as safe to its users as Google is to its users. The company states that the privacy and security of its customers are of great importance.   Their privacy statement advises how information can be collected and used and how users can protect their privacy and restrict the sharing of their information.

Baidu introduced an English site for developers, but the search engine is not available in English. Users can search using English words, but the results produced will return with Simplified Chinese words.

Is There an English Version of Baidu?

To download files from Baidu, you must have an account, registered with a Chinese phone number. However, some tech experts advise that there are workarounds allowing users to download files without an account.

Baidu Core is the company's largest revenue driver, bringing in more than 70% of the company's earnings. Within this segment exists the mobile platform, which features Baidu App—China's number 1 search-plus-fee app—its AI cloud, and other growth initiatives.

Baidu links appearing on Skype have been identified as spam, created by hackers. Microsoft issued the following statement about the breach:

Both companies generate revenue primarily through online advertising, but Google’s diversification is higher compared to Baidu and continues to increase.

Baidu works outside of China but was created for users in China. Users can register and use the search engine, but it will return results in Simplified Chinese.

As artificial intelligence (AI) is further intertwined in human life, Baidu has increased its focus on using it to better processes and the lives of its customers. In particular, the company plans to use it to transform the transportation industry through the use of robotaxis and driverless cars, to detect viruses and advance research in vaccines, and create digital and virtual human-like machines for the services industry.

In February 2021, Baidu launched a multi-modal autonomous driving platform to enable AI-powered transportation: Apollo Robotaxis, Robobuses, and other self-driving vehicles.   Launching first in Guangzhou, a city north of Hong Kong, customers will be able to request transportation services on demand.

Contrary to the common perception of Baidu as an “online search specific” company, it has a large suite of products and services somewhat similar to Google. Both companies have multiple offerings across search products, social products, knowledge products, location-based products, music products, PC client software, mobile products and services, open platform for developers, games, and translation services. Nonetheless, here are the key differences between Baidu and Google.

Baidu remains a Chinese company, fully compliant with the local laws and censorship, as directed by the state government.

Is Baidu Safe to Use?

Google’s timely bet on buying the mobile operating system Android has allowed it a head start in the global mobile search market. It now contributes to increasing proportions to Google’s revenues.

Waymo previously launched its autonomous cars in a ride-share program in Phoenix, AZ, and hopes, with its significant capital injections, to soon make these available to consumers for personal use.

Google has had a few rough patches with the Chinese authorities over freedom of speech and free access to information. While Google continues its operations in China, its capacity is limited.

Both Google and Baidu are listed on NASDAQ and operate in similar web services spheres, but the companies are quite different. Baidu remains focused on the local Chinese market, while Google is global and continues to expand.

Baidu is expected to continue its dominance and growth in China, based on its localized offerings in the world’s most populous nation, which still has limited internet penetration.

The number of monthly active users (MAU) Baidu recorded as of December 2020.  

Key Takeaways.

It consists of two segments, Baidu Core, which involves keyword-based marketing and includes Artificial Intelligence (AI) products and services, and iQIYI, which offers online advertising.

Baidu banks on its comparatively better understanding of local Chinese language and culture, which enables it to better optimize its search technology to the needs of local users. The Chinese language is complex, with some words having multiple meanings. Baidu’s search algorithms place a lot of relevance to the context in which the words are used in the content. Google, both in business and technology, appears to have struggled on these fronts in China.

Google is strong in the rest of the world. It continues to diversify its products and offerings to expand its business in developed markets, including experimenting with offerings like a high-speed broadband network called “Google Fiber” and driverless cars.

Google has unique offerings at a global level but is not that strong in such China-specific services. Baidu has unique offerings like a missing person search, senior citizen search, and patent search, which are specific to Chinese legal requirements.

Baidu is China's largest and most widely used search engine, much like Google in the U.S.

Today, Google is expanding its AI focus in the healthcare sector, improving screening for diseases, such as tuberculosis. It is also using AI to help diagnose dermatological issues.

