Baidu announced on Mar. 21st that due to its system upgrade in detecting news freshness it will close Baidu News Source database which has been running for more than a decade. This has huge impact in industries like online media, ePR, content marketing and link building.
What is Baidu News Source?
Baidu News Source has been considered a premium label for online media, and major online news portal, traditional press, provincial and municipal government portals are naturally accredited with the label. However, private online publisher, and grass-root website had to try hard to position themselves well in less competitive verticals and create large number of update-to-date news to make themselves into the list. The main reason for doing that is once the site is accepted as Baidu News Source, it will be given priority in page crawling and indexing by Baidu robots, and consequently higher keywords ranking and more clickstream from Baidu news search result pages.
What was the relation between Baidu News Source with ePR and SEO?
It’s positively co-related. ePR agencies tend to distribute their client’s articles via online media with Baidu News Source label, because it has viral impact as other smaller news sites will pick up content from them, and secondly it can boost their client’s brand score on Baidu Index if brand name is mentioned, and lastly it will have SEO impact if there is a inbound link pointing to client’s site in the article.
Why Baidu Drops News Source Label?
Over the years, new forms of journalism and content form have been created and they are winning the popularity over the traditional online news portals. They are mobile oriented (Popular ones like Today Headline 今日头条 and UC are more commonly used as mobile application than a website), fragmented (Individuals publish their own views on Wechat account), and even premium content provider like 得到Dedao, 在行zaihang start to charge viewers for reading their content.
While Sites accredited with Baidu News Source label are filled with advertorials, and visitors are leaving for quality publishers, Baidu realized it needs defend its reputation by reviewing news site and launching Blue Sky Algorithm to clean them. However this seems not enough, during the sports high season, whether it’s in Summer Olympics or during Euro Champion League Finals in May, news sites’ directories are still hijacked (or deliberately) to placed links to sports betting sites.
Since Baidu has upgraded its system in identifying quality and trusted news platforms through AI, it feels more comfortable in dumping its legacy system which requires manually submitting the news site and reviewing by its editors team.