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25 Things You Didn’t Know About Baidu

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In the United States, we have Google.

In China, they have Baidu.

If you’re wondering, “what does this have to do with me?” I get it. What does China’s biggest tech company have to do with you?

A lot, if you’re involved with marketing and SEO.

Take a look, for instance, at this stunning fact: 90% of online search queries done in China are done through Baidu.

This amounts to billions of searches per month!

There are tons of other fascinating facts about Baidu you might not know.

Let’s look at some of them.

What Is Baidu?

As mentioned above, Baidu is a huge Chinese tech company specializing in internet services and AI (artificial intelligence).

It is the largest internet company in China and one of the biggest in the world. Since Google is banned in mainland China, most Chinese people use Baidu as their chosen search engine.

25 Fascinating Facts About Baidu You Need to Know

Baidu has a long history of ups and downs, acquisitions, growth, and intrigue.

Here is a list of some of the facts that make Baidu what it is today.

1. What’s Behind the Name?

The name Baidu was taken from a beautiful poem called The Green Jade Table in the Lantern Festival. Written by Xin Qiji (1140-1207), this haunting poem portrays the search for one’s dreams amidst chaotic distractions.

Here are the lines that inspired the name Baidu.

“…Hundreds and thousands of times, for her I searched in chaos / Suddenly, I turned by chance, to where the lights were waning, and there she stood.” – Xin Qiji (translated)

See the connection?

Baidu allows you to achieve a constant search for the ideal.

2. How Is Baidu Pronounced?

The word Baidu is made up of two Chinese characters. Here’s what they look like.

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Baidu

The first character is pronounced “bai.” The second one can be pronounced “do” or “to.”

Actually, it’s a blend of “d” and “t.”

Baidu means hundreds or thousands of times.

3. Who Founded Baidu?

Although Baidu would grow to stunning heights, its creator actually started small. Born as the only son of two factory workers in Yang Quan, Robin Li didn’t have the capital to start a huge business.

Instead, he studied computer science at Beijing University. After the campus was shut down due to pro-democracy protests, Li moved to Buffalo and earned his master’s degree at the State University of New York.

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After his studies, Li got his first job at a company called IDD (a Dow Jones subsidiary). It was during this time that Li created RankDex, a site-scoring algorithm.

In 1999, Li was invited back to China to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the communist regime. It was then that he met his biochemist friend Eric Wu. Together, they decided to capitalize on China’s growing internet industry by starting Baidu.

4. Baidu Started Off with Silicon Valley Funding

When Baidu came to life in 2000, it caught the attention of major venture capital firms.

With a $1.2 million funding from Integrity Partners and Peninsula Capital, Li and Wu returned to Beijing to launch their project.

It didn’t take long for other venture capital firms to notice them. A few months later, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and IDG Technology Venture invested $10 million in Baidu.

5. Baidu.com Wasn’t Always a Search Engine

Li and Wu originally intended Baidu to be a search service to other Chinese portals. However, things weren’t looking up towards the end of the year.

“The portals didn’t want to pay for (the service),” Lee told Forbes in 2009.

Luckily, they got the idea to launch Baidu as an independent site.

6. Baidu Beat Google to Making Money on Ads

Just like Google, Baidu sported a simple, no-nonsense homepage. However, there was a difference.

Unlike Google back then, Baidu allowed companies to bid on space for ads. By 2004, Li and Wu started making a profit.

7. Robin Li Is the 35th Wealthiest Person in China

With a net worth of $8.4 billion, Li surpasses wealthy Chinese businesspeople like Dang Yanbao (Ningxia Baofeng Energy Group) and Kei Hoi Pang (Logan Property Holdings).

8. The All-Time High of a Baidu Stock Share Is $284

When Baidu went public in 2005, it opened at $27 a share and closed at $112. Since then, things have gone up and down for Baidu shares.

In May 2019, Baidu’s share price reached a staggering closing price of $284. However, this declined with the onset of the trade war and the decline of the Chinese economy.

Today, a share can be bought at $117.

Here’s a look at Baidu stock share prices from 2005 to 2019 f rom Macrotrends.

