The Future of Chinese Search Engines
- On July 23, 2019
The market value of those Chinese search engines, Sogou, Baidu, and 360 are all falling, which is obviously not good news. If the market of China search engine remains the same, then the market value of major searches should be the same in total, but it is not. A possible explanation is that the search engine market has been eroded by other medias and/or new business models.
This has caused search engines to fall into collective anxiety. These smashing search engines in the PC Internet era have become increasingly weak after entering the mobile Internet era. Search traffic has become a thing of the past, and search engines have real survival anxiety.
How to increase revenue? One of Sogou’s answers is the flow of information. In the past few years, the Internet has changed from traffic to king to content, and information flow advertising combined with high-density content is now a big cake. The information flow advertisement is more moderately embedded, and the form is more acceptable to the user. The content can also better meet the advertising needs of the advertiser, and become a new advertisement form suitable for the mobile Internet era after the search advertisement.
Sogou’s competitors in the search field, Baidu, 360 search and Shenma search are all using the information stream to retain users, using the huge traffic brought by the search, the user’s search results reach their own information content, with the help of information flow driven Content retains users.
Advertising revenue from information flow has become the main source of Baidu’s revenue. Last year, Baidu changed the company’s slogan from “Baidu, you know” to “something to search, nothing to look at”, reflecting its current strategic layout center biased information flow.
Today’s information flow battle, after nearly five years of competition, there is no sign of any stop, the major Internet companies are constantly increasing their influence in the information flow field. At this time, the content ecological field has already had today’s headlines, Tencent Penguin, Baidu Baijia, Ali Big Fish, and Fun Head, which occupy most of the market.
Today’s headline of the thousand yuan plan, Qingyun plan, the Penguin’s 10 billion support, the 100 million share of the 100 million, are strongly support the platform creators. Sogou is far less inferior to other platforms in terms of subsidies. In the current situation where multiple platforms are provided by authors, Sogou is obviously not attractive. When the head-to-media platform model has matured, Sogou has not enough funds to subsidize content creators, and it is really difficult to incite the industry.
Is the search engine really dead? Search engines won’t die, just the road becomes harder to go.
In the face of rapidly shrinking plates, search engines are also looking for new markets outside of various vertical APP areas. Although there are a large number of medical platforms in the search application market, there is currently no medical super APP. The two medical search crisis events that broke out before Baidu are enough to show that people have a strong demand for rigidity in the field of medical information search.
The search engine and APP on the mobile side, although the product attributes are different, the search + content, and the content + search two different development modes will eventually meet in a narrow way and become a traffic dispute between the families.
This era is changing fast. It is not the peers who beat you, but the changes of the times. The lack of growth on the PC side has forced search engines to move to the mobile side. Although the current search engine pattern is the largest share of Baidu, the characteristics of mobile search have reduced it from a monopoly giant to an APP, and returned to the starting line. Can dominate the market. The mobile search market looks great, but how to do mobile search has not yet had a clear commercial prototype, and there are many variables in the competition for mobile search.
Larry Page, co-founder of Google, once said that his original intention of doing search engines was to let search engine users leave Google and go where they want to go as soon as possible. In contrast, the current mobile search market is trying to retain users in their own products.
Is a single big or a hundred schools of contention? What users need is a search engine that can span a multitude of competitive barriers, a richer and more precise search engine, or a vertically segmented app that specializes in a certain field? Perhaps under the market’s needs and natural choices, the search engine industry will be forced to evolve into new forms.