I was reading this article about optimizing my site for Baidu which says that while Baidu searches and indexes .com and .net TLDs, it favors .cn domains and ranks them higher compared to the others.

Reading this, I wanted to know if it is better to have a .中国 domain or go with .cn TLD?

Does anybody have any experience in Chinese domains who can give some insight into this?

  • 1
    I have also read that this is a myth? – MrWhite Nov 23 '15 at 9:44
  • I have read this too but the myth #3 talks about a survey of 34 Chinese users preferring .com over .cn TLD. While the author admits that there is room for more survey, he does not talk about what Baidu prefers (.cn or .com). As for myth #4, that's irrelevant now because you can directly buy/own a Chinese domain without involvement of a third-party company that would do it on your behalf (this is how things were like in 2013). – Zishan Nov 23 '15 at 11:49
  • I wonder if the survey was conducted off a .com domain, in which case I would assume that the Chinese users that participated in the survey might have been users of websites in English language. I don't see a tool for Baidu that's similar to Google Trends, but I would lean towards Chinese users searching in their own language and hence .中国 domains having preference over .cn (more Chinese keywords that can fit into that TLD perhaps). – Zishan Nov 23 '15 at 11:52
  • This is what I know regarding #3. Chinese companies were running away from .cn sites for a while (may still be - who knows?) and opting for .com sites hosted in the U.S. (or elsewhere similar) not only for international sites, but for Chinese companies operating in China for China. There were a few reasons for this: one, .cn sites had a poor reputation for spam and other issues; two, hosting companies and networks were not as good; and three, it was a perceived quality issue with searchers who felt that a Chinese company with a .com over a .cn site was much more serious and can be trusted. – closetnoc Nov 23 '15 at 15:54
  • Interesting. Upon reading your comment, I quickly went through the top 100 sites in China (according to Alexa rankings) and noticed that only 25% sites use a .cn domain. I guess Alexa does not rank sites with character sets other than Latin, so there were no sites with a .中国 TLD. – Zishan Nov 23 '15 at 17:30

I can't tell much about Baidu's ranking algorithms. But I've been living in China for quite some time already. During all these years, I did not see much of .中国 domains in use. Neither did I see them within the first ranks of Baidu on either search conducted so far. I'd suggest going for .cn, if your content is about to be in simplified Chinese, and .com if you represent an international company.

That is what people are used to and expect browsing the web in China.

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