Optimize your website on Baidu is not an easy taskIn China the most important search engine is Baidu. The local “Google” dominates in China the search market with half a billion Chinese who use the search engine regularly.
China and its rules
- Domain name : Due to the local strategies set up to prefer Chinese websites than foreign ones, Baidu prefers domain that use a “.cn” top level domain. Even if “.com” and “.net” sites ranked on Baidu, the search engine favor “.cn” domain and these websites always rank higher on SERP.
- Hosting: Baidu cares about where your website is hosted. If it is in China, it will list in higher position your website on a search page.
- Physical address: Baidu also favors websites that have a physical address in China. It does not necessarily mean that you need an office in China, but at least Baidu wants to make sure that you have a local Chinese contact details on your site.
- Censorship: It is crucial that at no occasion you criticize the government, you have to understand that this is a really important matte that Chinese government take really seriously. Due to the strict censorship, if the local institution sees a site that does not meet their criteria, Baidu will simply refuse the listing of your website in its database.
- ICP License: In order to have your website in China, you have to first get an authorization from the Internet Content Publishing (ICP). It takes generally a month to get a license.
Content of your website
- Language: Your website should offer content in simplified Chinese, Baidu will not rank high in its database other foreign languages sites or even Chinese dialect.
- Meta-Tags: According to Baidu’s ranking algorithm, the search engine pays close attention to the meta-tags that your website uses. Those meta-tags include:
- Title Tags: It has to include your keywords; Baidu encourages putting the brand of your company or important keywords on top of every page of your website.
- Meta-Descriptions: Baidu ranks sites with relevant meta-descriptions higher than those which don’t use this method.
- Alt-Tags: Baidu prefers you to use an image that has a relevant alt-tag to the post or page it is published on.
- H-Tags: Baidu treats h-tags similarly to other search engines; every page should have 3 tags (H1 tag, H2 tag, H3 tag). Make sure your keywords are repeated in your H-Tags.
- New and Unique content: Baidu favors new over old contents and prefers you to use unique content. You have to pay attention about your posts on your website, make sure there are new publications regularly and with a content that hasn’t been used anywhere else.
- Keywords to the top: We recommend you placing your keywords near the top of the page, your website will get a higher rank result.
- Quality contents: You should provide quality content on your site. It will help you to appear among the first pages of the search engine, but it would also give you more credibility and help developing your brand image.
- Quantity: Baidu pays close attention to the quantity of information that you provide, it does not mean that you have to offer quantity over quality. Both quantity and quality content must be provided.
The technical part of the SEO
- The load time speed: Speed is a ranking criteria for most of search engines, but it is especially important for Baidu. You should make sure that the load time of your website remains low. Have a local host server and strip the site or irrelevant information, images as much as possible to keep everything smooth.
- Multiple Domains: You should not propose multiple domains and sub-domains on your website. Your Chinese website should only offer a “.cn” site. Stick to a single Chinese site.
- Flash: Baidu does not crawl and cannot index Flash elements in its database. Avoid Flash data for you Chinese site version.
- Baidu Webmaster Tools: Baidu offers its own webmaster tools package. It allows you to gather information and statistics. However it is only available in Chinese language.