Baidu has released its mobile browser early this month, a move that will position the Search Engine giant in direct competition with Apple, Google, and UCWeb.
This represents a clear intent from Baidu to protect its mobile internet market share. It is estimated that in China, there are 388 million people who use their mobile phones for internet usage, and according to a Government report released last July, this huge number is much greater than the number of Chinese who use desktop computer to access the Internet.
The Baidu Mobile Browser is set to compete against Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome, and UCWeb’s UC Browser. Li Mingyuan , Baidu’s GM, claims that the Baidu Mobile Browser is at least 20% faster than its competitors. The browser allows users to run a HD video without the need to install software applications for it.
With the Baidu browser, mobile OS, and cost-effective smartphones, the company aims to sharply increase revenue. Baidu, it is assumed, will be be able to monetize its mobile technology through the company’s advertising clients who need to make their websites mobile-friendly.
Baidu aims to have 80% of Android devices in China before the year ends. The browser is also the company’s response to Qihoo 360 Technology’s move to gain a share of the search engine market. The entry of Qihoo in the search engine market last month reportedly caused Baidu to lose 17% of the Chinese search engine market share.
Baidu will use cloud computing for the expansion of their business.
Baidu has dominated the market since Google Inc said that they would not work with Chinese censors and moved their service to Hong Kong in 2010.
More information, please click here:-http://cloudtimes.org/2012/09/15/baidu-wants-piece-global-mobile-browser-market/
With the slowing Chinese econnomy, Baidu is looking at two key markets to bolster growth:1. Mobile Search and 2) Emerging Markets
1. Increasing Market Mobile Share
Baidu is increasingly looking to mobile to boost growth.
In the first 6-months of 2012, mobile beat the desktop computer as the main entry-point for Chinese Internet usage.
Baidu has 78% of the search engine market, but their share of the mobile market is much lower, estimated between 35%-50%. As such, it has become a key focus for Baidu to increase their mobile search market share.
Baidu is the default search engine on 80% of Android handsets sold in China, and an aggessive strategy to increase market share of mobile search is now underway.
For more information click here:- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444025204577546320502170672.html
2) Emerging Markets
Baidu is looking at Brazil’s growing online population with the introduction of a Portuguese-language version of its directory – Hao123 link-list website.
Reports suggest that Baidu is looking for an office in Sao Paolo
Earlier this year, reports claimed that Baidu was looking to set-up a presence in São Paolo, Brazil later this year. Given that Baidu chose to launch a dorectory for launch suggests a softly softly approach.
Baidu recently opened a research facility in Singapore with plans to work on an Arabic Thai and Vietnamese versions.
UK luxury retail continues to benefit greatly from a huge surge in spend from Chinese tourists. Buoyed by a hot economy, the growing middle classes of China want luxury products, they want to know it’s not fake, and if they buy overseas they avoid the costly taxes that are levied in China, when bought domestically.
A record number of Chinese tourists are flocking to the UK. 64 million Chinese take foreign holidays now each year, a quarter of a million Chinese tourists visited London last year, spending an average of a whopping £3,500 per visit. Harrods, for instance have enjoyed a 100% increase in spend from Chinese nationals between 2010 and 2011. Chinese outspend Americans by a factor of 5 now!
All of which bodes well for the UK high-end retail space, not to mention the London property market. The ‘Peking-Pound’ effect as it is becoming known, is being spent on UK products mainly, such as Burberry. The London property market is seeing a huge increase in sales to Chinese nationals. Figures reported by Estate Agents Savills show that buyers from China account for a third of new build sales priced between £500K to £750K, an 8-fold increase from 2009.
Not only is the UK benefitting from the increased Tourist spend from China. Chinese businesses are also buying up Luxury, heritage names such as Gieves & Hawkes, the Savile Row tailor, which was bought by Chinese firm Trinity last month, likewise Aquascutum was rescued by YGM trading, the Chinese company behind J.L Lindeberg.
All of this bodes well for the online marketing fraternity in the UK. Regroup Media are leading the way, with well-established partnerships with SEO and PPC agencies in Shanghai, we are now working to attract the Chinese tourist market before they even reach the UK, with targeted online marketing tactics to reach this market when they are booking their flights or hotels, via SEO and Paid search on Baidu as well as Google.
There are half a billion Internet users in China now, so clearly the opportunity for Western Brands is bigger than ever to tap into the Dragon via tactical SEO, PPC and other digital marketing mediums.
It is reported that Baidu and Foxconn are about to embark on discussions about building a low-priced smartphone, that will run Baidu’s “Yi” mobile operating system.
