SEO in China

As Hong Kong is part of China and a considerable number of its citizens speak the dialect and know the culture, it will be a good opportunity to seize the online business of one of the world’s fastest growing Internet communities.

Demographics
More than half of the reported 105 million Internet users in China are below 25 years old. It is not surprising because the web has been introduced to China’s public more recently than most other countries. Out of the total, 32 per cent are students, 12 per cent are professionals and nine per cent are from business and service sectors.

People use the Internet mostly for email, reading news and searching for information through search engines. Online shopping spending in China in 2005 was around RMB 9 billion, and will rise to RMB 30 billion in 2007.

Looking at the growth of China’s online shopping expenditure, businesses must understand the value of using Internet in exploring the China market. Search engine marketing should be the most cost-effective method to reach Chinese Internet users.

On any given day, 38% of those online use search engines. On days they go online:
39% use search frequently each day, 55% use search at least once a day. Over 80% use search at least once a week.

Other Beijing search engine findings:

  • 55% of search engine users are males.
  • 40% of search engine users are students.
  • Almost half of student search engine users are in secondary school.
  • 62% of non-student searchers are aged 25-40.
  • 43% of non-student searchers earn more than 3000 RMB in a month.

China Search Engines

Despite presence of search giants Google, Yahoo and MSN, China’s huge market attracted self-starters such as Baidu, Sina, Sohu and other local search engines. The need for search engines has been growing and according to a CNNIC study in 2005, 86% of Beijing’s Internet users have used online search.

Beijing Search engine statistics

  • 34% of users use only ONE search engine.
  • 41% of users use only TWO search engines.
  • 51.5% of users use Baidu.
  • 32.9% of users use Google.
  • 4.6% of users use Sohu.
  • 4.0% of users use Sina.
  • 3.7% of users use Yahoo! Search.

With such information at hand for 2005, we have a better picture of what to expect in China in the coming years and know where and how to position our sites to better fit on specific search engines used by China search engine users.
(To be continued)