Baidu vs Google

Last updated: February 10, 2022

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of online marketing. To attract website visitors, it is necessary to optimize your website for search engines. There are many different search engines, and each has its own algorithm for ranking websites. In this article, we will compare two of the most popular search engines: Baidu and Google. Baidu, the Google of China, has been growing in popularity all over the world. But is it really a better search engine than Google?  We will examine the features of each engine and discuss the pros and cons of using them. 

Difference in Images

The first difference that is noticeable when comparing Baidu and Google is in terms of the image recognition software that is used, and the difference is quite substantial. 

To put it simply, if you were to search for an image on Google, the search engine would show you thousands upon thousands of results, and in addition to this, it would also show related searches as well as more similar images. If you were to search an image on Baidu, depending on the search words used, you might not get that many results, or the results you get wouldn’t be as specific as Googles would be. 

This is because Google uses an advanced AI recognition software that can find similar and relevant images, whereas Baidu uses alt-text on images to find what the user wants. This can make search results less accurate for Baidu searches since it will show results for images that contain the keyword the user searched. 

Difference in Content Duplication

The next difference that should be taken into consideration is how search engines deal with duplicate content. Duplicate content can take two forms; internal duplicate content, which is when a domain duplicates the same content using different internal URLs, and external duplicate content, which is when multiple domains use the same content. 

When it comes to Google, there is no penalization on Google’s behalf since the algorithm and the almost free-market approach Google uses. In other words, even if there is duplicate content, the most popular version is shown, however, Google does try to show the original version of the content. 

Baidu on the other hand does punish duplicate content and requires websites to refresh the content quite frequently. The benefit of this though is that SEO response time is much faster than Google’s, which means that website owners will be able to see what influence their efforts have made a lot sooner. 

Difference in Backlinks

One of the most important aspects of both search engines is search engine optimization, and more specifically, backlinks. Backlinks are links that appear on the page of a website that links back to another website. The idea is that the more highly ranked websites that are linked to a page, the more the rank of the website will increase.

Google takes a serious approach to backlinks to ensure that websites of the highest quality rank highly. This means that part of Google’s algorithm is detecting link spam, which is when a website links other highly ranked websites purely to increase their ranking, not to provide anything useful. Link spamming now hurt the rankings of the websites that do this. 

Baidu also uses backlinks as an indication of how popular a website is; however, the search engine doesn’t have the same algorithm that finds and penalizes link spamming. This is something to take into consideration when using the search engine. 

Difference in Keywords

Another important difference to note between Google and Baidu is the use of keywords. The difference lies in the fact that Google no longer uses meta keywords as a factor in the ranking of websites, whereas Baidu still relies heavily on this. 

One of the reasons Google has moved away from using meta keywords is because Google now focuses on ranking websites based on the quality of the content, what the intent of the user is, and how relevant the content is. In addition to this, Google realized that meta keywords were being abused to influence rankings; popular keywords that didn’t match the content of the site were being used to increase ranking. 

Difference in Mobile Use

When it comes to mobile use, or how much each search engine weighs mobile accessibility, it is just about equal. This is not surprising when considering that around 55% of global website traffic was because of mobile devices. But how do Google and Baidu rank mobile optimization?

Google has made it very clear that mobile users are of the utmost importance; this is evident in the fact that before Google ranks a website, the mobile version of the site is checked first. Google will actually penalize websites if any relevant content is hidden, if the mobile version of the site isn’t responsive, or if it isn’t optimized. 

Baidu has taken a very similar approach, and mobile optimization is a key factor in ranking high with this search engine. This is partly because the use of mobile devices is even more prominent in China. 

Difference in Advertising

In terms of the difference in advertising between the two search engines, it is pretty similar, with some minor differences. One key difference to note is that, as mentioned above, changes to SEO ranking are immediate on Baidu, so marketing campaigns can be more easily tracked and evaluated. 

Google’s advertising basically consists of Google AdWords, and opening an account is free. These AdWords appear in the search results, and run on a cost-per-click basis, at around $1 to $2. 

Baidu offers pretty much the same deal, except a down payment of around $900 is necessary if the business is located in China. In addition to this, a yearly $90 verification fee is necessary to give assurance to users that the company is legitimate. 

Difference In Speed Preference

Another factor that is important to both search engines is the speed at which websites load. You might be wondering if there is any difference between the search engines in terms of speed preference, and the answer would be no. 

Google has made it quite abundantly clear that the speed at which a site loads directly affects the SEO ranking of the site. Baidu also directly ranks SEO based on speed, but it’s important to know that sites that are hosted on servers in mainland China will have a faster speed than those thousands of miles away. 

In addition to this, site speed also affects other aspects of SEO, such as dwell time and bounce rate. If your site takes a while to load on both search engines, people will leave relatively quickly. 

Difference in Domain Name

Something else that should be considered when discussing the difference between Google and Baidu is the domain that has been chosen for a site. A domain name is an extension at the end of a name, such as .COM, .US, .CO.ZA, .CN, and more. 

If a site is using a .CN domain name, they will receive preference on Baidu in terms of rankings. Other factors come into play concerning this. One of these factors would be site speed, and if the site is hosted in China the speed will be faster. 

When it comes to Google, the domain names will vary from country to country. For example, if you want to target people in the US, then a .US domain name will be used, and so on. 

Difference in Indexing

Another aspect of consideration is how the search engines index websites. Search engines use bots to crawl websites to collect information such as the meta descriptions, meta keywords, content, and more, that are being used in order to rank the website.

Google uses bots that can crawl a website relatively quickly, and this process is faster if the site already has backlinks of high quality pointed at it. 

Baidu in comparison uses more aggressive bots to crawl the site, which technically ranks the site faster. However, due to more stringent internet regulations, this process can take quite a bit longer. It is said through marketing and PR that a website can be indexed faster. 

Difference in Geotargeting

When people think of Google, they immediately understand that Google needs their geographical information, since it requests location permissions. The main reason this happens is so that Google can offer the best content, service, and search results when using the search engine. 

Baidu also takes this seriously and allows sites to use SEM to precisely target the location of users. This is helpful in many ways, such as showing a site to a user that is relatively close to making the buying process much smoother. 

Difference in Accessibility

Finally, one of the main differences between Google and Baidu is seen in how accessible the search engines are for websites. This is an important consideration to make when choosing which search engine to use for your business. 

Google has made it a point to make their search engine as accessible as possible. If you want to create a website on Google the process is incredibly easy, and there are many website builders that you can use to do it for you. You can also start running ads for your site without any documentation necessary. 

Baidu on the other hand has a few requirements that need to be met first. The first is that you need to have a valid business license, which means you need a business. The second is that you need to have a website that is in Chinese. The last thing you will need is to run everything through a Baidu authorized agency. These things in combination with each other also mean that you will need to have quite a bit of money to get a website and ad campaign running.