How Qihoo 360 Search Engine is Going to Threaten Baidu
Do You Know Qihoo 360?
It's a Chinese software company specialized in the safety use of the Internet. It is especially known for its antivirus 360 Safeguard (more than 400 millions users) being the leader in China and its web browser 360 Browsers (almost 300 millions users) being second behind Internet Explorer.
Its website hao.360.cn is very AOL-like (meaning a lot of links directing to the main Chinese websites) and has a lot of traffic as it is the default landing page for the browser.
What's New for Qihoo?
Qihoo 360 launched its own search engine in public beta on August 16th : 360 Search. On so.360.cn, you get pretty much the same features as those on Baidu but you also have access to a software's downloading platform.
Qihoo Search is now the default search engine on its landing page and on its browsers (even on smartphones).
What about Google and Baidu then?
Before it releases its newest software, Qihoo was using another search engine, namely Google! It's a tough decision for the American company who was already having trouble in China as they moved in Hong Kong in 2010 and lost market share.
In a market dominated by Baidu, which holds 78,6% of the Search Engine market shares, Google (15,7%) and Sogou (basically almost the remaining percentage), Qihoo will have to find a spot to settle down. It sure has two major assets : its landing page and its browsers.
What Changes Can One Expect on Search Engine Market?
The Chinese Search Engine market will probably change. Will Qihoo manage to attract enough users and keep those they already own by default?
There will probably be collateral damage on Sogou that has the same business model as Qihoo. It already affected Google - they lost a lot of traffic not being the default search engine on Qihoo landing page already. And Baidu probably won't be as big as before.
The Question is : "how much"? There is already a rumour saying Qihoo 360 Search would hold 10% of the market share. Even if it's highly plausible, we'll have to wait to know the actual figures. There are also experts saying that the non-Qihoo users are very unlikely to switch to 360 Search as Chinese internet users don't like to change their habits.
Anyway, we know for sure it's going to be a major actor on the SEO market anytime soon.
Qihoo Already Playing Tricks?
Apparently, not everybody likes Qihoo 360. A few weeks ago, they were proven overestimating the traffic on their landing page by the well-known hacking activists, Anonymous. That way, they could sell the links on their website a higher price.
Only 8 days after launching its new service, they would be playing tricks to Google...