U.S.-based Google and China-based Baidu (note: this site is in Chinese) are the two dominant search engines in the world. According to comScore, Google’s market share of U.S. searches is 67 percent. According to Tech in Asia, Baidu’s market share of China searches is 82 percent. Google is also quite popular outside of the United States, while Baidu’s strength is in China.
So, how do Google and Baidu compare?
Elisa Harca, reporting for Clickz, notes that:
“As with most digital activity in China, the way Chinese citizens search for content online differs significantly from the way people source information in the West. The younger demographic and their ever-increasing enthusiasm for mobile technology, particularly in areas where it may be difficult to access laptops and PCs, has democratized search for tier two and three cities. And thanks to users’ hunger for information, particularly about branded goods and aspirational lifestyles, their online habits tend toward browsing all the search results on offer, rather than pinpointing specific sites via keyword searches.”
“Because of this, there’s clearly a difference in search engine “personality,” summed up neatly here: Baidu asks: ‘What can I help you to do?’ Google asks: ‘What can I do for you?'”
The Clickz chart below summarizes the some of the key differences between Google and Baidu. Click it to read more.
8 Replies to “Google Versus Baidu: The World’s Two Leading Search Engines”
One of the things I like about this post is how the search personalities were described. Google is described as “what can I do for you?” and Baidu is “what can I help you do?” This to me is very accurate. When we type into Google we already know what we want to find. We have the key words and sometimes even know what site we want to click after the search. But people in China use Baidu to help them find something to be interested in. They don’t really have an idea of what they are looking for so they are relying on the search engine to help them out. It’s just interesting to see how people around the world use search engines compared to how we use them.
I find this very interesting, because search engines are something that are very much relevant to us, and for the most part, used in our daily lives. One of the things that I found particularly interesting is how accustomed people in the west are to seeing advertisements and sponsored results on the page. This is exemplified in the chart, where it says that people in the west tend to focus on the top left a result page. This is where the actual search results are, where in China, the results take up the whole page.
Before reading this article, I wasn’t familiar with China’s search engine, Baidu. It was interesting to read the distinct differences between Baidu and Google. By the chart and explanation, it would appear that in the west, the people that use Google are looking for a specific idea, and fast due to the fact that Google hones in on key-words and people only spend an average of 10 seconds on a page. Baidu users, on the other hand, prefer to search through and read from a list of sites and take more time on a page ( 30-60 sec). Overall, it seems Google provides more ‘to the point’, specific information for its user, while Baidu provides a multitude of options that viewers sift through and take more time to find the information they need.
As the article reads, “While Westerners have a tendency to be suspicious about the honesty of anything that is paid for, the reverse is true in China – they believe that if brands are willing to pay for their presence on the front page of a search engine, they must have something worth checking out.” This goes to show just how polar opposite our cultures really are. Westerners have an internet distrust in any service you have to pay for, while those in China put their faith in such services. One of the biggest issues I believe this stems from is that of Privacy and Security in the 21st century interconnected world we live in today. Given the opposing views expressed here, it is clear these topics will be heavily debated on at an international level in the years to come.
What I found most interesting about the differences between Baidu and Google was that users of Baidu are generally younger and typically search more from mobile phones than from actual computers. I think that it highlights an important aspect of our western culture, that technology is not simply for young people with iPhones but for older generations as well. The computer has been integrated into our society as a whole, and is a household item, while in China, much of the internet searches are confined to a mobile device, which are generally owned by young people. This explains the difference in the search engines-who the person is and how they search are two major factors in developing a search engine.
Well, from my personal perspective, I partially agree with the article, not all. People around me also use key words to search for things they are interested in or seeking, not choose from list. And we only use Baidu on phone when we are out and couldnt reach any laptops during that specific period. One reason that Baidu is so popular in china is not because the government bans Google, but because Baidu is more specialized to fulfill local’s needs. When you need to find something, anything related to Chinese language, you use Baidu. Because even though you type in key words in chinese on google, probably results showed on Baidu still show up in first several pages.
Technology today is for people of any age. It does not matter if you are old or young; anyone is able to use any sort of technology. Baidu seems like a younger crowd often uses it where as Google is used from people of all different ages. Technology in other parts of the world may only be used by young people, who maybe have more knowledge on technology, however, in our world today, technology, such as computers are used by people whether you are young or old. I think this has a lot to do with the search engines because it depends on how tech savvy one may be in order to use a search engine.