How Search Engine Marketing in China is Different from the Western World?

China is perhaps the only country in the world which has its own search engine and social media platforms to communicate and conduct online businesses. With more than 820 million internet users in the country, the majority of them use mobile devices to access the internet to search for information, pay bills, read books, listen to music, work, shop and even play. As Google does not exist in China, large conglomerates such as Baidu, Sogou, and Haosou, dominate the search engine market. Although some of the functionalities and algorithms of both the Chinese and the western search engines are similar, there are several key differences, which can affect the marketing strategies of online businesses in China.

 Vast differences in the behavioral patterns

It is not just the search engine, which is different in China but also the behavioral patterns of Chinese consumers. Unlike the Westerners, the Chinese use search engines in a different manner to search for information on products and services. As the majority of the Chinese are tech-savvy, most of them use mobile devices to access the internet. It must also be noted that Chinese consumers are constantly searching for information about branded products in the form of reviews, articles, and blog posts. The search for information is quite different from that of the western users. Therefore, entrepreneurs who seek to expand their businesses in China must focus solely on good quality and informative content for the growth of their business.

 Layout

Another key difference of the Chinese search engine is the layout of the result pages. It is divided into three parts-the the left-hand corner of the result page consists of keyword ads and these are ranked according to the biding prices. The second section includes the organic search lists, which are often browsed by the Chinese consumers who consider it as reliable information. The right side and the third section of the Chinese search engine page contain related information.

Apart from the layout, the Chinese search engines have separate and unique mobile-friendly websites as the majority of Chinese consumers access the internet on their mobile devices. On the other hand, western websites are mobile-friendly and it can be easily accessed without any hassles. Therefore, business entrepreneurs need to create a mobile-friendly website in order to capture the attention of Chinese consumers.

As millions of Chinese consumers look forward to the digital landscape, the importance of search engine marketing in China has magnified in the last few years and it is expected to grow at an exponential rate in the coming future. Foreign entrepreneurs need to jump on the bandwagon of Chinese search engines to promote their brand in the country.


Westwin offers digital marketing services such as market strategy, search engine marketing, WeChat and Weibo social media marketing, PPC advertising, mobile marketing, website localization, and more in China. To know more, visit

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