Website optimization, with the China firewall and SEO on Baidu as different from google

August 2020

Due to the Chinese firewall an independent Chinese internet eco system have evolved, some people even like to refer to it as the Chinese intranet. As a result of the Chinese firewall, google is blocked and cannot be used within the borders of main-land China. Adding the fact that China is the largest market in terms of internet-users with 900 million of its population using internet. It is vital for companies to ensure that the website of their business is optimized to fit the Chinese end-users.

ICP License and CN domain

This can be done in different ways but one of the first things to consider is hosting the website on a server in China. To do this the website need be ICP (Internet Content Publishing) License in China. By having this you can host your website on a server in China which will ensure that the website is not being blocked and that end-users in China will have a smooth experience of your website.

In addition, having the ICP License will give you an advantage when it comes to SEO on Baidu the no. 1 search engine in China with around 80% of the search engine market. SEO on Baidu works a bit different from Google, which results in that your strategy for Google SEO will not be as successful on Baidu. You need to adapt and have a strategy tailor made for Baidu and the Chinese market.

Chinese language

To start with, you need to have a website in simplified Chinese language and most preferred a .CN domain. Having .CN domain is also be helpful for both the loading speed of the website and the SEO on Baidu.

What is interesting is that several companies overlook the importance of language and think that it is enough to buy keywords on Baidu and leave the global website in English. This does not work, and you therefore need to have either a global website with simplified Chinese language option or a dedicated China website hosted in China in simplified Chinese. What is important when making the language of your Chinese website is to spend extra time on the copywriting in Chinese. Do not just do a simple google translation, invest, and take the time to ensure that your message is being localized in the right way to fit your Chinese audience and have the right tone of voice.

Keywords

Once the website is hosted on a server that is optimized for China and the language is in place, you need to decide what keywords to use. Not like Google, meta descriptions are important with title tags as well. To avoid penalties from Baidu, it is important to check that the keywords on-page matches the keywords off-page. Being precise and specific with the keywords will benefit you, the more detailed the better for the ranking on Baidu.