SEO topic of the Week… how to optimize your website to Baidu.
Differences between Google and Baidu
For optimization on Google and Bing, we should always think first about the quality and not the quantity. The quality of the content of a website is much more important to Google to determine your ranking relatively to the amount of links you can get. Baidu is a little different. He still takes links as votes. More votes you have, the higher your website ranks. Whatever is the origin of the links , the more links you have, the better it is.
Meta data are still very influential. It was long believed in the Western world SEO, that metadata such as keywords meta tag were now obsolete.
This is not the case with Baidu. The accumulation of keywords is another tactic that works for strong rankings for your pages. Fill meta descriptions with keywords is also a tactic that works.
Another interesting thing to note is the priority given to those who pay for the search (PPC). Unlike Google , Bing and Yahoo, who insist that paid search does not directly influence the organic results , Baidu is not working the same. Some tests have shown that if you pay, you rank better.
Google in 1998
Made in China is better
What this means is that if you have Chinese content, a Chinese domain name and website hosted in China, then you should be better ranked.
“If you do not meet these conditions, you will have trouble starting.”via
Baidu respects the censorship of the Chinese government. The content must be written in Chinese to be better controlled. Otherwise you will be “punished” by the search engine.
The website must also be hosted in China on Chinese servers – indeed it implies that it is under the control of the Chinese government.
Then comes the domain. A ” . Cn ” is the best solution. Generally this is not a problem unless you are not a Chinese citizen. In this case, be prepared to have to respect a number of conditions. Although recent changes in the rules for domain registration now allow the purchase of a domain ” . Cn ” by individuals and companies outside China, they must meet certain criteria , such as having a branch of their company based in China, and at least one Chinese employee .
Facebook , Twitter and YouTube are words that the vast majority of Chinese have probably never used before in a conversation. These are some of the many sites that are blocked behind the Great Firewall of China. So if you plan to work on social networks in China, you need to rethink your methods.
Social media are adopted as quickly (if not faster) in China than in the Western world. Indeed, a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group found that of the 500 million Chinese Internet users , 50% have a social network profile , and 30% of them go on their account at least once a day .
SEO strategies Social media are still viable in China, but you will need to adapt to the “controlled” websites, such as Renren (the equivalent of Facebook ) , Kaixin001 (idem), Weibo (the equivalent of Twitter) and YouKu ( Chinese YouTube ) to get traffic.
Baidu is able to translate Traditional Chinese Pinyin (Latin transcription of Chinese). Thus Baidu uses keywords. Even if the word is typed by a user like this:墨西哥 食物the search engine result is in Pinyin , which looks like this: Shiwu mòxīgē .
The URL requires an ASCII wordset to work – even for Baidu. Fortunately, there are modules and plugins available for the most popular CMS that convert traditional Chinese words into Pinyin. So make sure your site is easily translatable into pinyin for good SEO.
With these tips, it is easier to launch its website in China.
However we note that Baidu strongly resembles to Google seven years ago, and it is therefore likely that the operation changes in the months and years to come.
For more information you can check this article on how to do SEO on Baidu.