Search Engines vs. Search Engines in China
This is a follow-up to the previous post titled Search Engines vs. Spammers in China. But instead of saying that this is Part 2, I have elected to use the rather bizarre title: Search Engines vs. Search Engines in China. What is going on here?
In that previous post, there was a long discussion about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) spammers who profit by cheating the search engines to give them page views for advertising revenue as well as selling keywords for profit. Shame on the SEO spammers. In this post, it would turn out that the premier Chinese search engines Baidu has as its worst enemy the website known as ... Baidu!
Exhibit #1: As reported at Donews.com via Yahoo! News, following a tip from a netizen, the reporter entered the keyword "thesis/dissertation" (论文) into Baidu and obtained a count of 11,500,000 relevant pages. Given this keyword, Baidu offered on the right hand side of the first page of the search results some paid advertisements related to the keyword. The screen capture below shows links to www.ushilw.com, www.writerlw.com, www.boshilw.com, and others. The significance of this finding is that each and every one of these websites are of the type declared to be illegal by the government for they sell completed theses, dissertations and term papers to students. The merchandise is academic fraud. Given Baidu's dominant status on the Chinese Internet, it is the most influential agent for peddling this illegal material. Certainly, Baidu could start by cleaning up its own act!
Exhibit #2: Yesterday's post came from Nanfang Weekend, and it identifies an organization known as the Anti-Baidu Alliance as a gathering of SEO spammers. In that article, it was said that Baidu was 'tolerant' with respect to this alliance. Well, you didn't think the alliance would take this lying down, did you? Yahoo! News has the rebuttal case on July 18, 2005.
As everybody knows, the principal requirement for a search engine is to find the most useful informtion in the quickest time. For example, if you enter the keyword "Sina" into Baidu, you should expect to see Sina.com on the first listing on the first page. That is the expected search result. But if you search for Sina and you cannot see that website in the first ten pages of search results, then this means that website has been frozen out by Baidu. You are not seeing an accurate search result.
So let everybody look for the term "Anti-Baidu" or "Anti-Baidu Alliance" in Google, 3721 or Yahoo! These two keywords would find the official website www.fanbaidu.com in the first position on the first page. But let us look at the 'tolerant' Baidu -- when those two keywords are entered, you will not find the official website www.fanbaidu.com in the first ten pages. This is risible. They tried to sound fair and urge people to Baidu the terms, but you can't find it in the first 10 pages. Ho, ho, ho! That website had been downgraded by Baidu and sent off to an unlocatable corner. Baidu is either counting on the Nanfang Weekend reporter not knowing how to make such a search, or else they have paid the editors off to become Baidu's hatchetmen. But could they at least put some effort into it so that is it not undone immediately.
Note: By the time I checked on the morning of July 19, 2005, the bbs.fanbaidu.com showed up as the tenth listing on the first page of search results for either "Anti-Baidu" or "Anti-Baidu Alliance." Of course, I do not know if Baidu made a technical adjustment immediately after the rebuttal article appeared.