Are .CN Domains Better for Baidu or Chinese SEO?

Posted by Ryan on 2010-12-27

I have met quite a few American and European clients that began their Baidu SEO project requirements with the following:

“1. Help us register a .cn domain.”

This may be also what you think: a .cn domain is better favored for Chinese search engines over .com or .net domains.

My own experience has shown no evidence that .cn domains are preferred by Chinese search engines, on the contrary, in some cases, .com domains usually rank better on Baidu over .cn domains.

Baidu itself also clarified it in their official guide book, informing webmasters and SEOs what domains are recommended:

1. Short domains are easier for users to remember, so the shorter, the better;
2. Use domains that tell the visitors what your sites are about, like including your name and brand in the domain
3. Domain extensions don’t influence Baiduspider’s crawling activities. However, you need to make the domains easier for users to remember, so we recommend using .com, .net or .cn domains.

What’s more, if you really want to register a .cn domain, I have bad news: .cn domain is not available for individuals any more. From 2009, only incorporated bodies are qualified to register .cn domains.

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