About Nicole

Nicole Zhang is Associate Professor of Journalism at Xiamen University. At Chinese SEO Shifu, Nicole trains the Chinese copywriting team and acts as PR Writing Coach for several local companies. You can find her on Google+.

An Overview of Popular Online Payment Methods in China

April 21st - by to China SEO Tips, Facts and Everything Else

Latest update: August 31, 2014

How to be paid timely and safely is a major concern to foreign businesses that want to enter China, especially when you own an e-commerce website. Some clients of ours decided to go with credit cards like they did in other countries when they first came to China. This, unfortunately, was a bad choice that shut the door on a large portion of their customers when these customers had just happily picked some items, rushed to the shopping cart and was going to pay.

Quick fact – in 2011, the total number of credit cards in China is around 268 million – that’s around one in five Chinese people has a credit card. It doesn’t sound bad, does it? The thing is, credit card owners actually don’t use their credit cards to shop online. Read on.

What Is Sina Weibo Anyway?

December 2nd - by to China Social Media

Merely a copycat of Twitter?

When it comes to talking about Sina Weibo, many of my foreign friends tend to explain it as “a copycat of Twitter”. This kind of makes sense, since both of them are microblogging platforms, where you can only post short messages of up to 140 words.

However, a simple definition like “Twitter’s copycat” doesn’t really tell what Sina Weibo is, because when you really put your hands on it, you can find so many differences between them.

So what is Sina Weibo anyway?

Sina Weibo = Twitter + Blog + IM + Multimedia

Sina Weibo


First, Weibo is a microblogging platform that works like Twitter. You can post updates within 140 words, insert links in your updates, and follow people you are interested in.

That is exactly the way you play with Twitter.

Baidu Supports Weibo Search Now

November 7th - by to China Social Media

Last weekend, during a random search for some news topic on Baidu, I happened to see something interesting as shown below. It seems Baidu has integrated weibo content into its search results:

We can see Tencent, Netease and Sohu Weibo have started allowing Baidu to access their data to synchronize the weibo content stream.

The Chasing Game Between Sougou and Google (in China)

October 14th - by to SEO Tips and Facts

During the long vacation of the National Day, an interesting piece of news drew the attention of the Chinese search people: the market share of Sougou.com exceeded Google in China’s search market.

According to CNZZ, the leading Chinese web analytics tool: based on user numbers during the vacation, the market share of Sougou was 7%, and Google was left behind by 1%, taking a share of 6%, while the leading search engine Baidu still looked down on the whole market with a 78% share.

Looking at the two major drops of Google in the chart, an interesting conclusion can be drawn: to the Chinese users, Google is a search engine for work, while Sougou is for fun.

How to Get a Renren Fan Page

September 1st - by to China Social Media

Latest update on 2012-05-24:

Getting a Renren fan page is now much easier than when the post below was written. Renren fan page is publicly available. You can simply follow the link to get your own Renren fan page.

1. Pick a page type:

Renren fan page type

2. Verify your contact information including your cell phone number

Your Renren fan page is ready – now you can add content and interact with your fans!


The Renren fan page registration guide below is out of date. Please refer to the information above.

China’s leading social networking site Renren.com has recently made fan page registration open to the public. That means all legal enterprises, universities, governments and other organizations are able to create an official fan page of their own now.

Renren fan page 1

Now You Have Your Website Translated…

May 13th - by to SEO Tips and Facts

Now you already translated your website into Chinese, what is the next step for your Chinese SEO?

My suggestion is to let a Chinese SEO look at it, why?

1. The Chinese “keywords” may not be really your keywords:

Is this how you did it: you sent your Chinese translator the English keyword list and your translator returned a list that contained the Chinese equivalents of your English keywords?

SEO Basics: Enhancement and Reduction of Noise Words

January 17th - by to SEO Tips and Facts

“Keyword density” was a very popular topic ever since the concept of SEO aroused the public interest. Although the importance of keyword density in the whole onsite optimization process has been largely weakened, it can still be a factor that makes you rewarded or punished by search engines.

On the other hand, noise words on a page are the words that may distract crawlers and dim the topics of the page. They are natural enemies of keywords, however, properly manipulating noise words on a page can be pretty beneficial to your onsite SEO effort.

Reduction of Noise Words

Feeling like your page topics are not prominent enough and not wanting to stuff more keywords? Reducing the number of noise words can also have a good effect. Trim your page content and remove unnecessary words unrelated to your page topics. This can help your keywords and key phrases stand out.

Parts of a webpage that are easily recognized as “noise words”:

  • Navigation
  • Sidebar
  • Footer

Enhancement of Noise Words

If you are worried that you may get punished by search engines for inserting too many keywords into your page content, there are some tricks in enhancing the noise words that can reduce the risk.

When I am talking about enhancement of noise words, I am not recommending putting meaningless nonsense in your content to dilute the keywords – actually I mean using noise words that can be easily recognized as noise words and removed by search engines. Like I mentioned above, the navigation, sidebar and footer of a web page are usually considered the “noise keyword zone” so they can be your perfect choice where to place the noise words on purpose.

It requires good writing skills to achieve that so I guess this can be another task to SEO copywriters.

If you like this post, you may also check a previous article titled “SEO Copywriter’s New Homework: Latent Dirichlet Allocation“.