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Baidu Search Engine: What and How It Compared to Google

Last updated: Feb 12, 2024

Cover image: Illustration of Baidu as the most used search engine from China by its users. Find out the brief information in this article.

What is Baidu Search Engine?

Baidu search engine is the most widely used  search engine in China. In addition, Baidu is also the largest technology company in China that focuses on developing artificial intelligence and providing internet-related services and products.

This search engine is used by most the Chinese and is one of the largest Internet and AI companies in the world. This is because Google is prohibited to operate in China unless you access it using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

Baidu vs Google

If you want to make this search engine one of your marketing channels, make sure you understand Baidu SEO. Here is a summary of the Baidu vs Google differences that you need to keep in mind:

Target Audience

It is known that Google dominates searches worldwide. This happens because Google does have an interest in the global market. On the other hand, although Baidu has not penetrated search engine market in the US, this Chinese search engine only focuses on the Chinese market.

Language Preference

Baidu prioritizes the needs of Chinese users, this is why Baidu search engine prefers websites and content in Chinese. Meanwhile, Google is relatively impartial about how it displays search results in certain languages.

SERP Display

Another difference between Baidu vs Google is the SERP display. If on Google SERP paid results appear at the top and organic results at the bottom, then Baidu organic and paid search results will be combined together. However, they do allow if a brand wants to pay to be featured at the very top.

Censor Problem

Baidu search engine is very compliant with the censorship policies issued by the Chinese government. Most content that contains criticism of the government, pornography, and other sensitive content will not be displayed. Google, on the other hand, doesn't apply censorship to that stage.

Baidu SEO Tips

If you want to promote your product or service to the Chinese market, then you need to optimize your content on Baidu. Some Baidu SEO techniques you can do, namely:

Use .cn Domain

Baidu and Chinese internet users prefer .cn domains over other domains such as .com. However, getting a .cn domain is quite difficult. At the very least, you must be a Chinese citizen or have a business in China to get a .cn domain. In addition, all websites in China must be licensed.

Get ICP License

In order for your website to be accessible to a Chinese audience, you must have an internet content publishing license or an Internet Content Provider (ICP). You also need an ICP license to run paid ads through Baidu.

This ICP license is divided into two, namely individual licenses that can only be issued with a Chinese state-issued personal ID and business licenses that require Chinese business registration.

Avoid Using Javascript

Content containing Javascript and AJAX will not be ranked, even though users may see the content in search results. This is because the Baiduspider web crawler will not crawl Javascript sites due to complications of links, navigation elements, and language changes.

Create HIgh-quality Content

This search engine also prioritizes sites with high-quality content to be displayed in search results. However, your web content can be penalized by the algorithms because you use of large-scale pop-up ads, duplicate content, and pages or ads that are indicated to contain harmful content.

Pay Attention to Metadata

Metadata is one of the ranking factors in the Baidu search engine. Therefore, make sure your metadata is unique and has been optimized for relevant keywords. Metadata that needs to be optimized such as title tags, meta descriptions, image metadata, alt tags, headings, and others.

Optimize for Mobile

Chinese internet users tend to access the web through their mobile phones, so providing compatible web on mobile devices is a must in Baidu SEO implementation.

Optimize Link Building

Link building is an important thing to rank on Baidu. Especially, high-quality backlinks will help your website to perform better in search results. In addition, you can also include internal links and external links in your content.

Watch for Censorship

Baidu prefers web content written using Pinyin and simple Chinese. However, you need to be careful with your keyword choices. Because, Baidu search engine will censor content that contains anti-government speech, adult content, gambling, and other sensitive content.

Therefore, you also need to learn and avoid using characters or keywords that are prohibited in China.

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