Baidu is the leader when it comes to search engines in China. Baidu was established by Eric Xu and Robin Li in 2000. It is a tech company that offers a range of additional services besides the basic search engine.
Stats show that Google is only used for 2.3% of all searches in China. The remaining 97.7% of searches are done by using local search engines, and Baidu is on top of that. Baidu gets traffic from more than 100 countries, although 93% of its usage comes directly from China. Baidu handles a comparative amount of queries per day, as Google does globally.
Although Baidu is a search engine like Google and has the exact same purpose, there are many differences between Google and Baidu search engine result pages – SERPs.
Below are some of the primary Characteristics of Baidu search engine.
Baidu only offers its interface in Simplified Chinese. Its UI does not support other languages. Programmers may already know that there are 2 types of Chinese: zh-cn (simplified Chinese, the one spoken in mainland China) and zh-tw (traditional Chinese), but I’m re-mentioning them in case you don’t.
In Baidu, it is very hard to distinguish between organic and paid results. Baidu prefers to hide the Ads between the results for a better experience for the users.
Many of the rich snippets are from Baidu’s other properties, and these can be applied by any site through Baidu Open platform. However, the paid promotional deals are only available to a few partner sites.
Baidu’s SERPs vary a lot from Google’s regarding content, but do have many similarities in regards to the layout. SERPs of Baidu adopts the two-column layout and contains organic results, related topics and many other SERP features, which I’m describing below, one by one. I’d like to mention from now that Baidu Rank Trackers follow exact same path as Google Rank Trackers, displaying you where and how you are ranked.
SERP Features are result types on the result pages that are different and typically more detailed and advanced than a simple basic organic type. Common examples of SERP features are images, videos, translate or map results.
Baidu offers about 60 SERP features and products, and they are still adding or changing. Pictures made on 15 January 2020. The most known SERP features are:
Baidu Baike translated to English means Baidu Encyclopaedia.
Baike has more than 15-million articles, and all of them comply with Chinese government censorship. These articles use the URL path baike.baidu.com/.
Baidu Wenku is a portal for members to upload and share files, and online versions of books for free. As of this moment, Wenku is home to 223,636,659 uploaded documents. I’ve seen it on multiple searches.
Tieba, which is meaning “post-bar”, is a social interaction platform, and approximately 10 per cent of all Baidu traffic comes from it.
It’s somewhat similar to western media Reddit as users have to input to the search bar in order to find other people’s ideas on a specific topic.
Zhidao is a question and answer based platform pretty much similar to Quora, even Yahoo Answers.
On the platform, users are rewarded with “credits” when they answer questions posted by other registered users.
Jingyan is a feature similar to Zhidao. Jīng yàn means experience. On this platform, users can share their experiences and knowledge on how to perform a specific task or solve a problem and can also post without answering any particular question.
Fanyi is similar to the Google translation feature as it provides webpage translation services and instant multilingual text translation. It supports 28 popular languages, for example, English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Spanish, French, and others.
Search hotspot is one of the features that doesn’t have it’s equivalent to Google. The search hotspot is one of the sections of Baidu that appear on the second column of the SERP and shows some of the most searched terms by the users of Baidu. The hot topics at that exact moment. It looks like this:
Baidu also has a “related” section, also on the second column f the SERP, where it shows to its users the items related to their search. These can be related products, news, personalities, foods, websites and many more. This section can also include other people searches, so I’d say similar to Google’s People Also Asked (PAA).
As mentioned above, unlike Google, Baidu does not individually format and divide among their organic search and paid search results. Their algorithms are not adequately known as they continuously bring new layouts and formats to show vertical SERP.
The only difference that can be noticed is the small grey underlined term next to the displayed URL — Baidu Kuaizhao which means organic search result and Tuiguang or Tuiguang Lianjie, which means paid search results.
In respect of paid search results, Baidu has 2 different PPC advertising models called Tuiguang and Tuiguang Lianjie. Tuiguang is more unified with SERP and is almost the same as the organic result apart from the small grey underlined term.
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