Google Gains On Baidu In China

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A new study just released monitoring the search engine business in China showed some interesting results regarding Baidu, Google and other search engines. The study asserts Google is in a strong position to challenge Baidu in the Chinese search engine market.

The study by Keynote Systems suggests that despite distinct brand recognition and market share advantages, Google is moving forward. The study gives strong evidence that Google’s existing market strength appears to be transferring to the Chinese markets.

The Keynote study showed that Chinese consumers, once they are exposed to Google, have an overwhelmingly positive search experience on the site and generally prefer that site as compared to competitors in the market. Baidu is currently the preferred search engine brand of 48% of Internet users, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).

For the customer experience component of the study, Keynote examined 1,200 Chinese consumers as they searched and performed relevant tasks on leading Chinese search sites and then benchmarked the sites in more than 250 categories including those for news, image, product and music search. For the service level portion of the study, Keynote took more than 13,000 measurements of each site’s responsiveness and reliability from different geographical regions of China over a four-week period from mid-November to mid-December 2005.

“Baidu holds a clear lead in the Chinese market in terms of usage and brand recognition,” said Dr. Bonny Brown, director of research and public services for Keynote. “However, we see that Chinese consumers really like the overall Google experience better. Eventually, this promises to translate into increased market share, particularly given Google’s strong resources and focus on the market.”

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John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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