Understanding Baidu: How the most powerful search engine in China differs from the global leader Google
Digital marketing without Google? A thought which is unimaginable in Europe. But in the far east the global leader of the western world isn’t used that often as its Chinese counterpart Baidu. It’s the 3rd biggest internet company in China and with 68.5 percent Market Share the most important search engine.
With more than 731 Million monthly internet users in China, Baidu offers high potential especially for companies who want to gain a foothold with their products and services in the Chinese market. That is why you won’t come around digital marketing in China – reason enough to take a look at the search engine giant:
Where are the differences between the search engines and what is need to be considered when using Baidu?
The global leader Google left „out in the cold”?
In Mainland China, Google has virtually no access to the market, because most of the search queries or services are completely blocked from the outset. If you try to enter a search term on google.cn, you will be directed to the Hong Kong Google interface. For companies, however, it’s possible to gain relatively easy access to Google and Co. with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
The main differences between Baidu and Google
Anyone who wants to implement digital advertising in China in near future will be facing a major challenge: the Chinese language. Whereas the Google results displayed are based on the language setting of the browser, Baidu is only available in Chinese. It’s essential to hire an expert in digital marketing in China.
The offer of search engines
While Google offers, besides the classic websearch, also language assistants, numerous analysis tools or Google Shopping, Baidu in addition provides cloud computing, mobile payment and travel portals and maps, music and video search, too.
In addition, with the social media platform “Baidu PostBar”, the questionnaire “Baidu Knows” and the online encyclopedia “Baidu Baike” and some others, users have the opportunity to inform themselves extensively on other portals. Almost a digital all-round carefree package for the Chinese people.
Ads on Baidu
Similar to Google, the ads are placed on the right side of the interface but they can also appear randomly among the pages of the search results. Further and unlike Google, on Baidu you have the opportunity to provide a wide range of information about your brand in the so-called “Brand Zone”. Also, compared to GoogleAds, where the account structure is easy to set up, setting up a Baidu account is very complex and time consuming.
Search Engine Optimization
Also in the range of search engine optimization, Baidu differs from Google:
Whereas the leader includes pages in the search index very fast, the content of a website need to be checked first until they are indexed on Baidu.
Despite, with an optimal preparation with Baidu SEO you have the chance to gain higher ranking positions directly.
Similar to Google, high-quality content also comes first.
To put it in a nutshell:
- The Baidu interface is only in Chinese.
- Baidu offers a wide range of products and services such as
websearch, online delivery-services or mobile payment.
- Paid Ads are marked as such and setting up a Baidu account is
very complex and time consuming.
- Organic Search results mostly contain Thumbnails.
- There are words that are prohibited – if you use them on your
website your site might no longer be indexed.
- When it comes to linkbuilding for Baidu it’s more important to have
a high amount of links and a diversity.
- Those, who are more active on social media will be ranked higher
- There are even more rich snippets than on Google. These can be generated via the platform “Baidu Open” or „Baidu Webmaster Tools“.
The right strategy for a successful market entry
Both search engine giants differ from each other – both in interface and in their offers. It is clear that Baidu is very much in tune with Chinese culture, and that as a company you cannot take your European digital strategy on a one-to-one basis. Because not only the infrastructure and user behavior in China are different in comparison, the Chinese language and the individual needs of users are a challenge for many expanding companies. Nevertheless, the Baidu search engine, with the right strategy, offers a comprehensive platform for effectively implementing digital marketing measures in the Chinese region and significantly increasing the awareness of a product and service.
Do you have interest to grow your brand globally? Are you curious about how to connect Digital Marketing between Europe and Asia? Just contact us and get a first consult from our international marketing experts!