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25 Things You Didn’t Know About Baidu

9. Baidu Launched AI-Powered Cameras That Can Spot Ocular Fundus

Baidu isn’t all about giving internet users the best way to find what they’re looking for. In fact, the company is concerned about the general health and welfare of the Chinese people as well.

In 2018, Baidu revealed high-tech AI-powered cameras that did the work of ophthalmologists in spotting eye conditions that lead to blindness. These include glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

In 2019, hospitals began using Baidu’s cameras to run eye screenings on patients.

10. Before the AI-Powered Cameras, Baidu Launched a Chatbot for Doctors and Patients

Baidu is a huge player in China’s health market. In fact, two years before it launched the AI cameras for spotting ocular fundus, it introduced Melody to hospitals.

Melody is a chatbot that allows patients to give their health information to doctors. With it, doctors and patients can communicate in a faster, simpler way.

11. Baidu’s Total Revenues Reached $3.93 Billion in the Third Quarter of 2019

Baidu’s revenues rise 7% quarter over quarter, and 3% year over year.

12. Baidu Has Over a Billion Active Mobile Users

By March 2019, Baidu had 1.1 billion mobile users. Its DuerOS voice assistant generated 2.37 billion voice queries per month!

13. You Need a Mandarin Website to Rank on Baidu

This is not only because most of Baidu’s users are Chinese. It’s also because English words won’t rank on the search engine at all.

14. Baidu Ranks Sites Based on Their Home Page

If you want better rankings on Baidu, put all your energy into your site’s home page.

15. Baidu Is the 4th Most Popular Website in the World

Baidu currently ranks at #4 on Alexa.

This puts Baidu above both Facebook and Wikipedia!

16. Ads Are Given Priority on Baidu

While Google prioritizes organic results, Baidu’s first search pages are packed with ads.

This resonates with the fact that Chinese users believe that if a company can pay for ads, it must be reliable.

17. 90% of Internet Users in China Use Baidu

That’s over 700 million people!

18. Baidu Analytics Is Used by More Than 7 Million Websites

Here are some sites using Baidu Analytics today according to BuiltWith.

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25 Things You Didn’t Know About Baidu

19. Baidu is the First Chinese Company to Join the Partnership on AI (PAI)

Joining companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google, Baidu is on a mission towards exploring the benefits of AI for society.

20. The Most Popular Keywords on Baidu

Baidu’s top keywords reflect the interests of the Chinese people. As of December 2018, the most popular keywords were: “World Cup,” “trade war,” and “Yanxi Palace.”

21. Baidu Gives Priority to Websites Hosted in China

Chinese websites end with .cn. If you’re thinking of getting a 100% Chinese website, you first need to register your company in the country.

22. Robert Li Warned Google of Stiff Competition if Ever It Returned to China

Google is mulling on returning to China with modifications that fit the country’s strict censorship laws.

Baidu’s response? Google should expect stiff, all-out competition.

23. Baidu Is More Than a Search Engine

Baidu users can access news, maps, government searches, internet TV, anti-virus products, and more!

24. Baidu Is Part of the Biggest Autonomous Driving Program in the World

It partners with huge companies like Ford, Intel, Grab, and Honda to provide AI technology for driverless cars.

25. Baidu’s Reach Is Expanding Beyond China

Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (called BAT) are three of China’s biggest companies.

As of today, BAT is extending its influence far beyond China. It’s hiring US talent and investing in US AI startups.

Baidu: The Search Engine of the Future?

Baidu is huge, and it is determined to grow even more.

As a marketer, this could affect your overall goals.

Should you be content with Google or seek an audience in China as well with Baidu?


Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, November 2019

Searchenginejournal.com

MARKETING

12 Tools and Resources for Software Developers in Insurance

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12 Tools and Resources for Software Developers in Insurance


If a developer designs a system for Big Data analysis or creates programs for processing and analyzing application data for mobile gadgets, in any case he cannot do without analytics tools and services. Big Data is understood as the basis of the business of insurance companies that depend on information, that is, probabilities, statistical data, customer information, and so on.

Today, for programmers whose responsibilities include insurance software development, many useful tools have been created that are suitable for their needs and corresponding to their skills.

