The Why and How to Optimize for the Baidu Search Engine

If you would like some serious traffic from a growing Chinese market, it will pay you big time to optimize your website for Baidu Search Engine

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Article: The Why and How to Optimize for the Baidu Search Engine
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Article Published / Updated: Fri, 08 Jul 2016 15:35:00

Baidu is the most used search engine in China. Its search share is over 60% and it displays results in Chinese and English. China as we all know has a massive population and is quickly growing into an eCommerce powerhouse. So if you would like some serious traffic from the Chinese market, it will pay you big time to optimize your site for Baidu.

The search algorithm that drives Baidu is some what different from the algorithms of Google, Bing, and Yahoo. At first glance it appears to be more simplistic, but don't let that fool you, it does have its own complexities. Here are some tips of things you should do in order to get good rankings with Baidu:

Optimizing for the Baidu Search Engine

1 - Find the right Chinese keywords As with other search engines, keywords research is very important. You need to find the right Chinese keywords to optimize for. This might be a challenge because Chinese has many dialects and the same words often have different meanings in different dialects. However, Pinyin Chinese is preferred by Baidu and is your best choice. You should stick to it not only for your keywords but for your content as a whole.

2 - You need LOTS of content in Chinese Even if Chinese is not the official language of your site, you need to have many pages in Chinese. As with all search engines content is king. When generating content in Chinese, please make sure you follow the official guidelines for what content is acceptable in China. There are strict rules and it could cost you good rankings with Baidu.

3 - Metatags are very important. Similarly to the early days of the other search engines, with Baidu metatags are very important, so don't forget to make your metatags top-notch. However, as with other search engines don't abuse metatags.

4 - Get a Pinyin Chinese domain name and host your site on a Chinese host (not so important) Domain names are important with Baidu. In addition to having keywords in your domain name, you need to have a domain name in Pinyin Chinese. You can use a .com, .net, or .cn extension with it. For even better results, host your site on a Chinese host because this gives you an additional bonus with Baidu.

5 - Use simple navigation structures Simple navigation structures are a must with every search engine but for Baidu it matter even more. Baidu won't follow links that are deeply buried in all kinds of messy code or links that go into deep levels of the site's hierarchy.

6 - Watch for duplicate content Baidu is very strict about duplicate content. Unlike other search engines Baidu is even less tolerant. So be very careful.

7 - Links Linking to bad neighbors and getting links from link farms isn't a good idea with any search engine but Baidu penelities are even more severe. Also, avoid using too many outbound links, his also affects your Baidu rankings in a negative way.

8 - Plan in advance With Baidu, SEO success doesn't come that fast. It can take 6 months or more to achieve to good rankings and you need to take this into account. For instance, if you are promoting a summer-related site, you should start optimization not later than November, so that when the season comes, your site will have achieved the rankings you want.

9 - Flash and JavaScript Flash and JavaScript aren't Google's favorites but Baidu absolutely hates them. This is why you should avoid using Flash and JavaScript. Baidu doesn't like iFrames either.

10 - Make sure your site is indexable As any other search engine, Baidu uses crawlers, robots and spiders, so make sure your site is spiderable. Use a spider simulator to verify what is accessible from your site and what isn't.

Summary

As you see, optimization for Baidu isn't totally different from optimization for any other search engine but it certainly has its specifics. Follow the rules, be patient and sooner or later success will come to you. When you are done with your Baidu optimization, it won't be a surprise, if your site starts ranking better with Google as well, especially for country-specific searches. When you have so much content in Chinese and a Chinese domain name, this will inevitably help you to achieve better rankings for your Chinese search terms in any other search engine.

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Artemis Glikakis is the Managing Director of Position Front Page International Co., Ltd.. His expertise in this field of Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization, has lead him to write many articles on the subject and he is always in the forefront when large clients come along.

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