Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, more than 78% of Chinese search engine users (around 500,000,000 users.) are regularly using Baidu to perform their online searches.
As Google holds over 80% of the global search engine market share but only 3% market share within China, Baidu’s global market share is set to increase as new Internet users in China (10,000,000 monthly) are turning to Baidu. As Baidu’s share of the overall global market increases we will see a change in the global search engine landscape.
Baidu is making major pushes to expand globally and has launched localised search Engines in countries such as Japan and others across Asia.
In the past most of Baidu’s first page results were paid search ads and attaining a first place ranking though organic SEO was not possible, Baidu received complaints and pressure from users to move to a new model and has since moved to providing similar style results as Google in terms of displaying a mix of paid and organic search results, however many users are not always able to distinguish between paid or organic results.
Here are a number of Chinese SEO tips to increase your chances of obtaining a organic ranking on Baidu.
Chinese Title Tags are Key for Baidu.
Having Chinese title tags is key for Baidu SEO. It is important that relative and targeted keywords which you would like the page to rank organically for are present in the title tags.
Also, for Baidu SEO it has been noticed that keywords inserted at the beginning are more influential. You do not want to insert more than two keywords, though. The length of a Baidu title tag should ideally be 30 characters or fewer. Overall, since title tags take centre stage, it is important that you create them with the purpose of attracting clicks. This can be done by inserting the keywords that users are looking for into the title tag.
Backlinks from Chinese websites indexed in Baidu.
Similarly to Google, Baidu gives a significant amount of value on the number of quality back-links a site has, however Baidu is specifically looking for Chinese back-links from websites already indexed within Baidu.
The back-links needed to improve your websites SEO should related by topic, not simply a large amount of links from low quality or irrelevant websites.
Some SEO companies have provided link building services that have recklessly built a link portfolio from irrelevant, low quality websites which usually gives a short lasting increase in rankings but soon leads to a heavy decrease in ranking, and in some cases where the links have been too spammy, removed from Baidu completely.
However quality link building on Baidu is not as risky as it is on Google, so just a word of caution if you are planning to buy back-links for Baidu SEO is to make sure they are high quality and relevant to your niche.
Register your site with Chinese Search Engine Directories.
There are a number of free Chinese directories such as 2345.com, 123.sogou.com and hao.360.cn where you can register your website to be indexed, this will help the Baidu spider bot find and crawl your website.
Host your website in China or nearby in Hong Kong or Singapore.
Your website can be hosted anywhere in the world and get indexed in Baidu, however if you are investing in Chinese SEO and Baidu marketing, it would be recommended that you host your site on servers within China.
The reason for hosting your website within China is to ensure you are not affected by the “The Great Firewall of China”, The firewall was setup to prevent certain websites from being accessed in China.
Although your website may not contain any reason to be blocked, the firewall generally slows down most
foreign websites, every time a Chinese user attempts to gain access to a foreign website, it passes through the firewall.
Hosting in China is not a possible option for many foreign websites for numerous reasons and the fact that sites are required to obtain an (ICP) Internet Content Provider license. These licenses are only issued to companies established in China.
Hosting in either Hong Kong or Singapore is popular with many web hosts providing services optimized for access from China to help with site speed and access issues.
Chinese Copywriting for Meta Tags is Effective for Baidu SEO.
Unlike Google who does not consider meta data as being important for its ranking of search results, mainly because it was heavily abused by spammers in the past.
Baidu however does take your websites meta tags and meta data into account. As your website’s Chinese meta descriptions will be displayed in the Baidu search results, it is recommended that you write them to including target keywords and using copy to attract the user to click. The length of the meta description should ideally be between 75 to 150 Chinese characters.
Have rich high quality unique Chinese content pages.
Baidu ranks websites that have more unique and quality textual content over lower volume sites. The content cannot be just any content. It must be rich unique content, not just filler text.
Put the most important text at the top of each target page, it has been found that Baidu values content at the top of pages. Always make sure its not spammy as Baidu does penalize for keyword stuffing.