This year, the world has catapulted online–no markets more so than China.
And as 2020 comes to an end, let’s look back at the algorithm updates that Baidu launched over the course of the year.
This will help search marketers and site webmasters stay up to date on rankings and organic website traffic in China to ultimately improve search engine optimization.
In this article, we discuss Baidu’s algorithm updates in 2020, their impact on Baidu search, and what actions you can take to optimize your site for Baidu.
|Ice Bucket 5.0||Bad mobile search experience||2020.06.24|
|Illegal Content||Gambling and related illegal content||2020.04.23|
|Power Wind||Low-quality content and malicious aggregation||2020.02.27|
Baidu SEO: Ice Bucket Algorithm 5.0
Announced: Jun 24, 2020
Launched: Late Jun 2020
In March 2020, Baidu released a whitepaper on app/mobile search experience to address sites that forced users to activate apps, which seriously negatively affects user experience.
Additionally, Baidu Search upgraded its Ice Bucket Algorithm 5.0 to identify and restrict sites and smart apps that force app activations/downloads.
There are two forced app download/activation violations that Baidu targeted with this algorithm:
- When a user clicks on a picture or a button that directly launches an app, but that has no description to inform the user of the auto launch
- When a user clicks a link on the Baidu search results page and an app is directly launched
To ensure that you don’t get penalized under Baidu’s Ice Bucket Algorithm, optimize your mobile landing pages according to Baidu’s whitepaper. And you can also reference Baidu’s other articles for more optimization info:
- Baidu APP mobile search landing page experience white paper 5.0
- Interpretation of White Paper 5.0—How to set up the full text function reasonably
- Interpretation of White Paper 4.0-Why is it forbidden to automatically tune up any form of app?
Baidu SEO: Illegal Content Algorithms
Announced: Apr 23, 2020
Launched: Late Apr 2020
To provide users with a safe and healthy search service, Baidu upgraded its algorithms to severely crack down on illegal content, primarily gambling and bet-style gaming, in its search results.
Ensure the content of your website abides by Chinese law and does not endorse or support gambling or bet-style gaming.
Power Wind Algorithm
Announced: Feb 27, 2020
Launched: Late Feb 2020
Baidu launched its Power Wind algorithm to control malicious construction of aggregate pages. The algorithm covers all websites and smart app resources within Baidu Search.
An aggregate page does not have a main body of content, but rather is an indexation of links to multiple different pages.
Aggregate pages can be legitimately constructed to help users find multiple resources around a particular topic. But aggregate pages can also be maliciously constructed to draw clicks without offering any value to the user.
Malicious aggregation includes four types:
The content of the page does not match the overall site, the overall site does not have a dedicated field, and/or the content is mostly made up of collection from other sites.
The content of the page does not match the title or the tags on the page.
There is a static search results page generated by the website’s internal search function.
The page is empty, has thin content, and/or no related information.
We recommend removing low-quality aggregate pages altogether and ensuring that your pages are rich in high-quality content. Follow these steps to avoid fallout from Baidu’s Power Wind algorithm:
Review your website and remove malicious aggregate pages
Even if you feel you don’t have malicious aggregate pages, it’s still best practice to review all your pages and remove any even borderline content.
Don’t create malicious aggregate pages in the first place
It’s best for you as a webmaster, for your users as people, and for Baidu as a search engine if malicious aggregation just doesn’t exist in the first place.
Ensure your content is high-quality
High-quality content means that the text, pictures, and videos on the page are highly correlated and the content answers the searcher’s query.
As the world moves to a new normal of heightened digital engagement, it’s imperative that websites in China follow the law and Baidu’s own rules and regulations to ensure strong SEO in China and the ability to reach Chinese audiences.