Chinese SEO – tips on how it works and key differences

This week we met up with an expert operating within China to discuss all things related to SEO in China. Xuming He, the founder of SEO China, visited our head offices here in Sheffield and we had a fantastic afternoon with him where we shared our insights of the UK market and in turn he shared his knowledge of optimising for the Chinese SEO market.

We exchanged many views, including the role of Baidu and Google in accessing the chinese SEO market.

10 facts about Chinese SEO

  1. Baidu is the search engine leader in China. it has about 80% market share by revenue, and more than 600 million users use it each month. In contrast Google China has around 9% market share.
  2. China’s search market is dominated by mobile users, with over 88% accessing search engine results through mobile.
  3. A large ranking factor for Baidu is the website homepage, whereas Google pays more attention to deeper pages.
  4. Baidu indexes websites much more slowly than Google, and the new site indexing process can take quite a while.
  5. Google takes social media links and references into account much more than Baidu.
  6. In addition to their search engine, Baidu has many other products including Baidu Maps, Baidu Tieba (discussion forums), Baidu Space (social media), Baidu Cloud (online storage) and Baidu Youa (ecommerce).
  7. Baidu gives a big bonus to websites hosted in China.
  8. In terms of links, quantity and quality of the inbound links have almost the same importance. This is in direct contrast to Google where quality is much more important than quality.
  9. Baidu doesn’t like duplicate content, the same as Google. You won’t rank well if you simply plagiarize other content.
  10. Authoring in chinese is a must. Baidu prefers Simplified Chinese characters ahead of Traditional Chinese.
  11. You’ll need an Internet Content Publishing (ICP) license, which is a permit issued by the Chinese government giving permission to operate a website in China. You could partner with a Chinese Internet company to obtain the license.

It’s clear that Chinese SEO is a significantly different practise than here in the UK market. If you do need chinese SEO support, get in touch. We have contacts in that area and we can put you in touch with a Chinese SEO specialist.