Chasing Chinese Consumers

Globalized Economy, Local Consumers

Advertising has come a long way in the last 100 years.

Today, a lot falls under the umbrella of advertising. Where once print ads, radio spots and TV commercials ran the show, advertising today embraces an ever-growing digital marketplace—email blasts, suggested ad networks, search engine optimization, and even social media.

In tandem with the evolution of advertising also came the evolution of the world economy through globalization. Now, more than ever, it’s important to understand how business is conducted across the globe, and what affects that can lead to in your own day to day business.

The State of Search Engine Marketing in China

In America, some of the most targeted consumers are Asians, specifically the Chinese. However, what works for outreach in America does not necessarily work as outreach in other countries, like China. Whereas Google has a 66.5% market share of the search engines in America, it only has a 3% market share of the search engine market in China, according to a US Search Engine Rankings report from comScore.

What does this mean to American business owners targeting the Chinese, and why are we talking about search engines? To put it simply, what works here doesn’t always work there. In terms of traffic to websites, organic traffic (traffic coming from search engines and search engine optimization efforts) account for 43% of traffic to most websites and 29% of converting traffic to websites, according to a 2012 Marketing Sherpa Lead Generation Benchmark Survey.

The biggest search engines currently in China are Baidu with 65% of the market share, Qihoo 360 with 17% market share, and Sogou with 9% market share, according to Search Engine Watch.

So, what’s all of this mean in laymen’s terms? Basically, it means that how your business ranks for each engine could differ quite a bit.  But the news is not all worrisome. According to recent reports, the Chinese search engine market is poised to change, and it was recently announced that Qihoo 360 is trying to buy Sogou for a reported $1.4 billion.

What this means to advertisers and business owners alike is that, if all goes according to plan, it should become less taxing to reach the Chinese consumer. (This merger will net Qihoo 360 27% of the Chinese Search Engine Market, and eliminate a large amount of workload for your SEO).

On the (possible)Horizon

Qihoo 360 is a brand new company in the search field, having only entered the market in August 2012. The company, before introducing its search product, operated the second most used Internet browser in China, second only to Internet Explorer.

It seems that with this potential merger, and with a built in audience using its browser, Qihoo 360 will be looking to take over a larger portion of the search market in the future, and we could be seeing an early downfall of Baidu. Regardless of how it plays out, we should be seeing a deeper merging of the search market as users begin to reconsider what type of searches to perform, and which engines to do it on.

As an SEO, this merger provides an opportunity for those who are performing Search Engine Optimization and targeting users with Qihoo 360. Within the coming months, and if the new merger goes through, sites dependent on that engine should see a spike in traffic to their sites, and that’s cause for celebration.

Happy Optimizing!

Have a question or looking for an SEO Specialist to help you with your site? Contact me anytime at Jason@lgdcom.com and I’d be glad to learn more about your needs.