Search Concentration, Bias & Parochialism:
A Comparative Study of Baidu, Google &
Jike’s Search Results from China
Min	
  ...
Google’s Obama
Baidu’s Obama
Jike’s Obama
Chinese Search Engine Market
• 591 million Internet users (CNNIC, 2013)
• 450 million search engine users (CNNIC, 2013)
• ...
Chinese Search Market Share
Baidu,
63.16%
360, 18.23%
Sogou,
10.35%
Soso, 3.62%
Google,
2.88%
Bing, 0.57% Yahoo, 0.48% You...
Baidu It
Baidu: Promotion & Demotion
Propaganda for Sale
Search Concentration, Bias, Parochialism
• Search concentration
•  Tendency to drive traffic to well-established sites
•  ...
Operationalization
• Search concentration
•  Percentage of search results concentrated in top 5 and
top 10 websites (e.g. ...
“Domestic” Sites: Licensing
Data Collection
• Information retrieval
•  Infer search characteristics from search results patterns
•  Challenge of searc...
Query Sample
• Top 20 Chinese Internet events of 2010
•  Tencent vs. 360 Dispute
•  Shanghai Expo
•  Internet celebrity “S...
Distribution of Top 20 Events Search Results
Among Popular Chinese Websites (2011)
Baidu	
  2011	
   Google	
  2011	
   Ji...
Distribution of Top 20 Events Search Results
Among Popular Chinese Websites (2012)
Baidu	
  2012	
   Google	
  2012	
   Ji...
Distribution of 15 General Terms Search Results
Among Popular Chinese Websites (2011)
Baidu	
  2011	
   Google	
  2011	
  ...
Distribution of 15 General Terms Search Results
Among Popular Chinese Websites (2012)
Baidu	
  2012	
   Google	
  2012	
  ...
Online Encyclopedia Services In Search Results (2012)
Top	
  20	
  Events	
  
Baidu	
   Google	
   Jike	
  
Google	
  (0)	...
Distribution of Overseas Search Results from Baidu, Google, Jike
Top	
  20	
  Events	
  (2011)	
  
Baidu	
   Google	
   Ji...
Search Concentration, Bias, Parochialism
• Search concentration
•  More visible in Baidu; in news queries than general ter...
Make Our Means Match Our Ends
“Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys,
which distract our attention from serious
things...
Search Concentration, Bias & Parochialism: Comparative Study of Baidu, Google, Jike
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Search Concentration, Bias & Parochialism: Comparative Study of Baidu, Google, Jike

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Research presentation at TPRC41 on Chinese search engines, George Mason Law School, September 29, 2013

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Search Concentration, Bias & Parochialism: Comparative Study of Baidu, Google, Jike