Google has a strong, dominant presence in most countries, except for China, where Baidu is the largest search engine service. In China, Google accounts for less than 2% of the market share, primarily because the Chinese government has restricted its use. Baidu, commanding more than 70% of the market, continues to introduce new products and services to its users to maintain its lead in the Chinese marketplace. For now, it caters to Chinese users, and time will tell if it plans to expand its global footprint.

Technically, these pages are served by *.baidu.com, so won’t trigger your analytics tracking codes or event triggers.

Whilst WeChat and Sina Weibo are the more popular social networks in China, users also frequent online communities including LinkedIn and Tencent QQ.

(If you’re interested in Baidu SEO in general, I wrote this article previously and for the most part, not a lot has changed.)

You should also note that Baidu’s search results pages often tend to heavily augment with their own properties, so getting high levels of traffic and engagement isn’t as simple as ranking in the linear 1 to 10.

However, to be successful in what is the world’s most populated country, your strategy needs to look beyond SEO and at how Chinese users engage with the internet.

The Impact of Social Media on Baidu SEO.

Now, I say experience and not version as Baidu will remove any elements it determines not mobile-friendly.

I’m typically asked at the start of a campaign for companies who want to enter the Chinese market about the impact of Chinese social networks on SEO.

This means you could lose key images, content pieces, or importantly CTAs and conversion elements. This can also be bad for your performance reporting and conversions as Baidu overlays a prominent back button on the user view-port, which in all cases I’ve seen is more prominent than your site navigation.

All content on Sina Weibo is indexed by Google and is used by the search engine to create rich-snippet-like content pieces within its search results pages.

For example, in ecommerce, a user will likely want to checkout without needing to take out their wallet.

Google will slowly index a website as it discovers URLs, but in Baidu, you can influence and speed up this process through marketing and PR.

Baidu operates more than 50 different products ranging from Search through to Maps, an encyclopedia, and anti-virus.

In fact, as I write this, Baidu accounts for 78.4% of search engine market share in China to Google’s 1.9% (Sogou comes in at 13.8%, Haosou at 2.2%, and Bing at 2%).

A key difference between Baidu and Google is how Baidu goes about crawling and indexing websites.

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, or your mobile templates are a watered-down version of your desktop, you can take advantage of Baidu’s App Transcoding.

Google vs. Baidu.

China hit a mobile internet access share of 66% by 2010, increasing to 90.1% by 2015 (sadly, no more up-to-date data exists for this statistic).

It’s therefore important to understand that some users could, in theory, interact only with Baidu assets online, outside of viewing third-party sites.

This takes your page’s content from non-mobile-friendly pages and converts it into a mobile-friendly “experience.”

A strong Sina Weibo strategy can help your brand rank for topical and real-time queries (much like the Twitter carousel) but can also help take more real estate on SERPs for your brand searches.

This increases the demand for your brand/website by generating searches and positive user signals.

In fact, Baidu has dipped into a lot of markets ranging from Baijob (a job meta-search), Qunar (a travel meta-search), and IQiyi (a big entertainment streaming site) over the years.

When it comes to search marketing in China, Baidu is a core component.

Baidu’s Scope of Influence.

Key differences between Google & Baidu affect how to optimize and develop an effective search marketing strategy for Baidu. Learn more here.

Mobile search (and indexing) has been important in search for a number of years, with more in the SEO industry taking action since Google announced and rolled out their Mobile-Friendly update.

There are a number of differences between the two search engines that will affect your strategy, and your Google strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to China.

Due to the differences in user behavior and Baidu’s preference, developing a working strategy will involve stepping out of the SEO silo and working with other marketing channel stakeholders (which isn’t a bad thing!).

As a result, it’s vital that your mobile site is as capable as your desktop site in both technical and user performance.

When it comes to SEO, I recommend investing in the Baidu platforms with unique content, as well as aiming for a good presence on Sina Weibo.

They also use (more) Baidu-owned platforms including Tieba, Zhihu, and Douban.

Ahead of embarking on any Chinese marketing strategy, it’s vital that you establish your measurable goals and how you’re going to track them. A key part of this is getting Baidu Tongji and Baidu Ziyuan installed correctly on your site.

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