At approximately 1.3 billion, it has the largest population in the world. The number of its Internet users rises significantly each year. It has a great virtual wall that rivals its real one that stretches 8,800 kilometers from Shanhaiguan to Lop Nur. It is the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
On March 22, 2010, all users who tried to access google.cn were redirected to google.hk to bypass more than 60 Internet regulations set by the Chinese government. Hong Kong, being a Special Administrative Region (SAR) and having special judicial powers, is not subject to some national laws including Internet censorship.
Google, one of the leading search engines in the world, gave up its stake in China leaving in its wake a void teeming with potential and growing opportunity costs. One such search engine can fill the gap. Enter baidu.com.
Established in 2000, baidu.com is a Chinese and Japanese search engine that censors inappropriate web content in consonance with the Internet regulations set forth. Moreover, owing to its domestic nature, Baidu, is privy to the inherent cultural and social tendencies of its users. This makes it the preferred search engine of the largest country in the world.
Chinese Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on baidu.com could prove quite profitable and lucrative for Internet marketers. SEO is a method by which keywords are strategically repeated in a website to produce a top result for that site in a related search engine query.
It is undeniable that the Internet has become an indispensable tool in people’s lives. Despite the censorship, the number of Chinese Internet users continues to grow each year so much so that the Chinese Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) concluded in 2009 in its 24th Survey Report that the construction of network infrastructure is being overtaken by the increase in Internet users. It has even called for more rigorous means to improve the quality of Chinese Internet.
What else did the CNNIC report? 77.5% of users say the Internet is separable from their lives. 78.5% say they share their knowledge with others. This chain of users relying more and more on the Internet and their tendency to share information with others is an overflowing resource waiting to be tapped. The higher your site ranks on search engine queries, the more mouse clicks to your virtual door, the greater your web presence.
By implementing SEO for your site on Baidu alone – you could be reaching out to 338 million prospect users. The figures are staggering. And the possibilities that lie beyond the Great Wall? Unbounded.