If foreign markets, including China, are vital to your business, it is pertinent that you take note of the changes you are making to enhance Google performance. And the changes you are making should also work well for other major search engines like Baidu (China) and Yandex (Eastern Europe). It is true that Google has the largest search market footprint, and there is an abundance of information about how to optimize one’s site for Google. However, if you optimize your site solely based on Google’s abilities and algorithms, you may risk de-optimizing your site for other search engines. The effects of de-optimization may compromise your site’s performance in other critical markets.

SEO best practices often differ accordingly to factors such as hosting location, domain, and local regulations. To avoid ravaging your organic search traffic from other major search engines, below are some effective ways on how you can implement updates/changes to your site’s SEO practices.

Recommendations for header tags, meta descriptions and meta keywords

Content entered in header, meta description, and meta keyword tags are often used for Google, and they play an equally important role in SEO for search engines like Baidu as well. It is highly recommended that you place your meta description and meta keyword tags in thesection on all pages. For other language or country sites, you can choose to leave these blank. However, you must fill them out on Chinese pages. Don’t forget to include H1 to H6 tags on your pages as well.

Recommendations for AJAX and JavaScript

For starters, Baidu is not apt at indexing and crawling content within AJAX and JavaScript. For example, a newly launched site that uses JavaScript for its site navigation will immediately kill traffic from Baidu. Yandex, on the other hand, have announced that it would start to crawl AJAX and JavaScript, and sent out notices to inform site owners not to block their CSS and JavaScript files. At this point, you should also note that while Yandex can now crawl and index those kinds of content and links, it does not guarantee that pages will start showing up higher in search results. Yandex still measures the value the pages based on their content, incoming links, and other statistical data.

If you need your site’s content to be indexed and crawled by Baidu, consider omitting AJAX and JavaScript wherever possible. If you really insist on using the two, make sure that you create a separate Chinese site with important content in HTML, and static links in the navigation.

Recommendations for content placement

Over the years, major search engines like Google have become really efficient at indexing and crawling entire pages of content. As mentioned, Baidu is not as good, and experts have found that it even re-crawls pages that have been indexed before. Hence, you should always remember to place important content at the beginning of the page (make sure you include keywords too).

If you have plans to update content in the bottom half of the page, you must submit the URLs of those pages to Baidu. Yes, Baidu has its own Webmaster Tools for re-indexing. Yandex has its own Webmaster Tools as well, and they allow you to submit XML sitemaps, review your site’s performance, and take other actions that can help improve your website’s SEO.