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Latest Search Engine Trends In Asia 2023



Latest Search Engine Trends In Asia 2023

For years, Google has been the main focus of most websites’ search marketing efforts. In fact, when it comes to search engine optimization, most companies only think of Google.

It is also a known fact that in some countries, there are other search engines that you need to consider. I’m sure that many readers have heard about Baidu in China, Naver in South Korea, and Yahoo! in Japan as the popular search engines.

These websites are super focused on local audiences and not easy to work with unless you have the language capability and understanding of how the services are set up. For that reason, they have scared away many website owners outside their respective countries.

Even though the Asian market is by far the largest online market in the world, information about the market is not as visible as it is for the U.S. or European markets.

This makes the Asian market more mysterious than it should be.

Recently, there have been some significant changes in search engine market shares and user activities, which could provide opportunities to businesses that have been timid about targeting these countries.

First, let’s understand a little more about the locally unique search engines: Baidu, Naver, and Yahoo! Japan.

Since it was launched in 2000, Baidu has been the most widely used search engine in China.

In order to target Chinese audiences using Baidu, you need a Chinese-language website that complies with the Chinese government’s requirement to display the website’s registration number.

Having a “.cn” ccTLD and/or hosting websites in China are not requirements, but they definitely help with indexing and ranking.

Naver is a locally grown search engine in South Korea that started in 1999.

Unlike Google, Naver is more like a portal site with many non-search content and functions. The search results on Naver are quite unique.

It contains several blocks of different content types, including shopping, news, blog, videos, images, and web pages. The organic web page results are not prominent, and the ads are very visible. For these reasons, foreign companies often struggle to gain organic traffic from Naver.

Yahoo! Japan initially started as Yahoo’s Japanese site and became a Japanese-owned company in 2018. It is still one of the popular websites in Japan.

Like Naver, Yahoo! Japan is a portal site with plenty of non-search content and services, including auctions, travel bookings, FAQs, and emails.

While the company itself provides its ad services, Google has been powering its organic search results since 2010.

The Shifts In Search Engine Popularity

Although the above sites are still popular, the search activities have shifted recently, especially in the last 12 months, creating new opportunities for businesses to leverage other search engines for market access.

Latest Search Engine Market Shares


Baidu’s domination of the search landscape has been declining for the past few quarters, dropping from 76% in June 2022 to 49% in March 2023.

Baidu still holds strong with over 64.39% share in mobile search, primarily due to how well it is integrated into the handset infrastructure through its numerous apps and services.

Both Bing and Sogou have cannibalized Baidu’s desktop search market share. Bing’s desktop search share in China has been growing over the past few months, with a bump to 28% since deploying its new AI features.

My B2B clients have seen a measurable increase in searches and traffic from China via Bing in the past few months, increasing efforts to maximize the reach of Bing.

Western businesses should also jump on this opportunity to expand their reach in China using Bing. Unlike Baidu’s Webmaster Tools access challenges, you can easily submit sitemaps and monitor issues in Bing’s English Webmaster Tools interface.

South Korea

Naver was early to the party in integrating AI into its platform. It did so in late 2021 to support a significant shift in South Korean search behaviors becoming more “exploratory,” with users going deeper into topics that aligned with their interests and search intent.

Naver saw a significant increase in these exploratory searches, accounting for nearly 65% of all queries.

This was followed up by the launch of Naver’s AiRSearch “Smart Block Innovation,” which leverages AI analysis of content, data, and deep user insights to generate blocks of highly relevant results eliminating the need for multiple search terms to present an optimal result.

Despite Naver’s innovations, the March 2023 Search Engine Market Share report indicates Google has gained significant ground in South Korea, garnering 59% share over Naver’s 35%.  According to Statista, the share split is even greater, with Google capturing 71% to Naver’s 24%.

Google’s growth in the market creates an opportunity to directly connect with Korean searchers in a way not previously possible.


It is more important than ever to ensure your Japanese content is well-indexed and optimized for Google. With almost 80% market share, especially on mobile, from powering organic search in Yahoo! Japan, and its own growth as a search engine in Japan, Google is critical for connecting with Japanese consumers.

Google Japan has deployed all the shopping features to help businesses reach consumers, but often at a significantly lower average cost per click (CPC) than in the U.S. or Europe.

Bing’s Japan market share has been trending at 3% for the past years. However, new data from Statcounter seems to indicate its new AI features have gained some interest from Japanese users, increasing its market share to 7% and cannibalizing traffic from Yahoo!.

What This Means To The Website Owners (SEO/PPC)

These shifts in the growth of non-local search engines increase opportunities for businesses to reach these markets using assets and techniques they already have in place.

