“Hundreds and thousands of times, for her I searched in chaos, suddenly, I turned by chance, to where the lights were waning, and there she stood.” –Chinese Song Dynasty Poem
The name Baidu was literally taken from an ancient Song Dynasty poem written about the persistence of searching for the ideal. Well la de da! Ain’t that dandy. Sure it is. Baidu lives up to its Chinese origins. It is a combination of innovation and tradition in this increasingly fast paced SEO world.
“What a piece of work is a [search engine], how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god.” -William Shakespeare
Often times “thems folks out west” misunderstand the ways of the East. Unfortunately this cultural misunderstanding seeps into SEO. What do we know about Baidu? How does it work? Why should we even care?!
Why “Do the Baidu”
Firstly, it’s relatively easy to understand. Just think, Google, five years ago. Baidu does work much like Google and Yahoo once did in the late 90’s early 2000’s but has come through with some quality innovations. “Pin-yin” is a new search feature that allows users to enter search queries in the more phonetic English alphabet as opposed to Chinese characters. This makes for a quicker search for the user and search engine alike.
Secondly, Baidu focuses on the quantity of links as opposed to quality of links. Good news SEO’s, bad news users. The way to get “quality” links according to Baidu is to create a lot of links with Chinese characters as anchor text. Even better is to have completely Chinese content, with anchor text included. However, Baidu doesn’t necessarily take into huge consideration where the anchor text comes from. Just make sure your content doesn’t include adult content, or anti-China material. That’s definitely a Baidu “no no.”
Thirdly, Baidu has a “load capacity friendly” spider. That means it won’t overload your site with visits, and will obey the robots.txt agreement.
Optimizing tips for Baidu
Brush up on your metadata vocab because your gunna need it. Baidu, like Google, puts emphasis on the title. However, unlike the all-knowing Google, Baidu also looks at other metatags such as description and keywords. Make sure it is relevant.
Always include an Alt tag with images. It’s an easy code adjustment and can add more relevance to your site.
The higher your keyword density in your content, the better. Whoa there tiger, don’t get too hasty, 6-12% density will do just fine.
Try to get hosted in China; Baidu is a local search engine. If you can’t do that, get a local domain like a .com.cn. That’s should do the trick.