With over 530 million internet users, China is a huge online market and one that is becoming increasingly attractive to businesses looking to grow internationally. It is also one of most, if not the most, complicated markets to target, with factors from language to bureaucracy, censorship to culture providing search marketers with some interesting challenges to overcome if they want to succeed there.
And we can’t even rely on our trusty friend Google to help us navigate the Chinese search maze, as its search share is less than 10%, but instead must look to home grown search engine Baidu to spread our message to the Chinese audience.
Baidu is the undisputed leader in Chinese search, and until recently claimed almost 80% of the search share. It took a hit in August this year when Qihoo, a local security vendor and internet provider, launched its own search engine and gained around 10% share almost immediately but it still handles 60-70% of all web searches in China. So if you want to succeed in China, you need to optimise for Baidu or you’re losing access to around 65% of 500 million users ( you do the maths!) (more…)