It is now more important to implement technical SEO fixes to increase indexing by both Google and Bing, as well as ensure your websites are mobile-friendly and load as fast as possible to engage users searching primarily on mobile devices in these markets.

Bing’s growth and recent AI and technological advances make it worthy of a fresh look to ensure that you have covered all bases and are well-indexed and optimized to benefit.

SEO Opportunities In Southeast Asia

Beyond China, Japan, and Korea, significant opportunities are emerging in Southeast Asia.  The region consists of 11 countries with a total population of 600 million people at varied economic levels – but with growing disposable income.

Southeast Asian markets represented half of the top 10 retail ecommerce growth markets in 2022, and they are projected to generate over $100 billion in retail sales in 2023.

Covid lockdowns forced consumers to shop online, rapidly expanding ecommerce adoption and logistics infrastructures in the region.

National governments made significant investments in connectivity, digital payments, ecommerce platforms, and policy changes to foster ecommerce adoption and growth in the region.

Consumer behaviors have shifted as well, with over 40% of consumers trying at least one new brand since Covid, as compared to only 23% in the U.S.

In Vietnam, social ecommerce has grown significantly, with influencers driving product adoption in fashion and beauty – and price being a secondary consideration.

The region offers new opportunities for brands to reach interested consumers directly through their own ecommerce initiatives, as well as through several growing marketplaces like Shopee, Tokopedia, and Lazada that sell a wide range of products and handle transactions and logistics.

Shopee has quickly emerged as the fourth largest marketplace after Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten, despite its focus on Southeast Asia.

Digital ad spending in the region increased by 64%, further highlighting the digital platform’s ability and cost-effectiveness to connect and engage with consumers. The growth has been across CPG, fashion, and electronics categories.


Over the past few years, the digital disruption in Asia has been significant through rapid ecommerce adoption, technology shifts, and demands of consumers, creating new opportunities for those businesses that were previously challenged by language and resources to target these markets directly.

Now is the time to review your analytics and Google Search Console data to see if you have benefited from the search engine share realignment in the region and if it makes sense to put additional attention to localized content, ad budgets, or specific initiatives to target these markets.

More resources:

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4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI




4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

In a significant leap in large language model (LLM) development, Mistral AI announced the release of its newest model, Mixtral-8x7B.

What Is Mixtral-8x7B?

Mixtral-8x7B from Mistral AI is a Mixture of Experts (MoE) model designed to enhance how machines understand and generate text.

Imagine it as a team of specialized experts, each skilled in a different area, working together to handle various types of information and tasks.

A report published in June reportedly shed light on the intricacies of OpenAI’s GPT-4, highlighting that it employs a similar approach to MoE, utilizing 16 experts, each with around 111 billion parameters, and routes two experts per forward pass to optimize costs.

This approach allows the model to manage diverse and complex data efficiently, making it helpful in creating content, engaging in conversations, or translating languages.

Mixtral-8x7B Performance Metrics

Mistral AI’s new model, Mixtral-8x7B, represents a significant step forward from its previous model, Mistral-7B-v0.1.

It’s designed to understand better and create text, a key feature for anyone looking to use AI for writing or communication tasks.

This latest addition to the Mistral family promises to revolutionize the AI landscape with its enhanced performance metrics, as shared by OpenCompass.

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

What makes Mixtral-8x7B stand out is not just its improvement over Mistral AI’s previous version, but the way it measures up to models like Llama2-70B and Qwen-72B.

mixtral-8x7b performance metrics compared to llama 2 open source ai modelsmixtral-8x7b performance metrics compared to llama 2 open source ai models

It’s like having an assistant who can understand complex ideas and express them clearly.

One of the key strengths of the Mixtral-8x7B is its ability to handle specialized tasks.

For example, it performed exceptionally well in specific tests designed to evaluate AI models, indicating that it’s good at general text understanding and generation and excels in more niche areas.

This makes it a valuable tool for marketing professionals and SEO experts who need AI that can adapt to different content and technical requirements.

The Mixtral-8x7B’s ability to deal with complex math and coding problems also suggests it can be a helpful ally for those working in more technical aspects of SEO, where understanding and solving algorithmic challenges are crucial.

This new model could become a versatile and intelligent partner for a wide range of digital content and strategy needs.

How To Try Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Demos

You can experiment with Mistral AI’s new model, Mixtral-8x7B, to see how it responds to queries and how it performs compared to other open-source models and OpenAI’s GPT-4.

Please note that, like all generative AI content, platforms running this new model may produce inaccurate information or otherwise unintended results.

User feedback for new models like this one will help companies like Mistral AI improve future versions and models.

