Search and social integration has been a hot topic for years, but its China chapter hasn’t been really taken off, even Baidu did try to integrate Weibo results last year (Baidu took them off from the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) after the regulator tightened the censorship).
The good news is that a local search engine called Yunyun, which positions itself as social search engine, was launched on Dec. 18th ,2012 by providing search results from Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo and Sohu Weibo. Qihoo as quickly as usual announced its partnership with Yunyun, by displaying the latter’s social media results on the right side of its SERP.
This is definitely encouraging, however putting that social results on the right doesn’t look like a long term strategy to me.
First, Qihoo needs to monetize its search engine, and leaving the most important ads space to Weibo results for sure re-echoes its differentiation from Baidu, but is not sustainable in the long run.
Second, Qihoo has been criticized for not having a superb search technology, and partnering with young and smaller search engines like Yunyun is one way Qihoo uses to prepare for its foray against Baidu. This would leads to an acquisition to me in the future (said Qihoo CEO Hongyi Zhou has equity in Yunyun) and by that time consolidation and mixing of the searched social and search results data on the left side is needed.
Kun has 10 years digital marketing experiences in Europe and China. His expertise includes SEO, Social Media, PPC and mobile marketing. He manages the strategy and business development of Jademond Digital. Pior to Jademond, he played provital roles in search marketing agency in Hong Kong, mobile marketing agencies in China and online video portal in Europe.
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