Baidu & Its Competitors in China

9 May 2007 (Wed)

Baidu logoRECENTLY, CHINESE BLOGGER KESO published an interesting series of articles discussing Baidu.com (百度) and four of its competitors: Google China, Sina, Tencent QQ, & Alibaba. This has made me very curious: What’s so great about Baidu?

According to a New York Times report in September 2006 (quoting Bloomberg stats), Baidu is the leading Chinese language site, with a market share of around 57 percent for search engines and around 50 percent for advertising revenue. Google, the closest second, only has around 33 percent market share for search engines and 16 percent for advertising revenue. Baidu is reportedly very strong in Chinese MP3 music content and the first to offer WAP and PDA-based mobile search in China.

Going by Alexa’s Traffic Rankings, Baidu is within the Top 10 worldwide and Number 1 in China. The other top 9 sites in China are (details extracted and summarized from Wikipedia):

  1. Tencent QQ 腾讯网: The most popular free instant messaging software in Asia, and the world’s third most popular IM service. Over 160 million QQ users in China alone. Offers many subfeatures including games, pets, ringtone downloads, etc.
  2. Sina.com.cn 新浪新闻中心: The largest Chinese-language infotainment web portal, with over 30 channels covering various aspects, including news, sports, technology, finance, advertising, entertainment, fashion, travel and more.
  3. Sohu.com 搜狐: Offers advertising, a search engine, and other services.
  4. NetEase 163.com 网易新闻: Search engine technology and massively multiplayer online gaming.
  5. Taobao.com 淘宝网: A consumer-to-consumer trade site for Chinese customers. The main competitor to eBay in China for online auctions. Currently captures over 65% of the e-auction market. Part of the Alibaba 阿里巴巴 e-commerce conglomerate.
  6. Yahoo! China 雅虎中国: News, information, email, and a search engine
  7. Google China 谷歌中国: Enables users to search the Web, Usenet, and images. Features include PageRank, caching and translation of results, and an option to find similar pages.
  8. TOM Online: A mobile Internet company, offering a variety of online and mobile services, including wireless internet and online advertising.
  9. Microsoft Network (MSN): Dialup access and content provider.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by J.K. in *Roundups, Business, China, Search Engines, Social Media, Technology | View Comments |

My Chinese Blog on Baidu «百度» ;-)

27 Apr 2007 (Fri)

I’VE JUST CREATED a bilingual blog on Baidu Spaces «百度空间» called «拍掌丛林» (hehe “ClappingTrees” as usual, not literal translation though ) and using “descendent of DongShan” «东山后裔» for my pen name. My experience with Baidu had been such a breeze. So many beautiful templates to choose from. Modules which are add-on plugins in WordPress are already there by default, e.g. Recent Readers, Baidu Search, Visitor Stats, “Read More”, social networking (”Add xxx as friend”).

ClappingTrees blog in Baidu

At first impressions, besides the minimalist search (搜藏) interface, Baidu seems to offer many services similar to those offered in Google: e.g. news (新闻), images (图片), maps (地图), video (视频), Blogger-equivalent (空间), BlogSearch (博客搜索) and toolbar (超级搜霸). However, one key difference seems to be in the extent of integration. Unlike Google, the many services in Baidu feel like subfeatures of ONE service and not many separate services. I only need to log in once.

What do you think? Have you used Baidu and Google? Which do you prefer, and why?

See also discussion on the Asia Social Media 2.0 Forum.

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Posted by J.K. in China, Possibilities, Problems, Search Engines, Social Media, Technology | View Comments |

Links on Comments Here “DoFollow”

14 Mar 2007 (Wed)

INSPIRED BY THE REASONING and examples of Lucas McDonnell (To Follow or Not To Follow) and Loren Baker (13 Reasons Why NoFollow Tags Suck), I’ve installed two plugins: DoFollow and ShowTopCommentators. I truly hope to encourage more meaningful discussions on my posts and at the same time reward commentators with links to their sites (and so help them improve their Google PageRank).

How is this possible? Basically, all external links in most blogs have automatic rel="nofollow" attributes. The DoFollow plugin disables these attributes and the Show Top Commentators plugin displays the names (linked to websites if desired) and number of comments that others have made recently on my blog. In other words, as Lucas put it, “…leaving a comment here gets you a followed link back to your own site through the top commentators on the sidebar.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by J.K. in Search Engines, Technology | View Comments |

Insight#4: Of Alexa, Dmoz & Technorati

11 Mar 2007 (Sun)

ALEXA RANKINGS ARE BIASED, reported Loren Baker in Search Engine Journal last week. Apparently, Google’s Director of Research Peter Norvig recently compared his site’s Alexa score with those of Matt Cutts, Paul Graham, Jeremy Zawodny and Greg Linden and found a definite reporting difference for sites that are search or web marketing related and those which are not. Norvig wrote:

“… I get about twice the pageviews of mattcutts.com, but his Alexa pageview ranking is about 25 times more than mine (I got this by looking at the 1 year, most highly smoothed graph, and then squinting to guess at the mean).

“What that means is that people with the Alexa toolbar installed are 25 times more likely to view a page on Matt’s site versus mine, but overall, all users view twice as many pages on my site.

“That’s a 50 to 1 difference introduced by the selection bias of Alexa. Presumably this is because Matt’s site is really appealing to a core group of SEO enthusiasts, many of whom also like the Alexa toolbar.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by J.K. in *Insights, Design, Possibilities, Problems, Search Engines, Technology, Web Traffic | View Comments |

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