Will Baidu gain market share in Japan?
It’s been 3 weeks since Baidu officially opened its services in Japan after 10months of beta phase. While Baidu’s news has been picked up by some search industry media, I haven’t heard any user side feedbacks. None of my friends in Japan have tried the search at Baidu, yet. So, the question is… “Will Baidu gain market share in Japan?”
It’s been 3 weeks since Baidu officially opened its services in Japan after 10months of beta phase. While the news has been picked up by some search industry media, I haven’t heard any user side feedbacks. None of my friends in Japan have tried the search at Baidu, yet. So, the question is… “Will Baidu gain market share in Japan?
During the bata phase, Baidu’s robot crawled Japanese websites like crazy. It was so crazy that many site owners set a tag to avoid Baidu robot from crawling their sites. Since its official opening, they decreased the frequency of robot crawling, and some owners may already switched to let it crawl the site, but still Baidu’s index volume is probably far less than that of Yahoo Japan and Google Japan, which may be translated as “Baidu’s search results may be completely different from what you get from Yahoo or Google”.
Now, there are other reasons why Baidu may give you a different search results, i.e.; links doesn’t help much, but what’s most interesting to me is that their engine was developed in a double-byte character country, China, and according to Baidu Japan’s executive, they’ve refined the engine so that it understands the relevance between the search words and the page content, and that’s not necessarily by picking up the keyword in content. Both Google and Yahoo have been working on this, too, at their Japan lab, but not much more than picking up the keywords on page. I’m curious to see how well Baidu’s engine can grasp the content and ranks the pages accordingly.
In Japan, we used to have several search engines including some Japan’s original engines, and there was a time when all of them were doing well. However, after we lost engines such as Netscape, AltaVista and Lycos, and engines like goo and infoseek decided to go with Google, Japan’s search market has been dominated by Yahoo and Google for years. It’s also the fact that the algorithm of Yahoo and Google has become very similar, and as a result, you get exactly same or similar search results no matter which search engines you use. It can’t be good for the users.
I think that Baidu is on a right track by trying to give different search results to the search users. If their search results are different from what you get from Yahoo and Google, “and” the results are highly relevant to what you are looking for, I think that they have a good chance of gaining a market share in Japan.