  1. 1. Search Concentration, Bias & Parochialism: A Comparative Study of Baidu, Google & Jike’s Search Results from China Min  Jiang  (Ph.D.)   Associate  Professor  Of  Communica:on,  UNC  Charlo?e   Affiliate  Researcher     Center  for  Global  Communica:on  Studies,  Univ.  of  Pennsylvania     TPRC  Conference  |  George  Mason  Law  School  |  September  2013  
  2. 2. Google’s Obama
  3. 3. Baidu’s Obama
  4. 4. Jike’s Obama
  5. 5. Chinese Search Engine Market • 591 million Internet users (CNNIC, 2013) • 450 million search engine users (CNNIC, 2013) • Market size: $1.5 billion (iResearch, 2013) • Google exit from mainland China in 2010
  6. 6. Chinese Search Market Share Baidu, 63.16% 360, 18.23% Sogou, 10.35% Soso, 3.62% Google, 2.88% Bing, 0.57% Yahoo, 0.48% Youdao, 0.16%Others, 0.09% Baidu 360 Sogou Soso Google Bing Source: CNZZ, August 2013
  7. 7. Baidu It
  8. 8. Baidu: Promotion & Demotion
  9. 9. Propaganda for Sale
  10. 10. Search Concentration, Bias, Parochialism • Search concentration •  Tendency to drive traffic to well-established sites •  “Rich-get-richer,” popularity over quality • Search bias •  Tendency to favor their own content over others’ •  “Own-content bias” & “other-content bias” • Search Parochialism •  Tendency to direct traffic to domestic sites •  Parochialism vs. cosmopolitanism
  11. 11. Operationalization • Search concentration •  Percentage of search results concentrated in top 5 and top 10 websites (e.g. 50% results from top 5 sites) • Search bias •  Own-content bias: favored inclusion and ranking of search engine’s own content •  Other-content bias: exclusion and lowered ranking of rivals’ content • Search Parochialism •  Percentage of search results from domestic sites •  Presence of operating license issued by Chinese authorities
  12. 12. “Domestic” Sites: Licensing
  13. 13. Data Collection • Information retrieval •  Infer search characteristics from search results patterns •  Challenge of search personalization •  Machine interprets user relationship to reality & select info • Time •  2011 August & 2012 August • Procedure •  Two researchers in southern China city •  Same location, same router, different laptops •  IE browser, disable cookie (except Google CN) •  High overlaps in search results between researchers •  Google 88%, Baidu 90%, Jike 98%
  14. 14. Query Sample • Top 20 Chinese Internet events of 2010 •  Tencent vs. 360 Dispute •  Shanghai Expo •  Internet celebrity “Sister Feng” •  Li Gang’s son’s drunken hit run kills student on campus •  Foxconn suicides … • 15 general terms •  Transportation, military, medicine, blog, entertainment, school, government, news, tourism, fashion, plane ticket, car, law, economy, music
  15. 15. Distribution of Top 20 Events Search Results Among Popular Chinese Websites (2011) Baidu  2011   Google  2011   Jike  2011   1 Baidu  (22)   Sina  (13)   Xinhua  (13)   2 Sina  (21)   Sohu  (13)   QQ  (12)   3 Sohu  (18)   QQ  (10)   Sohu  (11)   4 QQ  (15)   NetEase  (10)   NetEase  (10)   5 NetEase  (15)   ifeng  (9)   Sina  (9)   6 ifeng  (9)   Baidu  (6)     360doc  (4)     7 Xinhua  (6)   People’s  Net  (6)   People’s  Net  (4)   8 Ku6  (5)   Huanqiu  (5)   Huanqiu  (3)   9 Huanqiu  (4)   Ku6  (4)   ifeng  (3)     10 Youku  (2)   Youku  (4)   Gov.cn  (2)     Top 5 Sites 45.5%   30.6%   21.0%   Top 10 Sites 58.5%   44.4%   35.5%  