It is understood that the smartphone would be priced reasonably at $159 (1,000 RMB) and will include
a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 1400mAH battery and high-resolution camera.There will also be software such as Baidu’s cloud storage service, Baidu Music and Baidu Maps.
This isn’t the first time Baidu has made a smart phone play.Late last year Baidu went into partnership with Dell. The output – the Dell Streak Pro D43 – was targeted at business users and has higher specs and a $474 (2,999 RMB) smartphone price tag than the rumoured Foxconn phone. Click here for more info
Robin Li, Baidu’s CEO said the company had earmarked mobile as an important growth channel.
Baidu wll be announcing first quarter results next week and according to Forbes the outlook is highly positive. It is predicted that the company will announce a profit of around 84 cents a share, which Forbes says is a rise from 47 cents per share last year.
The company’s revenue is thought to have risen by 82.1 percent to $677.5 million for the quarter from last year’s $372 million. For the year, analysts forecast a revenue of $3.57 billion.
Baidu’s Brand Zone provides advertisers with a unique opportunity to ‘own’ above the fold brand space on Baidu’s SERPs. Brand Zone allows advertisers to essentially bid on core brand keywords, with both text and graphical advertising units being served, occupying much or all of above the fold real estate. This level of exposure clearly can have huge impact in terms of click through rates and brand awareness.
The only equivalent to this on the other search engines would be returning multiple paid and natural results at the top of Google, along with a graphical ad when a consumer searches for a brand/product.
Brands such as BMW, Hilton, Mercedes, Chanel and Burberry are benefiting from this type of advertising. See how Burberry ‘owns’ brand space on Baidu –
The nature of this type of advertising could presents a real threat to some corners of affiliate marketing, intent on trading off the back of Brand names. The impact will be less felt in China where such activity is less prominent, more for the Western world, if Google takes note of such ad potential and provides this service for Brand owners in the West.
Given the direction of Google’s Panda updates recently, essentially favouring brand-owners, this could dovetail nicely with the overall direction of Google search. Watch this space.
Baidu has announced this Month (March 2012) a collaboration with the leading Social sites in China meaning that it is now indexing real-time results from micro blogging sites such as Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo and Sohu. The implications of this deal are significant for the half a billion Internet users in China; breaking news and trending content from Social Media is now indexed prominently, at the top of SERP on Baidu.
Microblog results are now labeled clearly as “Newest Microblog Results” on the search results page, enabling users to see additional relevant microblog content from the major microblog services.
The implications of the move will also be felt by Brand owners and web site owners alike, with a need for greater integration between Search and Social necessary to optimise reach online.
Zhang Dongcheng, executive assistant at Baidu, is quoted as saying
“We process billions of search queries on a daily basis, and many of those queries are related to the real-time information found on microblog posts. With this deal between Baidu and Sina Weibo, Baidu has completed its integration of high-quality content from China’s four leading microblog platforms.”
Sina’s VP Peng Shaobin stated that the Company “hopes to encourage the continuous development of China’s Internet industry by actively cooperating with other major online platforms”.
The move consolidates Baidu’s dominance of the Search Engine market in China, with an estimated market share of over 80%, overshadodowing Google’s 9%.
News of the collaboration comes two weeks before the introduction of a government ruling that will mean users of Sina, and other Weibo, must verify their identity on the service using official ID.
SEO protocol is very different for Baidu, compared to Google. Here are some simple steps to optimise your Site for the Chinese market:-
– Baidu doesn’t have the same inbound linking algorithm that Google does, so whilst link building is still important, it is not as decisive a factor as it is on Google.
- Baidu censors content in line with Governmental regulations, certain content therefore can be prohibitive to indexation.
- You can host your site anywhere with Google, and then set each subdomain’s location using the Geotargeting tool to specify which region it’s relevant to. This is not the case with Baidu, the best course of action being to have a Chinese top level domain and host it on a server in China.
- Meta Data is still a significant factor in terms of SEO in China. While Google has largely discounted the relevance of metatags, Baidu still factors this into consideration and metadata should be in Simplified Chinese, not English.
– Keyword research. There are a few different ways to check what keywords are ranking on Baidu, for instance trends on the Baidu Index or the live keyword ranking feed, while Firefox has an extension that displays Baidu stats
- Get ranked for your news posts and get more visitors by submitting your content updates to the Baidu News Protocol.
- Submit your site to Baidu. This might seem obvious, but if you don’t submit it for the spiders, your site will not rank.