Baidu has been implementing big algorithm updates since April, and the updates have had a significant impact on both indexation and rankings of thousands of websites. It seems that the updates are ongoing and it has been widely reported that two major updates happened in the past month, one on June 22, 2012 and the other on June 28, 2012. These updates have also been acknowledged by Baidu Engineer “Lee” from Baidu’s anti-spam team. This is quite a new development for Baidu SEO as previously Baidu generally did not acknowledge when changes had been made and it was left to the blogosphere to piece together what had happened.
So what’s the update about? According to Lee, the June 21, 2012 update implemented anti-spam measures targeting poor quality websites. Poor quality websites have long time appeared in Baidu search results and of course Baidu is concerned this will lead to a poor user experience for searchers. Lee defined poor quality websites as those that have very poor content and in particular “spun” content. The sole purpose of these websites is for manipulating the search results, a common practice in Baidu SEO.
After this June 22nd update, many webmasters complain that their sites lost significant rankings or disappeared altogether. Most of those complaining were SME company websites that do not update their content frequently. Lee did acknowledge that generally they can accurately identify and remove websites with poor content but “collateral damage” is hard to avoid. If this happens to your website, you could report it through http://tousu.baidu.com/webmaster/suggest. Lee also said this is the start of a series of action; however, Baidu will in future make announcements on big updates through the recently launched Baidu Webmaster Tools. If you don’t have Baidu Webmaster Tools set up, now might be a good time.
This is really a wake-up call to all webmasters and especially those who attempt to create dozens of websites in order to manipulate the search results. Just like with Google in the past, Baidu SEOers may have to work a little harder than before to get results!
Lee’s letter to webmasters is posted in Chinese on http://bbs.zhanzhang.baidu.com/thread-6533-1-1.html.