Reasons Why Google Struggles in China – SEO Hong Kong


Reasons Why Google Struggles in China

Mike Sachoff of WebProNews reports that Google continues to struggle in China not just in terms of use but also in terms of awareness. This is according to Pearl Research’s new report “Baidu vs. Google: A Study of Search Engine Preferences among Chinese Youth.”

Some of the points I gathered plus my personal opinions.

  • Baidu is a domestic product and is perceived to index Chinese content better than Google
  • Baidu is a Chinese brand which I think many people would be inclined to use
  • Baidu openly features its strong entertainment functionalities such as quick mp3 search
  • Baidu is perceived to have more youth-oriented features
  • The thought of censorship of foreign-based search engine results may also come into play
  • Baidu showed up ahead of Google and has better stranglehold of forging strategic partnerships

But it’s not at all bad for Google.

  • Respondents may be biased to such entertainment features; more than 60 percent of the survey respondents listed music downloads as their main reason to go online.
  • Respondents think Google provides more precise results and its loyal followers attest to that
  • When users see poor quality in Baidu results, they switch to Google

The study is based on 40 one-on-one interviews with Chinese consumers and a 450-person survey.


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One Comment

  • leafyoung on Jan 21, 2008 Reply

    Yes. I agree most of the points here. A few more points from me.

    1. Baidu's excellent PR has come out very interesting advertisement on stressing its familiarity with Chinese language. Google's PR has not escaped from "I am from US, so I am good." or "I am professional, so I am good.". It has not been very localized.

    2. Baidu has several good initiatives say Tieba (a public forum, Chinese prefer forum than mailinglist-or-group). ZhangMenRen is a place to publish mp3 search results organized to personal interests. Although there is copyright issues, this is an excellent feature. Google, with its mighty technology, tends to create bigger and broader projects, good quality but lacking polish.

    3. Both companies are in controversy about their money-making business – AdWords, AdSense-or-alikes. Clients are with complaints and resentments.

    Personally, either Baidu or Google is no longer in the focus point. Searching market has been quite exploited. Alibaba is a rising star and I expect it to be very profitable. Facebook-clones would be another success in China.

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