SES Hong Kong Day 1 – Cross-border SEO

Glen Shu

Glen Chu
Co-Founder, Digital Butter

Glen opened up by offering the advice that with content, website owners should write as if they are talking to someone in plain language. I suppose this enhances the users ability to engage with the on-site content, rather than having to refer to other sites to decode jargon.

He espoused the values of FAQ’s, letting audience members know that even if an FAQ isn’t required, it is a good way to create keyword-rich content. Thinking about it, if you address a lot of the problems that may arise between a customer and the website’s service, you should be able to talk about a lot of keywords, without resorting to stuffing, so it’s quite natural.

He then went on to make a few points about Baidu:

-In China, Baidu has a 78 percent market share, with a whopping 500 million users.
-The search engine rates meta keywords to be of major importance, whereas Google dismisses meta keywords.
-Baidu places more importance on alt tags and heading tags then Google does.
-Compared to Google, internal anchor text (as in internal linking) is less important with Baidu, but external anchor text is more important to Baidu than Google.
-Perhaps the most important thing to take note of is that Baidu places low importance of the quality of links, of course, Google places high importance on link quality.

There is a few things you can do to boost your chances of appearing in the Baidu SERPs:

-Submit and register your sitemap with Baidu.
-Make sure all Chinese content is in simplified or traditional Chinese, no dialects!
-Adhere to the strict censorship policies that apply when doing business in China, you don’t want to get your site blacklisted or banned.
-Make sure your server is not the same as a site that is banned, if you share servers with a banned site, you may find that your site is blocked as well.
-Don’t go over 10 percent keyword density.

And Glen added with the speculation that ad spend on Baidu can affect organic rankings. This is interesting as it is something that Google publicly claims will never happen with their search engine, the fact that this may be the case with Baidu calls for a whole different strategy.