Baidu Search Results Go Social
A good question to ask to their staff as China’s leading search engine has recently been testing a new social feature that clearly reminds me of Google +1 feature and follows Google's announcement about search results getting more personalized.
Baidu Social Feature
As you can see in the above screenshot, the social feature is present in Baidu search results.
For instance, if I search 'Baidu' in Chinese, the social feature that consists of a thumb up icon very similar to the Facebook Like button is displayed next to the URL in the SERPs.
Next to the icon, you can also see a number (more explanation below).
Please note this social feature is still being tested and doesn’t appear for every search result.
A Way to Boost Baidu Social Share?
Contrary to Google that owns Google+, Baidu doesn’t have its own social network excluding its personal blog service known as Baidu Hi (Baidu Space).
According to an official post on Sina Weibo, the number that appears next to the thumb up icon indicates how many times a web page has been shared using Baidu Share, a social sharing tool that the Chinese search engine company launched last summer.
However, Baidu had bigger ambitions for its social bookmarking service. That is why testing this social feature may mean that Baidu wants to boost the adoption of Baidu Share in the future.
A New Ranking Factor for SEO?
In terms of SEO, it’ll be extremely important to monitor when Baidu largely releases this new social feature. I think it makes no doubt that Baidu will eventually go to this direction.
What will be very interesting to see is how this social feature will affect rankings. As Google uses its +1 button, Baidu may use its social sharing tool as a positive ranking factor.
In short, it may mean that the more your website is shared on Baidu Share, the better your rankings are.
Stay tuned for more explanation about SEO for Baidu!