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.
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.
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 handel 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.
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 hälsa 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.
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: Framtidens sökmotor?
Baidu är enorm, och den är fast besluten att växa ännu mer.
Som marknadsförare kan detta påverka dina övergripande mål.
Ska du nöja dig med Google eller söka en publik i Kina också med Baidu?
Alla skärmdumpar tagna av författare, november 2019
Stoppa Writer's Block, Imposter Syndrome och andra rädslor för innehåll
When writing for content marketing, the process becomes even more challenging. You have no time to sit and wait for inspiration or the muse to help you craft engaging text. You have content plans to follow and deadlines to meet.
That’s when fear arises.
Raise your hand if one of these whispers creeps into your mind when you try to write:
- “A better article exists already. My content is a pathetic copy.”
- “I’m not good enough. I can’t write better than [your guru’s name here].”
- “So much info! Can I structure all of it? I’ll miss something essential.”
- “What should I write?”
- “They won’t like it. I’ll get rejected.”
- “My draft sucks; it’s boring.”
- “Johnny writes 1,000 words every day. I’m too slow.”
Writing fears fall into two categories: doubts about your abilities or concern over others’ judgment of your work. You can tame blank-page syndrome, imposter syndrome, writer’s block, or whatever stops you from creating great content with these seven simple yet effective tricks.
1. Practice therapeutic writing
Therapeutic writing will help prevent blank-page syndrome – staring at the screen with no idea how to start a content piece. Some blame this on a lack of inspiration, while others use grimmer diagnoses like emotional burnout or even workplace depression. Skeptics are less euphemistic, calling it nothing but the fear of writing crap.
To beat it, develop a daily writing habit. You may have heard about Morning Pages – a system that has you write (in long hand) three pages of stream-of-consciousness text first thing in the morning. Following free-writing practices and keeping a diary also fall into this category. If these exercises work for you, great. If not, you can try therapeutic writing.
Keep a journal where you regularly write a letter to a chosen addressee, telling them about daily events that made you angry, sad, anxious, or happy. You may publish these as short sketches on social media.
In the post below, the author at handle @heyamberrae pens a letter to her followers about “experiencing the most extraordinary love” she’s ever known.
How can therapeutic writing help with professional content writing?
Practicing such reflective writing makes you less likely to freeze at that intimidating text cursor. You’ll beat the fear of an imperfect draft and use the “write-first, edit-later” rule we all know (but often forget).
2. Start a ‘clever-thoughts’ notebook
A notebook with clever thoughts is not a collection of quotes from writing gurus and influences, though that could be an inspiring practice.
A clever-thoughts notebook contains the ideas, sentences, and interesting facts you learn during the day from books, websites, etc. An average person has around 6,000 thoughts daily but forgets most by evening, so the notebook will help you remember your best ones. And that list will come in handy next time you need to write text but worry you have nothing to say.
3. Record your voice
Сreative content ideas, topics, and arguments may come to you when you’re nowhere near your laptop or a notebook. Haven’t we all had a brilliant idea caught in the dead of night, only to forget everything by morning?
Other times your thoughts flow freely – until you try to write them down. When you sit down to summon the right words, you forget what you wanted to say.
It’s like this meme, which I tweaked for content writing: You envisioned a real-life dog, but your writing only produces the socket puppet version.
To avoid writer’s block and still get your idea down, record your thoughts when they come to you. Then transcribe the recording or use the voice-typing feature in your writing app. You’ll be able to structure your dictated thoughts into content assets later.
4. Opine on opinions
This trick can help you beat the you’re-not-good-enough writing fear.
After reading an influencer’s thoughts and insights on a topic, think of supporting arguments or counterarguments. Then, write them down as if you were having a dialogue with that person.
The tactic helps you think critically, develop arguments, structure the facts, and manage your information priorities. It serves you in crafting more comprehensive content, whether you write about restaurants, create cause-related posts, or practice guest blogging to reach content marketing goals.
5. Mirror your favorite writer
It stands to reason that content creators read a lot. As my favorite author, Stephen King, says, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
And, as my second yet no less favorite writer Ernest Hemingway said, “There’s no friend as loyal as a book.” Not only can these loyal friends make your content better, but they can help smash the fear of rejection and not being good enough to write.
(Confession: I had both those fears before pitching my first article to the Content Marketing Institute.)
Who is your favorite writer, essayist, or blogger? Do you analyze their writing style while reading? Do you notice language tricks they use?
Mirroring a writer is among the most efficient techniques for developing a writing style. It helps enhance your vocabulary, add a few alternative writing tactics to your content creation toolkit, and conquer your fear of criticism.
(Confession: Once I learned that Stephen King got 30 rejections before his book Carrie was published, there was no room left for the “not good enough” fear.)
6. Read the news and niche resources
The daily habit of reading the news and niche blogs brings benefits for content writers. These include:
- Better cognitive skills and brain functioning
- Enriched vocabulary
- New ideas for content creation
- Writing style inspiration
But please note: This trick won’t work if you read everyone and everything. Make a list of professional resources that inspire and educate you at the same time.
(Confession: I learned the art of web writing from Ann Handley and Jon Morrow. And Henneke Duistermaat’s works help me feel the skönhet of English and make peace with my inner critic. Plus, her list of writing fears inspired me to create this article.)
This tweet from Henneke describes how she used to think of herself as a writing wimp and pondered why she couldn’t be as confident as others. But she discovered that writing fears are normal – the fear signals that you’re out of your comfort zone and writing something that matters.
I used to think I was a writing wimp.
Why couldn’t I be as confident as everyone else?
But I’ve discovered: Writing fears are normal.
Fears are sign you’re out of your comfort zone & you’re writing something that matters.
— Henneke Duistermaat (@HennekeD) 3 november 2022
Vem finns på din lista över resurser att följa?
7. Bo i ett professionellt utrymme
En bra övning för att krossa rädslor och självtvivel för innehållsförfattare är att stanna i det professionella rummet. Delta i seminarier, delta i konferenser eller webbseminarier, besök lokala möten, kommunicera med intressanta människor på sociala medier, etc. Dessa interaktioner kan hindra dig från att nå en platå och förbättra skrivproduktiviteten.
Social delaktighet kan utlösa glada kemikalier i hjärnan för att tillfredsställa behovet av spänning. Denna spänning fungerar som en inspiration att skriva mer och "glömma" bedragarsyndromet och andra skrivarrädslor för ett tag.
Är du redo att säga adjö till din skrivarrädsla?
Rädslor (för en tom sida, misslyckande, avslag, skriva skit eller att inte vara tillräckligt bra) fungerar som små bestar, gnager på ditt skrivandego och hindrar dig från att njuta av innehållsskapandeprocessen.
När du namnger ditt best kan du beväpna dig med ett eller flera av dessa trick för att hjälpa dig att krossa dem.
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