China, The Internet, and That Pesky Great Wall

I’ve been doing some research on Chinese Internet usage and even Chinese SEO. At Docstoc we offer content in a variety of languages (some 50+). As you can probably imagine, our English content makes up the bulk of our traffic today. However I think now is the time for content sites to focus on their foreign language content as well.

Starting with China, let’s take a quick look at some of the challenges and trends developing over there.

A Billion Bikes on The Highway

Source: China Internet Network Information Center

It’s not surprising that China recently surpassed the United States in terms of Internet Users. Given their huge population and shifting classes, more and more residents are coming online. Imagine how high this will be in 5 years.

Google Is Not Your Master There

Search Engines are the main traffic driver for any good content site. So it’s interesting to learn that Google does not dominate the search market in China. Instead its Baidu, a Google like experience that has been tailored for the region. For me this raises all types of questions, some about basic SEO tactics and of course the censorship issue.

Attack of the Clones

Sure they have Web 2.0 in China, hell they already cloned many of your favorite sites. Every great idea Silicon Valley creates gets reborn here with a Chinese twist. For example, their LinkedIn is less about six figure blue shirts and more about networking through events and online photos. Having a good (and appropriate) presence on these sites is going to be important.

If anyone has any experiance with China online I’d like to hear about it in the comments or my mailbox.

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Sean Percival

Sean Percival is an American author, investor and entrepreneur.