China is a huge market and today an increasing number of organizations are looking for ways to attract customers attention and sell successfully in China. Most people soon realize that in order to enter the Chinese market, they must create a separate localized website.
Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, more popular than Google.
Promoting your site in Chinese search engines (such as Baidu) is not much different from what you do for promotion in Yandex, Google, or Bing.
Choosing a domain
If you want Baidu to treat your site favorably, you need to run it on a separate domain, in Chinese, and with certain minimum requirements.:
- The domain name must not be long
- The domain name should be simple and memorable
- It is good if the domain name reflects the name of your brand
- You should use the domain zones
You can use the Pinyin system when choosing a domain name
If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to use the brand name in your domain name, you can use the Pinyin system to create a suitable domain. (Pinyin is the official romanization system for the Chinese language.
The transcription has been approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as the primary Latin transcription of Chinese.
The example is not very good, but it gives an idea of the logic.
It should be understood that this approach may look like a «cheap» technique for «noname brands».
Choosing a hosting or server
Baidu prefers sites that are hosted in China. However, this preference is based not so much on geo-linking, but on the stability and speed of access to the site, the speed of data loading. In China, due to unstable access to the servers of foreign companies, your site may load slowly or even be completely inoperable.
If you can do this, host your site on a Chinese server, and if your business requires ICP (permission for websites to work in China), then hosting the site in China will be mandatory for you to get a license.
When choosing a hosting\server, test its IP for blocking
Well-known hosting companies (such as Godaddy, HostGator, JustHost, etc.) are usually blocked in China, so to save time and money, don’t forget to check if their IP address is accessible from mainland China. And if you assume that your IP address accidentally ended up among those blocked in China, you can try to purchase a dedicated IP address for it to bypass the block.
Hosting in Hong Kong
Hosting or hosting a server in a data center in Hong Kong will give your visitors stable and fast access to your site, and the site will be easily indexed by Baidu robots.
Baidu crawls your site using a bot called BaiduSpider. After scanning, the data gets into the Baidu index and starts ranking in search results.
BaiduSpider has certain types of restrictions:
- Only text content is indexed.
- Flash files, images, and non-text content are ignored by BaiduSpider.
- BaiduSpider does not recognize text contained in images
Baidu is constantly improving functionality, but they still lag behind companies like Google when it comes to technology.
- Use UTF-8 encoding, not GB2312.
- To properly index the site, manage the robot using the file robots.txt.