TOP-12 tools for programmers of insurance companies

Every developer who works on coding for insurance products will need the following 12 “helpers”:

  1. BitDeli. It is a startup that has been operating since November 2021. With its help, programmers are able to analyze various data using a variety of metrics through Python scripts. An important plus of it is that the scripts can be of different levels of complexity, which will depend on the needs of the developers. They can even be self-taught. Suitable for analytics. The solution is easy to use.
  2. Continuity. It is a platform that was created with the aim of pulling businesses to the same level as the companies of its creators – Yahoo and Facebook. The guys created a data structure to implement a new level of abstraction over complex connections in HBase and Hadoop. The main advantage of the platform is the facilitation of Big Data development processes for programs that are designed to work with external and internal audiences.
  3. Flurry. This application is in the “store” format, which is intended for the creation of mobile programs, as well as for the analysis of their data. This allows the application to be improved.
  4. Google Prediction API. Suitable for developers who have the necessary knowledge to work with the Prediction API. This interface will provide a wide range of diagrams and topics, and will also allow the application to give correct answers.
  5. Infochimps. We are talking about a platform, despite the fact that the brand today is trying to become a company and become even more successful. As for the platform for the programmer, he gets the Wukong framework, which has a key task – to interact with Hadoop and its data, while using Ruby scripts.
  6. Keen IO. In 2012, this tool was recognized as the best and most effective in its category, and it is used in analytics by mobile application developers. Its plus lies in its ease of use. You need to apply just one line, which is inserted into the source code to be able to track all the necessary information from the programs.
  7. Kontagent. A tool for processing huge amounts of information.
  8. Mortar Data. It is a cloud service that has managed to replace MapReduce with a combination of Python and Pig. It differs in simplicity and clarity in operation.
  9. Placed Analytics. A tool that provides programmers with ready-made products. With its help, it is possible to obtain complete information about the use of the application by customers: where, when and how long it lasted. The data is especially useful for app owners and advertisers.
  10. Precog. It is an interactive environment for developing insurance analytics products based on Quirrel, an open query language.
  11. Spring for Apache Hadoop. A tool that greatly simplifies the creation of programs that use Hadoop, and also provides integration with other Spring applications.
  12. StatsMix. It is a tool with which developers can collect and analyze data received from programs using only the languages they have learned.
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Take a look at the Fireart site for more interesting and useful information. The main thing to remember is that analytics not only assesses the quality of traffic, looks for ways to increase conversion and reduces the cost of attracting customers, but also determines the most effective advertising channels, compiles portraits of visitors and their behavior patterns on sites, identifies site shortcomings up to technical errors.



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From Creation to Stellar ROI

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From Creation to Stellar ROI


Reaching the right customers with your Google Ads campaigns is critical to increase conversions. While it’s possible that scattershot advertisements could catch the interest of Internet users, it’s far more likely that this general ad approach will result in a disconnect between dollars spent and sales made.

To help ensure your ads are reaching the people in the right place, it’s worth leveraging a function in the Google Display Network (GDN) known as affinity audiences. Using these audiences helps pinpoint customer segments that may be more likely to purchase your products, in turn driving more effective and efficient ad spend.

But what exactly is an affinity audience? How do they work, how can you create your own — and what can you expect once you dial in the ideal customer segment? Let’s find out.

What are Affinity Audiences?

Affinity audiences are used by the Google Display Network to deliver your ads to relevant locations online. Given that Google’s network reaches more than 90 percent of Internet users worldwide, it’s well worth the time and effort to understand and apply these audiences at scale.

But what is an affinity audience?

Let’s break the term down into its component parts. Audience is easy — it’s the group of people that will see your ad. Affinity, meanwhile, is defined as “a feeling of closeness and understanding that someone has for another person because of their similar qualities, ideas, or interests.” The result? An affinity audience is a group of potential customers that share similar interests or qualities (similar to a buyer persona).

Using affinity audiences allows your brand to better align ad campaigns to buyers who are interested in what you have to sell. For example, if you’re in the coffee-making business but also have a focus on reducing plastic waste, your affinity audience might contain both people who love coffee and those who love the environment. Groups with both of these qualities are far more likely to buy your product than either group individually.

