Google has been going from strength to strength over the last decade while Baidu may have already reached its peak. These two companies are at the same place in their respective countries but not heading in the same directions.
Baidu’s place in China
When it comes to search, Baidu is at the helm in China. Indeed, the engine takes on 80% of search queries on the internet here and its closest rivals are still light years away when it comes to numbers.
The issue is not so much with the engine but the platforms it uses. Baidu is still mainly used on static computers which have seen sales tumble as tablets and smartphones take up the market.
Google is not overly present in China as a search engine which may explain in part whyBaidu’s part of the market is as big as it is. Now, the greater issue is for the Chinese search engine to find new streams of revenue.
Why is Google so successful? Timing and smart decisions seems to be the clincher when it comes to this mega-company.
Both companies make the vast majority of their revenue through advertisement online. However, Google invested heavily in mobile and other services and is now seeing the rewards of that risk.
Android was purchased in 2005, long before the iPhone hit our shelves and is now the most widely used mobile operating system in the world.
Youtube was bought in 2006 and is now a staple of the global internet and has been promoted to the rank of verb.
How to stay afloat
The problem for Baidu is that it exists in one of the most ferocious and ever evolving environments. It has been noted that the company has dropped value in its shares over the last year despite it being the biggest search engine in the country with the most internet users.
The future will be difficult for Baidu as it will seriously need to develop into a more multi-function platform in the way that Google has managed.
The rise of Baidu maps could be a step in the right direction for a business too heavily reliant on old-school personal computers.