1. Perplexity Labs Playground

In Perplexity Labs, you can try Mixtral-8x7B along with Meta AI’s Llama 2, Mistral-7b, and Perplexity’s new online LLMs.

In this example, I ask about the model itself and notice that new instructions are added after the initial response to extend the generated content about my query.

mixtral-8x7b perplexity labs playgroundScreenshot from Perplexity, December 2023mixtral-8x7b perplexity labs playground

While the answer looks correct, it begins to repeat itself.

mixtral-8x7b errorsScreenshot from Perplexity Labs, December 2023mixtral-8x7b errors

The model did provide an over 600-word answer to the question, “What is SEO?”

Again, additional instructions appear as “headers” to seemingly ensure a comprehensive answer.

what is seo by mixtral-8x7bScreenshot from Perplexity Labs, December 2023what is seo by mixtral-8x7b

2. Poe

Poe hosts bots for popular LLMs, including OpenAI’s GPT-4 and DALL·E 3, Meta AI’s Llama 2 and Code Llama, Google’s PaLM 2, Anthropic’s Claude-instant and Claude 2, and StableDiffusionXL.

These bots cover a wide spectrum of capabilities, including text, image, and code generation.

The Mixtral-8x7B-Chat bot is operated by Fireworks AI.

poe bot for mixtral-8x7b firebaseScreenshot from Poe, December 2023poe bot for mixtral-8x7b firebase

It’s worth noting that the Fireworks page specifies it is an “unofficial implementation” that was fine-tuned for chat.

When asked what the best backlinks for SEO are, it provided a valid answer.

mixtral-8x7b poe best backlinks responseScreenshot from Poe, December 2023mixtral-8x7b poe best backlinks response

Compare this to the response offered by Google Bard.

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIMixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIScreenshot from Google Bard, December 2023Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

3. Vercel

Vercel offers a demo of Mixtral-8x7B that allows users to compare responses from popular Anthropic, Cohere, Meta AI, and OpenAI models.

vercel mixtral-8x7b demo compare gpt-4Screenshot from Vercel, December 2023vercel mixtral-8x7b demo compare gpt-4

It offers an interesting perspective on how each model interprets and responds to user questions.

mixtral-8x7b vs cohere on best resources for learning seoScreenshot from Vercel, December 2023mixtral-8x7b vs cohere on best resources for learning seo

Like many LLMs, it does occasionally hallucinate.

mixtral-8x7b hallucinationsScreenshot from Vercel, December 2023mixtral-8x7b hallucinations

4. Replicate

The mixtral-8x7b-32 demo on Replicate is based on this source code. It is also noted in the README that “Inference is quite inefficient.”

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIScreenshot from Replicate, December 2023Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

In the example above, Mixtral-8x7B describes itself as a game.


Mistral AI’s latest release sets a new benchmark in the AI field, offering enhanced performance and versatility. But like many LLMs, it can provide inaccurate and unexpected answers.

As AI continues to evolve, models like the Mixtral-8x7B could become integral in shaping advanced AI tools for marketing and business.

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OpenAI Investigates ‘Lazy’ GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X




OpenAI Investigates 'Lazy' GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

OpenAI, the company that launched ChatGPT a little over a year ago, has recently taken to social media to address concerns regarding the “lazy” performance of GPT-4 on social media and Google Reviews.

Screenshot from X, December 2023OpenAI Investigates ‘Lazy’ GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

This move comes after growing user feedback online, which even includes a one-star review on the company’s Google Reviews.

OpenAI Gives Insight Into Training Chat Models, Performance Evaluations, And A/B Testing

OpenAI, through its @ChatGPTapp Twitter account, detailed the complexities involved in training chat models.

chatgpt openai a/b testingScreenshot from X, December 2023chatgpt openai a/b testing

The organization highlighted that the process is not a “clean industrial process” and that variations in training runs can lead to noticeable differences in the AI’s personality, creative style, and political bias.

Thorough AI model testing includes offline evaluation metrics and online A/B tests. The final decision to release a new model is based on a data-driven approach to improve the “real” user experience.

OpenAI’s Google Review Score Affected By GPT-4 Performance, Billing Issues

This explanation comes after weeks of user feedback about GPT-4 becoming worse on social media networks like X.

Complaints also appeared in OpenAI’s community forums.

openai community forums gpt-4 user feedbackScreenshot from OpenAI, December 2023openai community forums gpt-4 user feedback

The experience led one user to leave a one-star rating for OpenAI via Google Reviews. Other complaints regarded accounts, billing, and the artificial nature of AI.

openai google reviews star rating Screenshot from Google Reviews, December 2023openai google reviews star rating

A recent user on Product Hunt gave OpenAI a rating that also appears to be related to GPT-4 worsening.

openai reviewsScreenshot from Product Hunt, December 2023openai reviews

GPT-4 isn’t the only issue that local reviewers complain about. On Yelp, OpenAI has a one-star rating for ChatGPT 3.5 performance.

