Chinese search engines SEO

Chinese search engine SEO

Chinese SEO check list

Chinese SEO, for the most part, is the same as Google or Bing.

  • Chinese language content
  • Chinese SEO components
    • Page title
    • Page description
    • Heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc)
  • Sitemaps
  • Robots
  • Webmasters (call Zhanzhang in Chinese)
  • Fast access to your internet content
  • Local / dedicated domain name
  • Local / dedicated IP address

The main differences are;

  • All Chinese webmaster systems are only in the local Chinese language
  • Local / dedicated IP address
  • Political correctness
  • Blocked internet content
  • Baidu SERP (Search engines results page) e.g. Google Rich Cards
  • Search engine tools, services and add-ons

The purpose of this paper is a beginner’s guide to Chinese search engines SEO.  As you learn more and want to move your internet content up the racking you may require local Chinese support.

There are four Chinese search engines, at the time of writing (September 2018) and two overseas search engines you should aim to get a high Chinese ranking in for the Chinese market.

Chinese SEO - Baidu


Market Share: 75.88%

Chinese SEO - Shenma


Market Share: 9.35%

Chinese SEO - 360 search

360 Search

Market Share: 6.37%

Chinese SEO - Sogou


Market Share: 3.59%  

Google SEO


Market Share: 1.67%

Bing SEO


Market Share: 1.14%

The biggest Chinese search engine is Baidu. The newest is Shenma, its growth is very strong taking almost 10% Chinese search engine market in 18 months.

For more information on each search engine please see: Chinese search engine.

Chinese language Meta data

All search engine will only rank your content in the language it is written.  If your content is in English only, the Chinese search engine will rank your internet content in English.

A search engine;

  • does not translate your internet content.
  • only indexes the information it fines from your internet content.
  • multi language content will be indexed for each language.

e.g. If you are searching for “baby food”, the results will only contain the words “baby food” and not 婴儿食品. (baby food in Chinese). If you have multi-language ready in your internet content, try searching in both languages in Google or Bing.

When you are asking the Chinese search engines to index your internet content think as you would with Google / Bing, what words will the Chinese user be searching for when looking for your product or service.   

In the “baby food” example, the Chinese consumer is likely to be looking for overseas baby food brands and could try searching for “baby food”. In this example, your SEO data will need the Chinese and English words for “baby food” to achieve a good ranking in the any of the search engine used in Chinese.

Type your “key search words” in a Chinese search engine. What, if any, is your ranking?

Please note:

  • Chinese language for search engine is Mandarin / simplified Chinese.
  • English is the first international language for China. It is the foreign language taught in schools and colleges. This means there are over 100 million Chinese people being taught English any one year. For the Chinese internet market, we recommend both Chinese and English language site. Please note; use English with American spelling, nouns and written grammar.

Here are the language options for your web site;

  • Do nothing – leave your web site in your local language
  • Add additional page(s) to your site in Chinese containing the key information and words
  • Translate the key SEO data into Chinese on a copy of your internet content; Page titles, description, heading tags, etc.
  • Create SERP (Search Engine Result Page) in Chinese where available in Chinese search engine
  • Translate your multimedia content
  • Fully translate your internet content
  • Create a new website for the Chinese market

For more information on there options, please see Chinese language on the internet.

Chinese SEO components

Chinese search engines SEO data, i.e. meta tags, title, description, and headings, etc, are the same as in is in Google or Bing.

Remember to change the language, region, etc, meta tag data on a page data if you have translated it or have a copy of your internet pages for the local Chinese market.

Chinese search engine sitemaps

The information is in the same format. If you have translated any of the information make sure the language information parameter in the sitemap is correctly set up.

Robots file

The information is in the same format. Again, do not forget to update any localisation changes

Chinese search engine Webmasters

Chinese search engines all have Webmaster like Google or Bing.

In China Pingyin is the Webmaster is known as “Zhanzhang”.

The webmaster links are as follows;

Please note; All the webmasters are in Chinese. Use the Chrome browser translate option and work through the parameters. A lot of the options are the same as Google or Bing.

Fast access to your internet contents

The search engines will prioritise websites with a fast access from China. This means locating your website in the Asia region or within China.

Chinese domain name

Please consider the following points

  • Meaningful – creating a domain with the product or brand name
  • Local – local domain name .CN /COM.CN .We believe that COM / NET work just as well.
  • Language – the domain can be a Chinese name in simplified Chinese or Pingyin.

For more information. Please see Chinese domain names

Local / dedicated IP address

China uses the IP address in determining the location and reliability of your website.

The Chinese search engines do not recommend sharing IP addresses in case the reliability of your internet contents is confused with other contents. I dedicated IP address show stability to your present on the internet.  I don’t understand what this means

Please note; Chinese search engines, like the international search engines, are trying to distinguish between good and poor sources of information. Knowing your website has a fixed location helps greatly.

A local IP address will be allocated to your website when you host in Asia or China.

Political correctness

China has rules and regulations regarding content. Content is blocked in China and or by the Chinese search engines if politically incorrect. Make sure your website content is politically correct from the outset. Unblocking websites / IP addresses once blocked is very hard to do. 

For more information, please see Chinese ICP certification

Blocked website

Some international website content is blocked / access time slowed down. This includes international social media, Google, YouTube, etc. If you have blocked embedded content your Chinese search engine ranking will be seriously affected.   

Baidu SERP (Search engines results page) e.g. Google Rich Cards

The Chinese search engines SERP creates an opportunity to add Chinese language to your SEO.

Review each Chinese search to see what options are available. Baidu is recommend given its market share, and Shenma if you are selling consumer products.

Search engine tools, services and add-ons

All Chinese search engines have additional functionality or services, e.g. Baidu Maps. Adding these services to your website will help with search engine ranking.

Have a look at each Chinese search engine offering and again start with Baidu and Shenma in your review.

Chinese SEO - Wechat

WeChat a search engine?

WeChat is a social media platform and therefore belongs in a different paper?

WeChat calls itself an IT platform containing all the services you require to host your website. This includes its own search engine for WeChat users.

Whilst WeChat is not called a search engine, given its business content, a lot of Chinese consumers start their internet searches with WeChat.

WeChat, rank your WeChat account in the following sequences;

  • WeChat account tittle
  • Page headings
  • Page contents

E.g. WeChat: Searching for "Travel / 旅行", which is a very common word, WeChat will only show results with "Travel / 旅行" in the account title. If you search for "London Tower Bridge" you will see results first with "London Tower Bridge" in the Account Tittle and then results containing these words in the page headings / contents.

Therefore, account name is very important.

Create a private WeChat account and try it for yourself in your local country.

Web page last modified: September 2018