The level of noise surrounding China Search Social integration recently got amplified after Baidu improved the indexation scale of Sina Weibo feeds. The next question that online marketers may ask is how they can benefit from this, by improving their presence on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP’s) of Baidu and Weibo.
An interesting finding based on my preliminary research is that Baidu’s Weibo feeds frame doesn’t share the same ranking algorithm as Weibo does. Weibo’s ranking algorithm obviously allocates more weight to the social element.
As you can see from the screenshot below, the Weibo post with the most comments and forward/retweets is ranking on the top, while the Weibo post from the account that I follow comes second, and then the post most recently released.
However, this nicely calculated mathematics has not been adopted by Baidu, as the Baidu Weibo feeds frame shows different results. Like the listing title 最新微博结果 (the most recent weibo posts) indicates, the Baidu Weibo frame sequences the feeds in order of recency only.
The simply applied algorithm doesn’t mean Baidu search scientists are not as good as Weibo’s, but proves that the API Weibo is sharing to Baidu doesn’t provide more information than the Weibo post itself.
For example, the information on comments and retweets numbers are not shared. Especially information around social relation of Baidu searchers and Weibo accounts, because without logging into Baidu with a Weibo account (which doesn’t seem possible), Baidu cannot identify the social relation between the Weibo accounts with the searcher.
Consequently it cannot show the preferred ranking for socially connected Weibo account feeds.
The above finding shows that even though Baidu tries to integrate social elements into the search results, the basic social attributes like social relation (followed VS not followed) and social engagement (the number of comments and retweets), don’t have any impact on the ranking.
Posting as many popular keyword related Weibo posts via multiple Weibo accounts is the easiest way to get presence on the Baidu Weibo feeds frame. I will keep observing how Baidu will change the algorithm to overcome new spamming techniques coming from another platform.