Baidu SEO factors: complete ranking list

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The Chinese market

From sales strategies to SEO strategies

China is a growing market that now has more than 564 million users. We note how it is making its way, both in the B2C field and particularly in the B2B field, a trend of interest towards the Chinese market.

 

Entering this market is not easy, from three different points of view:

 

1.

The company will have to develop appropriate marketing strategies for the Chinese market

2.

The company will have build the site and develop SEO strategies based on clearly different variables than those to which we are accustomed with Western search engines

3.

Overcoming the language barrier, which will be present at all stages, from design to sales management

 

In this article we will focus solely on the second point, and we will generally refer to the Baidu search engine, which dominates the Chinese scene with over 70% of market share, followed by Qihoo 360, (13%, up) and Sogou + soso (8.2%). Google is no longer present, since in 2010 he abandoned the Asian market.

Search Engine Ranking:
Baidu SEO factors

Baidu SEO factors 2017

Baidu (百度) was founded in 2000 in Beijing by the visionary mind of Robin Li. The name is taken from a poem of the Song Dynasty, where it is used to describe an “endless pursuit of ideals”.

 

The variables that define the rankings on Baidu are very different than Google and Bing, which sets the standards in the Western world (we will talk soon about Yandex, used mainly in Russia).

 

As in the previous article about search factors on Google, our intent is to make available our knowledge and the results of our tests in order to create a dynamic information manual, continuously updated.

 

For better readability, we have divided the ranking factors into six sections:

 

SEO factors: domain level

Google seo factors - domain level

 

1.

Domain extensions

9/10▼

Baidu strongly prefers domains whose TLD extension is the Chinese national one, which is the .cn ccTLD.

 

 

2.

Subdomains

4/10

While subdomains are an optimal solution for certain strategies such as for local target segmentation, they are not recommended for the Chinese search engine.

 

 

 

SEO factors at page level

Baidu seo factors - page level

 

3.

Tag title

10/10

It is one of the most important factors in on-site optimization and has very different characteristics compared to other search engines.

 

Properties

  • Length: In simplified Chinese each character is equivalent to two letters, wich means that the limits defined for the title tag are lower than Google, namely 35 instead of 70
  • Sparator character: Baidu uses the underscore (_) to separate words in the title tag. The same character whose use is not recommended by other search engines, in particular for the image file names. The use of the hyphen is acceptable.
 

4.

Keyword in the title tag

8/10

Baidu give much importance to the site name, which should always be included in the title tag. In particular, the site name should be inserted in the home page as the opening word, while in the pages, articles and categories is preferable to give priority to keywords.

 

Example

  • Home page: website name_service/product
  • Category page: category_website name
  • Article: article title_category_website name
 

5.

Content length

6/10

Sites with a high number of pages with poor content will hardly get high rankings in the SERPs. The length of an article or a page in fact is an important factor for obtaining a good ranking.

 

 

6.

Page-load speed

10/10

The page load speeds are one of the most important Baidu SEO factors in determining the rankings, far more than with Western search engines.

 

Tips

  • • Monitoring loading speed
  • • Host your site within China’s borders (see point 15)
 

7.

Image optimization

8/10

Images play a crucial role in organic search, both because of the relevant signals, and because the same images, if optimized in an appropriate manner, are an excellent vehicle for contacts from image searches.

 

Tips

  • • Images and tags should be relevant
  • • Insert the main keyword/keywords in the file name, as well as in the alt text
  • • Descriptive alt text are preferred
  • • Exaggerate with the inclusion of keywords is not appropriate
 

8.

iFrames

8/10

Do not use iFrame pages. The Baiduspider (the Baidu spider) is not able to read any element “blocked” by an inline frame.

 

 

9.

Javascript, Ajax and Flash

8/10

JavaScript, Ajax and in particular Flash are unloved solutions from Baidu,struggles to read its contents. If they are important, consider the creation of an alternative to HTML. Google made a big effort since 2008 to ensure that the crawlers can read the .SWF files, which had become pointless after the introduction of HTML5, which sanctioned the rapid extinction of flash.

 

 

 

SEO factor on site level

Baidu SEO factors - site level

10.

Uniqueness of content

10/10

From Google to Bing, from Yandex to Yahoo, all search engines penalize duplicate content, promoting uniqueness. But Baidu considers this aspect an extremely important factor, so while it is appropriate to avoid creating duplicate content, it’s also important to check frequently that content is not subject to scraping by third parties. In this case it is crucial to take action to solve the problem.

 

 

11.

Language

10/10

Although the search engine is able to index the pages in traditional Chinese, Cantonese and even foreign languages (English, French, Japanese, etc.), both the content and the meta tags must be categorically written in simplified Chinese. It is very difficult than pages not written in simplified Chinese get a good ranking.

 

 

12.

Content update frequency

6/10

Updating contents stimulates spiders to analyze new pages and links and seems like it is a SEO factor itself.

 

 

13.

Blog

2/10

An internal bog is decisive for SEO. It increases both the internal link juice and the refresh rate. It is essential to connect to the Baidu news feed (not comparable to Google news feed) to generate organic traffic.

 

14.

Robots.txt

7/10

The use of “robots” text file, typically located in the root, is a mistake. For any need rely on .htaccess file or change parameters directly server side.

 

 

15.

Server location

9/10

While the geographical location of the server does NOT affect the main western search engines, it does not for Baidu, which instead considers important that the server is hosted in China (including Hong Kong). Moreover, this factor is essential to get the ICP number, license issued by the Chinese state that provides clearance to operate in China.

 

 

16.

Breadcrump

3/10

The breadcrumb is certainly to be included in the list of best practices for a good SEO in China. This will allow Baidu to easily understand the tree of the site, as well as allowing to increase the link juice. It is not a relevant factor. Avoid oversegmentation of the pages, ideally the lowest level must be reachable in no more than three clicks.

 

 

 

SEO factors: backlinks

Baidu seo factors - backlinks

17.

Backlinks quantity

10/10

While in the Google SEO factors list we mentioned that the amount of links is far less important than quality, this is not entirely true for Baidu, at least for now. This is because the algorithm of Baidu is still weak on this and it is still possible to develop strategies based on low quality links (black hat included). But this wont last long: the Chinese search engine recently introduced changes in the wake of Google updates, Panda and Penguin. They could have a dangerous boomerang effect.

 

 

18.

Backlinks quality

8/10▲

Little by little while the algorithm improves, the quality of backlinks is taking an increasingly important role. Having a long-term perspective will repay the hard work: better focus on quality backlinks.

 

 

19.

Backlink anchor text

9/10

While on search engines like Google and Yahoo the anchor text is slowly diminishing in value, it is considered one of the most important Baidu SEO factors. As well as for internal links, you should be very careful in aligning the anchor text keywords to use for your target page.

 

 

 

SEO factors at the user interactions level

Google seo factors - user interactions

 

SEO factors at social network level

Baidu seo factors - social networks
Last update: 2601/2017

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