The complaint:

yelp openai chatgpt reviewScreenshot from Yelp, December 2023yelp openai chatgpt review

In related OpenAI news, the review with the most likes aligns with recent rumors about a volatile workplace, alleging that OpenAI is a “Cutthroat environment. Not friendly. Toxic workers.”

google review for openai toxic workersScreenshot from Google Reviews, December 2023google review for openai toxic workers

The reviews voted the most helpful on Glassdoor about OpenAI suggested that employee frustration and product development issues stem from the company’s shift in focus on profits.

openai employee review on glassdooropenai employee review on glassdoor

openai employee reviewsScreenshots from Glassdoor, December 2023openai employee reviews

This incident provides a unique outlook on how customer and employee experiences can impact any business through local reviews and business ratings platforms.

openai inc google business profile local serps google reviewsScreenshot from Google, December 2023openai inc google business profile local serps google reviews

Google SGE Highlights Positive Google Reviews

In addition to occasional complaints, Google reviewers acknowledged the revolutionary impact of OpenAI’s technology on various fields.

The most positive review mentions about the company appear in Google SGE (Search Generative Experience).

Google SGE response on OpenAIScreenshot from Google SGE, December 2023Google SGE response on OpenAI


OpenAI’s recent insights into training chat models and response to public feedback about GPT-4 performance illustrate AI technology’s dynamic and evolving nature and its impact on those who depend on the AI platform.

Especially the people who just received an invitation to join ChatGPT Plus after being waitlisted while OpenAI paused new subscriptions and upgrades. Or those developing GPTs for the upcoming GPT Store launch.

As AI advances, professionals in these fields must remain agile, informed, and responsive to technological developments and the public’s reception of these advancements.

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ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites




ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

ChatGPT Plus subscriptions and upgrades remain paused after a surge in demand for new features created outages.

Some users who signed up for the waitlist have received invites to join ChatGPT Plus.

Screenshot from Gmail, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

This has resulted in a few shares of the link that is accessible for everyone. For now.

RELATED: GPT Store Set To Launch In 2024 After ‘Unexpected’ Delays

In addition to the invites, signs that more people are getting access to GPTs include an introductory screen popping up on free ChatGPT accounts.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

Unfortunately, they still aren’t accessible without a Plus subscription.

chatgpt plus subscriptions upgrades paused waitlistScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023chatgpt plus subscriptions upgrades paused waitlist

You can sign up for the waitlist by clicking on the option to upgrade in the left sidebar of ChatGPT on a desktop browser.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

OpenAI also suggests ChatGPT Enterprise for those who need more capabilities, as outlined in the pricing plans below.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from OpenAI, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

Why Are ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Paused?

According to a post on X by OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman, the recent surge in usage following the DevDay developers conference has led to capacity challenges, resulting in the decision to pause ChatGPT Plus signups.

The decision to pause new ChatGPT signups follows a week where OpenAI services – including ChatGPT and the API – experienced a series of outages related to high-demand and DDoS attacks.

Demand for ChatGPT Plus resulted in eBay listings supposedly offering one or more months of the premium subscription.

When Will ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Resume?

So far, we don’t have any official word on when ChatGPT Plus subscriptions will resume. We know the GPT Store is set to open early next year after recent boardroom drama led to “unexpected delays.”

Therefore, we hope that OpenAI will onboard waitlisted users in time to try out all of the GPTs created by OpenAI and community builders.

What Are GPTs?

GPTs allow users to create one or more personalized ChatGPT experiences based on a specific set of instructions, knowledge files, and actions.

Search marketers with ChatGPT Plus can try GPTs for helpful content assessment and learning SEO.

There are also GPTs for analyzing Google Search Console data.

And GPTs that will let you chat with analytics data from 20 platforms, including Google Ads, GA4, and Facebook.

Google search has indexed hundreds of public GPTs. According to an alleged list of GPT statistics in a GitHub repository, DALL-E, the top GPT from OpenAI, has received 5,620,981 visits since its launch last month. Included in the top 20 GPTs is Canva, with 291,349 views.


Weighing The Benefits Of The Pause

Ideally, this means that developers working on building GPTs and using the API should encounter fewer issues (like being unable to save GPT drafts).

But it could also mean a temporary decrease in new users of GPTs since they are only available to Plus subscribers – including the ones I tested for learning about ranking factors and gaining insights on E-E-A-T from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

custom gpts for seoScreenshot from ChatGPT, November 2023custom gpts for seo

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