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Search Engine Landscape in China

Westwin2017-07-21
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    Baidu

Baidu to China is what Google is to the rest of the world. It is inarguably the most popular search engine in China. The market shares calculated through revenue entails that most advertisers endorse Baidu as the most effective search ads channel. It takes up 80.8% of the search ads market share in terms of revenue, having popularity with 54.3% of the users in the market. Moreover, compared with all other platforms of advertising, Baidu is still the most influential ads publisher in China, taking up 31.7% of the advertising budgets in China.

 

Besides the fact that Baidu shares a conducive relationship with the government, there are more reasons that lead to Baidu’s success in China. Founded in 2007, Baidu understands the local languages and culture better than Google. The algorithms are designed specifically to meet the habits of the Chinese languages. Besides, Baidu encourages users to create contents by themselves and presents the most relevant UGC (User Generated Content) in the search result pages. Baidu has developed many products to support this strategy. For example, if a user searches for Mobile phone on Baidu, along with traditional search results, Baidu will also show the definition of a mobile phone on Baidu Wiki and the relevant discussions on Baidu’s online forum, Baidu Tieba.

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  • Qihoo 360
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Qihoo 360, also known as so.com, is the second-most widely used search engine in China, launched in 2012. The parent company has a broad product portfolio and is famous for internet security software. So.com is the default search engine for 360 Secure browser, which is the major reason leading to its market share.

 

The biggest advantage of opting for Qihoo 360 in the context of advertisers is the lower CPC (Cost Per Click) since there is much less competition on Qihoo 360 than on Baidu. The targeted advertisers are small and medium companies with lower ad budgets.

It is recommended to use this search engine as a complimentary channel alongside Baidu in order to control the overall cost and Return on investment (ROI).

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  • Sogou
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Sogou was first launched in 2004, but the product has shown mediocre performance for a decade. In 2013, Tencent invested in Sogo, and merged their search engine Soso with Sogou. After the third and fourth players were joined in, Sogou’s market presence and position have been significantly enhanced.

 

Sogou shows good performance when it comes to content search. They are the exclusive search partner of WeChat, the biggest social media platform in China. They also work closely with Zhihu, the biggest Q&A social network in China. In 2016, they partnered with Bing to provide search results in English.

 

Due to small market shares, it is not advisable to adopt this channel separately.

 

 

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