Search Engine Optimisation in China: A How to Guide.
Google's rules do not apply in China. According to InternetLiveStats estimates, there are more than 640 million internet users and counting!
So with this in mind - how do we push our content to Chinese consumers? How do we ensure success in the Chinese market? We do SEO. We do Search Engine Optimisation without Google - using China's Search Engines: Baidu & Haosou (former Qihoo 360).
Baidu and Haosou serve more than 80% of searches in China. Baidu was founded in 2000, in a hotel room near Peking University and is now the number one search engine in China and number 6 worldwide. Baidu has indexed 740 million web pages, 80 million images and 10 millions multimedia files since 2006. But it's not only a search engine - Baidu Baike is similar to Wikipedia. Baidu Tieba - is one of the biggest communication forums in China and Baidu Zhidao is a Question and Answer service.
Qihoo 360 is a Chinese internet security company famous for developing antivirus, web browsers and operating a mobile app store. In 2012 they launched so.com - a search engine and in early January 2015 re-branded to Haosou (http://www.haosou.com/). It's quickly gathering popularity these days, especially on mobile.
What tactics are Baidu and Haosou using?
Basically, they are the same: SEO is all about content and inbound links. Plus a little bit of internal linking. Baidu is often viewed as being Google 5 to 7 years ago. The tactics that worked for Google 5 years ago - are what is working now in China as far as SEO tactics are concerned. However, there are some differences to consider.
Domain and hosting
- Baidu concentrates on .CN, .COM and .NET domains - try to get a .CN domain if you hope to rank high.
- Website page speed is a major factor and it is recommended that you host your website in China.
- Use Simplified Chinese & Mandarin - Baidu will not index anything else.
- Content must be unique and professionally written by a native speaker - Baidu penalise heavily for duplication. The recommended minimum is 300 words with a keyword density of between 6 and 10%.
- Constant and regular fresh website content is very important.
- Link anchors are as important as they were in Google 10 years ago. Easy job, right?
- If you want any image traffic, verify your website in image.baidu.com/agency. Use ALT tags with keywords and put the keyword into the image file name.
- Writing a Blog? Don't forget to submit it to Baidu News Feed and make sure your website can create a feed corresponding to the Baidu News Protocol.
- Obtain an ICP license from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (http://www.miit.gov.cn) - it really affects website ranking.
- Do not use any Chinese Government blacklisted word on your website. Your page or even website will be thrown away. Do not publish adult or gambling related material or any content which criticises the government.
Requirements FOR website's HTML
- Page Title should be up to 80 characters long with a recommended structure:
- Home Page: Site Name OR Description of Services OR Main Product
- Category Page: Category Name_Site Name
- Content Page: Current Page Title_Category Name_Domain Name
- META tags are still used and are paid attention to by the search engines. Use them. It is recommended to use up to 200 characters for the meta description - keep it relevant, but not too short. For meta keywords use up to 100 characters, but keyword stuffing will not be tolerated.
- H1, H2 tags are honoured. Make sure you have only one H1 tag per page and it's content closely matches the Page Title.
- Your homepage content is the key to ranking highly in Baidu. Homepage content has much more weight in Baidu than any other page on the website.
- Ideally: use a flat, tree-like structure. Clear navigation, valid breadcrumbs. Simple to read, simple to understand for Search Engines, simple to index.
Baidu Search Operators
- site: shows approximately how many URLs are currently indexed by Baidu
For example: site:internetrix.cn
- domain: shows domain indexing status by Baidu and URL information
For example: domain: internetrix.cn
- inurl:, allinurl: find web pages with keyword in the URL
For example: inurl:SEO优化
- intitle:, allintitle: find web pages with keyword in the page title
For example: intitle:厦门百度优化
- filetype: find the following filetypes: PDF, HTML, XLS, XLSX, DOCX, DOC, PPT, PPTX, etc.
For example: filetype:pdf
Internetrix take SEO very seriously. That's why we are successful and number one choice as SEO agency in Wollongong and China.