SearchSEOBaidu’s New Logo Offering Will Enhance SEO

Baidu's New Logo Offering Will Enhance SEO

A new logo feature from Baidu will enhance searches, but restricts priority to the homepage only. What will this mean for marketers in China?

I would like to share some news from Baidu with you. Although this news is regarded as small in the market, I, on the contrary, believe it will have a big impact on organic search in China. Baidu is currently beta testing a logo feature for its organic search results.

All you need to do is sign up for the Zhanzhang tool (Baidu’s version of a webmaster tool) and subsequently submit a 121×75 pixel logo image of your website. Then, once your website is indexed by Baidu, your logo will be displayed with your homepage snippet on the organic search results page. This feature at this time is limited for business logos only and Baidu has indicated that the logo will be associated with your “HOMEPAGE ONLY.”

Google Ditches Authorship Markup

This is an interesting move, which contrasts with Google’s recent decision to drop the author photo from its search result snippet in order to favor a cleaner and simpler result for mobile searches. Google says author photos associated with a search result do not necessarily increase the number of clicks.  Personally, I like the authorship markup and seeing the author photos on the search result page. I do believe they naturally capture and direct searchers’ attention, and eventually contribute to click-throughs. In fact, an author photo or a company logo can improve the perception of authority of a search result.

Technically speaking, the authorship markup that profiles an author with the associated Web content is not the same thing that Google does in using the Knowledge Graph to enhance the search result via a wide variety of information sources. The content of the Knowledge Graph usually displays a business logo on the search result. Therefore, despite Google dropping the authorship markup, the logo of a business will still be displayed on the search result page through Google+ content or the Knowledge Graph.

Homepage vs. Other Pages

As for Baidu, it has been using its Baike content (Baidu’s version of Wikipedia) for attribution to important businesses, brands, products, or celebrities. Now it is inviting webmasters to add logos directly to associate the website homepage (see screenshots below).

eddi-choi-google-vs-baidu

What has kept my thoughts on Baidu’s new move is that the logo is for the homepage only. In China, Baidu has already given a lot of weight to homepages, regardless of the relevance of the search queries. Now, with this newly added homepage logo feature, it may further indicate that homepages in China will continue to be ranked as the most prominent by Baidu.

I disagree with this algorithmic treatment if Baidu does indeed rank homepages over other important pages. I have been promoting a practice that the homepage shouldn’t been seen as the center or the only entrance of a website. As a matter of fact, any page of a website, whether it is “Our Products” or “Contact Us,” could be ranked as the landing page on the search result subject to search queries. After all, a good user experience is highly tied to relevance.

*You can explore Baidu’s Zhanzhang tool at http://zhanzhang.baidu.com (available in Chinese interface only).

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