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Affinity Targeting

Affinity targeting, meanwhile, is the process of identifying the ideal affinities that align with your product or service. Consider the coffee example above. While targeting buyers who love coffee helps improve your brand placement, it also puts you in direct competition with a host of other brands all producing similar products. Additional affinity modifiers that narrow your focus — such as sustainable growth processes, fair labor practices, or environmental priorities — can help set your brand apart.

Do note that it is possible to get too specific with your audience targeting. For example, if your coffee brand targets audiences that prefer beans from a specific region that are collected, packed, and shipped in a specific way, you may end up with a handful of very loyal customers but almost no broader appeal. As a result, targeting needs to narrow the focus without preventing you from reaching the greater public.

What are Custom Audiences?

GDN and the Google Ads platform contain a host of pre-built Google affinity audiences — also called segments — that you can use to focus your marketing and advertisements. These include everything from pet lovers to do-it-yourselfers, TV comedy fans and users with an interest in news and politics.

prebuilt affinity audiences in google ads

But they can’t cover everything. You may have a product or service that doesn’t dovetail with existing segments — here, custom affinity audiences can help.

Understanding Custom Affinity Audiences

Custom affinity audiences are those you create yourself in your Google Ads platform to align with the interests of your target customer base. While Google will suggest different potential segment tags depending on what you input, it’s worth taking the time to do some market research before diving into the custom affinity process. This lets you pinpoint the audience preferences that align best with your brand.

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You can create custom affinity audiences related to four criteria: Interests, URLs, places, or applications. In general, places and applications are the least useful of the bunch. Here’s why. In our coffee example above, there aren’t a lot of coffee-related applications that would set your audience apart. And while geography has some impact on buying behavior, it’s usually not enough to justify an entire segment.

Interests and URLs, meanwhile, can help you dig down and identify potential affinity options that may be shared by your target market at large.

How to Create Affinity Audiences

Ready to create your own affinity audience? Follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Google Ads account.
  2. Select “Tools and Settings”, then “Audience manager.”
  3. Select “Custom Segments.”
  4. Enter segment name and interests.
  5. Save your new segment.

Let’s tackle each step in more detail.

1. Log Into Your Google Ads Account

how to use custom affinity audiences: log in to google ads

First, log into your Google Ads account. Here, you can see any active campaigns along with the associated affinity audiences.

2. Select “Tools and Settings”, then “Audience Manager”

how to use custom affinity audiences: access audience manager

Next, head to “tools and settings” in the upper-right-hand corner and then find “Audience manager” in the drop-down menu.

3. Select “Custom Segments”

how to use custom affinity audiences: custom segments

Now you’ll see a list of any data segments you’re currently using to target prospective buyers. To create an audience or segment, click on “Custom Segments” and then the blue “+” icon.

4. Enter Segment Name and Interests

how to use custom affinity audiences: segment name

Now, give your segment a name and add a few potential interests. For example, if you enter “coffee”, Google will return interests or purchase intention ideas such as “coffees to make with an espresso machine”, “how to make coffee with coffee beans” and “coffee makers that make different coffees.”

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5. Save Your New Segment

Finally, save your new segment with use for ad campaigns. You can create as many segments as you like until you’ve covered all relevant market bases.

The Impact of Effective Affinity Audiences

Ideally, affinity audiences lead to a definitive result: Increased ROI.

Here’s why: When your ads are shown to audiences that are interested in what you’re selling, they’re more likely to click through and purchase your products. As a result, the money you spend on advertising is directly offset by the conversions driven by these ads, in turn creating positive ROI. More generic campaigns, meanwhile, may still increase overall sales but not enough to balance out the spend required to reach larger audiences.

The right audience makes all the difference. Targeted, customized affinity audiences help you reach the people that want to buy your products, in turn boosting conversions and making your overall ad spend more cost-effective. Custom affinity audiences further narrow your market targeting, increasing the likelihood of revenue and reducing the gap between what you spend on ads and what you get in return.

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The HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 310 Marketers

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The HubSpot Blog's 2022 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 310 Marketers


In our recent Marketing Trends survey, we learned that social media is the most effective channel marketers leverage, as well as the channel they use most.

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