  16. 16. Distribution of Top 20 Events Search Results Among Popular Chinese Websites (2012) Baidu  2012   Google  2012   Jike  2012   1 Baidu  (32)   Sina  (14)   QQ  (21)   2 Sina  (24)   ifeng  (11)   Sina  (20)   3 Sohu  (18)   QQ  (10)   Sohu  (13)   4 NetEase  (16)   NetEase  (10)   Xinhua  (9)   5 ifeng  (11)   Baidu  (8)   NetEase  (8)   6 QQ  (9)   Google  (8)   Youku  (8)   7 Ku6  (5)   Wikipedia  (8)   ifeng  (5)     8 Huanqiu  (4)   Sohu  (7)   Baidu  (5)     9 People’s  Net  (3)   People’s  Net  (7)   Huanqiu  (4)   10 Xinhua  (3)     Xinhua  (5)   Ku6  (4)   Top 5 Sites 50.5%   29.4%   35.5%   Top 10 Sites 62.5%   44.0%   47.5%  
  17. 17. Distribution of 15 General Terms Search Results Among Popular Chinese Websites (2011) Baidu  2011   Google  2011   Jike  2011   1 Baidu  (43)   NetEase  (9)   Gov.cn  (9)   2 Sina  (6)   Baidu  (8)   QQ  (8)   3 NetEase  (5)   People’s  Net  (6)   Sohu  (8)   4 Hao123  (5)   Sina  ((7)   ifeng  (8)   5 Sohu  (5)   Sohu  (7)   Trends  (6)   6 QQ  (4)   Huanqiu  (5)   NetEase  (5)   7 ifeng  (4)   Hexun  (5)     Sina  (5)   8 Hexun  (2)   ifeng  (4)   Baidu  (4)     9 Huanqiu  (2)   Google  (4)   Hao123  (4)   10 CNTV  (2)   Xinhua  (2)   ifeng  (3)   Top 5 Sites 42.7%   24.7%   29.3%   Top 10 Sites 52.0%   37.3%   43.3%  
  18. 18. Distribution of 15 General Terms Search Results Among Popular Chinese Websites (2012) Baidu  2012   Google  2012   Jike  2012   1 Baidu  (40)   Google  (8)   Baidu  (18)   2 Gov.cn  (11)   Sina  (7)   Sina  (8)   3 Sina  (6)   QQ  (7)   QQ  (7)   4 Huanqiu  (5)   NetEase  (7)   Hudong  (7)   5 Hao123  (4)   Huanqiu  (6)   Sohu  (6)   6 Huanqiu  (4)   Sohu  (6)   NetEase  (5)   7 ifeng  (3)   Baidu  (5)   Hexun  (4)     8 QQ  (3)   ifeng  (4)   Ifeng  (3)     9 People’s  Net  (3)   Wikipedia  (4)   Gov.cn  (3)   10 Xinhua  (3)     Hexun  (3)   Huanqiu  (2)   Top 5 Sites 44.0%   23.3%   30.7%   Top 10 Sites 54.7%   38.0%   42.0%  
  19. 19. Online Encyclopedia Services In Search Results (2012) Top  20  Events   Baidu   Google   Jike   Google  (0)   Google  (8)   Google  (0)   Baidu  Baike  (7)   Baidu  Baike  (5)   Baidu  Baike  (2)   Wikipedia  (0)   Wikipedia  (5)   Wikipedia  (1)   Hudong  (0)   Hudong  (4)   Hudong  (3)   15  General  Terms   Baidu   Google   Jike   Google  (0)   Google  (8)   Google  (1)   Baidu  Baike  (16)   Baidu  Baike  (2)   Baidu  Baike  (13)   Wikipedia  (0)   Wikipedia  (4)   Wikipedia  (0)   Hudong  (0)   Hudong  (4)   Hudong  (7)  
  20. 20. Distribution of Overseas Search Results from Baidu, Google, Jike Top  20  Events  (2011)   Baidu   Google   Jike   WSJ  CN  (2)   Google  (2),  Wikipedia  (2)   Zaobao  (2)   Epoch  Times  (2),  Taiwan  (2)   WSJ  CN  (1)   Google  HK  (1),  Blogspot  (1)   Google  (1)   Youtube  (1),  Zaobao  (1)   German  (1),  Canadian  (1)     1% 7%   2%   Top  20  Events  (2012)   Baidu   Google   Jike   WSJ  CN  (1)   Wikipedia  (8)   Zaobao  (1)   Google  (1)   Wikipedia  (1)   Canadian  (1)   FT  CN  (1)   0.5%   5%   1.5%  
  21. 21. Search Concentration, Bias, Parochialism • Search concentration •  More visible in Baidu; in news queries than general terms •  Chinese commercial Internet giants; state websites • Search bias •  Most palpable in Baidu, less so in Google or Jike •  Online encyclopedia: Baidu Baike, Hudong, Wikipedia • Search Parochialism •  Google more likely to direct traffic to overseas sites •  Decreasing diversity of overseas sites in Google
  22. 22. Make Our Means Match Our Ends “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.” - Henry David Thoreau

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