Posted in SEO by Digivate

How many of you have ever contemplated what the largest search engines are? In the world I’m sure many of you would say Google, Bing or Yahoo, perhaps even YouTube. More of you still would state that Facebook has become monstrous over the years, its social search function qualifying it for amongst the largest of search engines.

What percentage of you would’ve remembered to mention Baidu, China’s largest search engine operator? This company has by far the largest market share with regards its own population. With more internet users than  both the US and Canada combined, this is one very large country-specific search engine. China has always been extremely cautious when it comes to the internet, and interestingly Google has not sat comfortably whilst providing it’s search service to China.

Recently, with a sophisticated cyber attack and China’s repeated orders to abide by their heavy level of cencorship, Google finally decided to stop their Chinese service under the domain Google.cn.
Baidu has been able to capitalise on a fairly rare situation where no real competition now exists, and is now the second largest search engine by value, actually having surpassed Yahoo.

A lot of investors have seen Baidu’s rise and jumped on the chance to take a piece of the action. Many people now think Baidu is set to move over into western markets.

There are two main reasons for Baidu having been in the Chinese government’s good books:

•    Baidu uses Chinese-based technology
•    Baidu fully abides all the Chinese government’s censorship laws

As China’s industrial might continues to grow, so too does the number of people gaining access to computers and the internet. With just over 1.3 billion people, China’s online market is substantial.

So, if you are interested in taking your online business to China here are a few handy tips that could make your online marketing efforts more effective:

•    Ensure your hosting is actually in China
•    Use a hosting company that is respected – e.g.‘China Host’
•    Create unique content for the whole of your website
•    Only use ‘simplified Chinese’, not ‘traditional Chinese’
•    Minimise/ negate the use of flash, javascript, iframes and frames
•    Ensure your main keywords are prominent on the right sections of your webpages, e.g. titles, headings, in the main body of content, and inbound external link anchor text
•    Use highly relevant and authoritative external-linking partners
•    When linking out of your website, only link to authoritative and relevant websites

With Russia’s dominant search engine ‘Yandex’ also having risen in popularity in recent years, never mind the growth of other search engines like South Korea’s up-and-coming ‘Naver’, 2010 on into 2011 is set to be increasingly multi-lingual. Take a good look at the international search opportunities that are currently presenting themselves, for they are only going to grow in size over the next few years.

For more information regarding creating international websites be sure to read further Digivate blog posts.

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