Google’s strategy to be the top search engine in China mainland

Google China

Google has introduced the tips for the Chinese searchers to hot-button terms or characters that could cause the censorship authorities to inspect the searches.

The Internet search giant has integrated a new mechanism this week on its Hong-Kong based search site that will identify the political as well as other sensitive terms that may result in censorship activations by Chinese authorities.

[hana-code-insert name=’StumbleUpon’ /][hana-code-insert name=’Reddit’ /]Take an example of the keyword “carrot” in Chinese, which contains the character for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s surname, a yellow dropdown message appears with this search term i.e. “We’ve observed that searching for ‘hu’ in mainland China may temporarily break your connection to Google. This interruption is outside Google’s control.”

From Google’s blog,

We’ve observed that many of the terms triggering error messages are simple everyday Chinese characters, which can have different meanings in different contexts. For example a search for the single character [] (Jiāng, a common surname that also means “river”) causes a problem on its own, but  is also part of other common searches like [丽] (Lijiang, the name of a city in Yunnan Province), [锦之星] (the Jinjiang Star hotel chain), and [苏移动] (Jiangsu Mobile, a mobile phone service). Likewise, searching for [] (Zhōu, another common surname that also means “week”) triggers an error message, so including this character in other searches—like [杰伦] (Jay Chou, the Taiwanese pop star), [星驰] (Stephen Chow, a popular comedian from Hong Kong), or any publication that includes the word “week”—would also be problematic.

Now, when a user types in a common term like [长] (Yangtze River) from China, Google highlights the problem term [] as they type, and when they press “enter” a drop-down menu appears beneath the search box.

With the help of this strategy, Google would solve the problem of “This webpage is not available” or “The connection was reset,” which users normally see while searching for different keywords in China mainland.

Via: WSJ Source: Google Search blog

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