Answers to SEO Questions from a Baidu Search Engineer

 

Last year, Baidu opened a platform called Baidu Webmaster Club to communicate with users. As Baidu is the most widely used search engine in China, we may get a lot of benefit from the authoritative answers of Baidu for SEO questions when we need to do optimization for websites.

 

Baidu Q&A

Here are several common difficult SEO problems collected from the Baidu webmaster club which have been answered by the Baidu search engineer.

 

1. What factors will lead to only the homepage of the website being indexed when queried with the site command?

Two cases:

A. New site. The specific contents are not crawled and indexed promptly.

B. Old site. It was severely punished for various reasons, which is also known as “plucking” by webmasters.

 

 

2. Will the numbers of internal links removed will cause a sudden drop in page weight to the main domain?

Take the examples of Baidu, Sina and other major sites. Each page also has links direct to the homepage of the website, and they are not being “killed off”. That means it will not have any negative impact.

 

As a matter of fact, the internal links are used for communicating with pages. For the search engine, they are only used for discovering new links and determining a page’s position in the entire site.

 

(Although the internal links will not bring about a decrease in Baidu page weight, it doesn’t mean we can make excessive use of them. After all, we should comply with the normal habits and the natural expression)

 

 

3. Does Baidu now fully support nofollow?

Baidu now supports the nofollow tag. We will ignore the impact of links with nofollow tag such that the page weight of the links will not be counted while the nofollow tag is in force.

 

(Adding nofollow to comments links is controversial. As Baidu completely negates the effect of nofollow, it can be understood that the links with nofollow still have a little effect. Of course, the quality will not be as good as normal links with anchor text, yet changes in quantity will lead to changes in quality.)

 

 

4. Will the anchor text links used with the same color as the background be treated as hidden links?

This is not a constructive problem because the answer is so obvious. (We should pay more attention to this when doing link building.)

 

 

5. Will websites be punished because of the same server or the same IP?

Generally speaking, it will not happen to a mature search engine. (In fact, it is difficult to ensure websites with same IPs will be operating normally over a long period, as it is inevitable that some issues may appear in some sites.

 

If websites will be punished by search engines just due to another website with the same IP, we cannot benefit from sharing IPs, which is not equitable.)

 

 

6. Will comments for the content will be crawled and analysed by Baidu?

The footnotes in html will be ignored when the spider is crawling the text. (Although the notes of the code will not be crawled, it can still result in the case of jumbled code, so add the notes as less as possible)

 

 

7. Are the click through rates of the links included in Baidu’s algorithm?

Search engines are likely to be trying to apply all the factors which may be conducive to improved sorting, and Baidu is no exception. (Click-through rates can also reflect the user experience, although high click through rates doesn’t mean high ranking.)

 

 

8. Does Baidu have any suggestions for how many outbound links would be best for a page?

In ordinary circumstances, the number of links will affect the page weight of the webpage. The less outbound links the higher the page weight, and vice versa.

 

 

9. Why is the title in the search results from Baidu sometimes inconsistent with the actual title of the webpage?

It’s a complex issue and requires specific analysis. It is probably mainly due to tag title extraction failures, and so the system had to take some text from other parts of the text as a title.

 

Reasons for extraction failure would be web design (for example, all are with flash or ajax), or banned by robots file (although the crawler does not capture some important pages, it will retain the URL itself). Finally, sometimes an abnormal system can also cause a similar phenomenon.

 

 

10. Which robots meta tag does Baidu support?

Baidu supports the nofollow and noarchive meta tags. We will regularly update the information related to robots in http://www.baidu.com/search/robots.html. It is recommended to pay close attention to it. (According to Baidu Search Help Center, Baidu doesn’t support noindex yet.)

 

 

In Summary

The problems above are very common for SEO problems. Although the answers by the Baidu search engineer are not very detailed and specific. After all, it is impossible for the search engine department to make the basic principles open to the public, otherwise the search engine will be in chaos.

 

In short we should do website optimization and construction from a user’s perspective, while treating the search engines as ordinary visitors, and make the content and links more natural and reasonable.