If I asked the readers what they thought the biggest search engines in the world were, most of you would agree, most of you would reply accordingly: 1) Google 2) Yahoo 3) Bing.
Some of you would argue that YouTube should count, making it bigger than Yahoo!. Others would note that Facebook has been recently getting more traffic than Google, has its own search feature and could qualify under the “Social Search” banner.
But how many of you remember to throw Baidu into the discussion?
What is Baidu?
Baidu is the search engine marketing company in China with the biggest market share. I should stress the first “the” because it isn’t like they have a lot of competition in their market. Baidu’s biggest competitor has been Google. And a lot of Baidu’s success in their home country has to do with their lineage.
What keeps Baidu in the Chinese government’s good graces is two-fold:
- Baidu is a Chinese-based technology
- Baidu complies to government censor laws
Google has had issues on both fronts – And then there was the Cyber attack in December 2009.
So on March 22nd, 2010, Google pulled their domain Google.cn. Despite some reports, Google didn’t pull out of China. According to TechCrunch, Google will still keep some R&D in China, will move all the traffic on their China-based search engines and throw it over to their Hong Kong servers, thus circumventing China’s firewalls and allowing Google to keep their searches uncensored.
A small, tough victory for Google today, but if I had to envision the endgame I would suspect that China will pressure Hong Kong to follow suit while imposing restrictions on Google to make them reconsider their R&D efforts on the Chinese mainland.
Skip to the end of the page…the moves have encouraged investors to take another look at Baidu, and by today the stock value of Baidu surpassed Yahoo!, making Baidu the 2nd biggest search engine by value.
How Much Will Baidu Grow?
Given that Baidu will be able to reclaim much of their home market share from Google, has received an influx in investor cash from the recent events, and has grown without any real presence in the US, Baidu could start gearing up for a Westward trip.
If Baidu was going attempt to break the western Search Engine Market, now would be the time to plan for it (if they haven’t been already). Google’s still feeling the Buzz-kill and is pushing hard to fix the issues so they can cement a social network presence – which might explain the Caffeine backup.
A better time for Baidu might never come again. The question for Baidu at this point is, “Is their technology ready for the push?”
How to Plan for Baidu?
Great question. At this point, if anything, Baidu is planning for you. You can use the Baidu search engine. Spoiler alert: if Baidu can find you results in Chinese, then those will get displayed first. I even found two pages from my site are even indexed.
Speaking of indexing, there’s a URL to submit your site to Baidu.com. Ironically, I had to use Google Translate to figure out what the page meant, but once I submitted my site I got the following message:
Submitted to the success! Thank you for your attention and support Baidu!
I almost feel bad that I wrote this post on Google Docs.