Baidu is the most popular regional search engine in China. With a 78.6% market share of China’s online search, it has firmly placed itself at the top of their rival Google China. Many Internet marketers assume that Baidu’s ranking algorithm must be similar to that of Google China, however, there are many differences that should be noted. The search results on Baidu show both paid and natural organic links that are tough to distinguish when looking at the results. The algorithm used by the search engine is much less sophisticated than Google, which can sometimes lead to spamming and contradictory results on some search queries. Even with a lack of sophistication, it is important to know the proper techniques on improving placement by following some of the tips below.
First, here are some SEO key differences between Google and Baidu based on their importance:
As you can see, there are both similarities and differences in the weight each Search Engine gives to the ranking of a Website. One big difference is with the optimization of Meta Keywords. Google does not factor Meta Keywords into its algorithm to ensure keyword stuffing is no longer an influence in page ranking.
Multiple sources have confirmed that it is extremely important to host your site in the area you are targeting. Baidu puts a heavy weight on whether or not the site is hosted locally.Basically, if your goal is to rank highly in Mainland China, then your site should be hosted in Mainland China.
Title and Meta Tags
Title Tags are very important for both Google and Baidu. Page titles need to reflect page content while taking into account the overall number of search queries for the keywords. Meta Description is not important on Google’s overall ranking, however, it is still an essential part in attaining higher click through rates. On Baidu, both Meta Keywords and the Meta Description need to be optimized with relevant, high performing keywords because this is used in their algorithm for higher site ranking.
Like Google, your Website copy should include the relevant keywords you have identified as important to drive traffic. It is also important to pay attention to the right keyword density when choosing keywords. Multiple sources have recommended 6-12% for Baidu optimization.
A major difference between Baidu and Google is Baidu’s lack of technology to determine link quality. The site gives more weight to the quantity of your links compared to quality. It is still important to incorporate keywords in the internal anchor text.
With the many dialects in China, it is important to note which one to choose when building the site. Since Baidu is developed in Mainland China, it is recommended to use simplified Chinese with keywords and on-page content.
Alt tag with keywords incorporated into Alt text is good for Baidu optimization. However, it is not advised to stuff too many keywords inside.
Baidu is constantly improving their algorithm to compete with the relevancy that Google and other Search Engines provide. It will take some time for their engineers to update the technology that will be able to match the results that Google is able to provide. However, they are making strides and could be there sometime in the future. It would be beneficial to apply the same techniques for Baidu as you would for Google, because the future algorithm update might be coming sooner than you think.