Baidu

Why we need to stop repeating the “50% by 2020” voice search prediction

It’s one of the most famous predictions about voice search – “By 2020, half of all searches will be conducted via voice.” It appears on everything from presentation slides to thinkpieces: the ultimate justification for prioritising voice search; the ultimate proof that soon, we’ll be living in a much more vocal world.

The thing about statistics is that so often, as they’re cited and re-cited, their context is lost. And sometimes, that context can be very important to understanding what a statistic actually means.

All the digital news stories you missed this week

Plenty to mull over in digital this week, from the politics of broadband to the ethics of AI, by way of doing rude things with a chicken sandwich.

You couldn’t make it up.

Here are all the digital stories you may have missed this week.

Why do Chinese websites look so busy?

Anyone who has worked with a Chinese company or had to run a campaign in China knows that their design sense is different.

One thing that jumps out the most though, is that their websites look very ‘busy’. Why is that?  

International SEO: A beginner’s skills guide

Or… how to attract the attention of global search audiences in territories that aren’t your own?

So you’ve successfully adopted a brilliant tactical SEO strategy, your business is achieving high organic rankings for all your most desired search terms, traffic is flooding in and life is good. 

You’ve also triumphed with your local SEO and now your business is regularly providing search results that are relevant to searchers based on their current location and creating huge amounts of footfall through your high street doors.

Heck you’ve even smashed through the roof with your off-page SEO efforts, thanks to some stellar social media work, relevant white-hatted link-building and thankless devotion to Google+.

However, if you look closely at your analytics platform, you may see that your audience isn’t just coming from your own country. A small portion could well be accessing your site from anywhere else in the world.

It’s possible to not only make you site more accessible to your global audience, but also with a few processes and techniques, grow that audience substantially.

A marketer’s guide to Chinese search engines

In July the China Internet Information Network Center (CNNIC) published its bi-annual report into the state of the internet in China (report in Chinese).

The report is a good guide into the browsing behaviour of netizens, the common phrase used to describe Chinese internet users.

The report is based on surveys sampling 30,000 Chinese residents older than six, from all of China’s administrative regions.

In this article, I’m going to examine the implications of the report and use the findings to help guide B2B marketers to understand the search engine market in China.

How Clarins is using WeChat, Baidu and Tmall to expand in China

China represents both a huge challenge and a huge opportunity for brands looking to expand into new markets.

Julien Chiavassa is an expert on Chinese ecommerce having been living and working in the country since 2005. 

In 2011 he established Clarins’ first ecommerce store in China and has recently moved to Singapore to become head of digital and ecommerce in APAC.

I caught up with Chiavassa at Demandware’s Xchange ’14 conference to find out more about the challenges facing luxury cosmetics brands in China…

Welcome to digital in China: the people, platforms and players

Given the sheer size of China’s economy and the all-encompassing power of its communist government, it’s easy to think of it as a place where speed and innovation might be stifled.

However the very opposite is true according to Ogilvy & Mather’s head of digital in APAC Barney Loehnis, who gave one of the keynote talks at Econsultancy’s Future of Digital Marketing event.

Loehnis who has been working in Asia for eight years, describes the working environment as “brutal”.

Five important ecommerce trends in China during 2014

How big is Chinese ecommerce going to be in three to five years? McKinsey & Co. has produced a report suggesting that the market will be between US$420bn and US$650bn by 2020.

At the start of a new year analysts like to predict trends for the year ahead. When 2014 began there was a slew of predictions about the ecommerce landscape in China.

Now that it’s half way through the year I want to share with you some trends that are driving ecommerce in China. I’m going to look at how these trends have developed using some of the insights predicted by Chinese analysts.

Is Baidu pay per click advertising the only way into China?

It has been said that, “great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people.” But any discussion about doing business in China cannot help but talk about people.

According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) by the end of 2013 there were 618m internet users in China. This is around 46% of the population. 500m people use mobile devices to connect to the internet and 302m people are e-shoppers.

But I don’t want to focus on discussing people, although it is quite clear that is a barometer of business in China. I want to discuss some ideas as to how to connect with these people.

What ways can brands from outside China reach these people?