Baidu Is Still a Search Engine?
Recently Baidu again is being in the spotlight and “Baidu is not a search engine anymore” goes viral in China. The reason this saying goes viral is that most of the search results of the 1st ~ 2nd page in the organic section are the websites from the Baidu ecosystem. They can be such as Baidu Zhidao, Baike, advertising, Baidu map, etc. It is dominating and controlling the information appearance. A person is searching like a flight ticket, publishers’, blogger’s views of a keyword might sit in the 4th or 5th pages.
However, when a person is searching president of China, most of the information is from Governmental websites, such as CCTV, etc.
To be fair, the Baidu search engine business is being run in a very different internet environment. Particularly we try comparing it with Google and Bing. It’s because information management is more strict under China’s Internet information legal policy. It’s not fair if you claim Baidu’s business model or product strategy has died. On the other hand, Baidu should be given a credit. It’s because it can survive and be the top 1 generic information search engine in China when the search engine market competition is very very fierce. There also have Taobao/Tmall, OTA, Wechat social search engine, etc. And Google extremely persists in its business model and product strategy, so it lost China’s domestic market in terms of search engines.
From the view of both a digital marketer and end-user, what I’m concerned about mostly is 1st point of view of internet citizens. Baidu is controlling the information. So less information being selected on front pages is damaging user experience. But also demotivating bloggers and webmasters to optimize valuable content to rank higher in Baidu. All in all, Baidu is damaging its core business model – the platform model.
If you like to explore more search engines in Asia, please check out this article.
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