One of the things that this blog has been saying for some time is that (1) Baidu is going to expand its market share rather than decline and (2) Google is a good bet because it has richer users.
Well the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has come out with another survey showing just this.
Baidu is up again to 74.5% of the search engine share. Although this looks close to the peak, we have reason to believe that the market share will still increase.
However the interesting story is Google. TradingMarkets.com report that among educated, older and more prosperous users Google is almost drawing even – which would start to explain why their return on investment tends to be higher than Baidu.
Another post by our colleagues at SEO4China shows a similar story with a reasonably strong showing by Google in tier one cities, average in tier 2 cities and nothing in tier 3 cities. (They also pick up the importance of the high earners). Now as the internet goes more blue collar and rural over time, this could mean that Google will lose even more market share.
The problem for Google is that they are simply not prepared to become like Microsoft in the UK or US, a good return on investment but not the market leader. As we’ve said before, a little less chest beating and more bean counting will do Google well.