The Qihoo 360 Search Engine Experience for Digital Marketing

The Qihoo 360 search engine has become a top contender among search engines in China, focusing on security features and platform familiarity for Western advertisers. Launched in 2012, Qihoo 360 has held its own market share from Baidu, the leading search engine in the Chinese market, and has helped digital marketers target users in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China. 

YIVA Digital presents the growth of the Qihoo 360 search engine and the user experience features that have contributed to its growing popularity in this week’s Chinese search engine introduction.

Qihoo 360 Search Engine Rises in the Chinese Search Market

Prior to August 2012, Qihoo 360 had been known as an anti-virus software provider, but then Qihoo launched its own Qihoo 360 search engine run at first with an integrated-Google search bar and then quickly switched it out for its own.

While Baidu remains the largest Chinese search engine on the market, with 70% to 80% of the shares, the Qihoo 360 search engine took all of 5 days to sky-rocket to the biggest competitor with its ability to take market share from Baidu and despite having 2.52% of market shares, it should not be discounted from the search engine market. In fact, its owner, Zhou Hongyi, has not been shy about discussing this particular focus, prepared to change the monopoly landscape of internet space.

The company has since slowed down in its growth of market share but remains a consistent long-term competitor in the Chinese search engine landscape.

Originally, with the ‘s’ translating to safe and ‘o’ to open, the name was changed in 2015 to Haosou, or ‘easy to search,’ and then to 360 Search in 2016. The company was taken private in 2015, with a deal estimated to be worth USD 9.3 billion.

In 2019, Qihoo 360 search engine and its related technology offerings generated approximately 12.8 billion yuan, or USD 1.9 billion, in total revenue.     

User Experience Makes Qihoo 360 Familiar

While the Qihoo 360 search engine algorithm is not quite publicly known, there is a strong correlation between the effectiveness of SEO and SERP tactics used on Baidu to also rank websites on the top result page of Qihoo.

Moreover, Qihoo 360 has been performing better at indexing webpages faster than Baidu, with a turnaround time of 24 hours. One important feature that digital marketers like is that results from the Qihoo encyclopedia and Q&A sites are high in SERPs.

Qihoo 360 Search Engine Results

Another impressive feature of the platform is that Qihoo 360 search engine is displayed similarly to Google. Those familiar with using Google will find the Chinese search engine easier to utilize for both marketing and search usage.

One clear distinction comes in the form of clearly marked paid versus organic listings. The Qihoo 360 platform highly values the user experiences and believes this leads to better ethical practices, which has indeed worked to establish a loyal user base.

Many common-sense SEO practices yield positive gains for digital businesses and better quality for the Qihoo user base. This can also positively impact digital marketers who choose to use both paid and organic SERP techniques to expand their reach by enabling users to select the search results they feel most comfortable with, adding to the trustworthiness of online businesses that rank on the Qihoo 360 search engine.

Using oneBox for SERP

Like Baidu, Qihoo also provides a SERP layout feature in the form of a third-party widget. Known as oneBox, this service feature gives the advertiser the ability to customize a SERP widget for searches, establishing a large box on the keyword in the search result page.

While digital marketers can utilize this tool to promote a keyword, it also enables them to focus on other keywords if they notice this keyword has been optimized by other businesses. The interface of oneBox can take up a lot of room on the screen, and even higher ranking pages might be pushed far down below.

This particular service is useful for digital marketers to create more specific and focused content on the keywords that will get them noticed rather than compete for keywords with already large volumes on the Qihoo 360 search engine platform.

The Reasons for a Loyal User Base

Several factors have contributed to its popularity with Chinese internet users. The first of these, and what the company Qihoo 360 is best known for, is its focus on security. Leading in anti-virus software and branding itself as the safest search engine on the market, the Qihoo 360 search engine claims to identify and block Trojan horses and other phishing websites more effectively than other market competitors. As many Chinese companies choose the 360 PC anti-virus software, the Qihoo 360 search engine becomes installed as the default search engine, leading those who value security to the company’s search platform.

The second is its partnership with Alibaba in which users can easily compare prices between products and redirects e-commercee commerce to partner sites, such as Taobao and Tmall. 

Finally, the company Qihoo decided to join the immensely popular online gaming sector in collaboration with Sina Weibo, a large Chinese social media platform. Since the move to enter into the world of online games, Qihoo has become one of the largest distributors of games in China and offers browser, mobile, console, and computer games to millions of gamers.

Digital Marketing Focus: Which Search Engines in China to Use?

Among the five top Chinese search engines available with the highest reach, the Qihoo 360 search engine provides several significant digital marketing features that make it useful for Western businesses to target Chinese internet users. Security features and the resulting establishment of a loyal user base ensure that Qihoo can compete with market share giants like Baidu.

Familiar interfaces and search results help Western digital marketers use the platform without extensive learning curves as well as utilize similar SEO and SERP protocols already used on other competing search engine platforms, namely Google and Baidu.

Further, Qihoo 360 has been developing unique in-roads into other areas of the digital user experience which could prove useful in maintaining growth in the search engine industry in the coming years and generate new avenues for digital marketing to unique sections of the Chinese audience.

Get started on incorporating the Qihoo 360 search engine platform into your digital marketing strategy by consulting with the online experts at YIVA Digital. Find the right resources you need to reach one of the largest, most active population of online users in the world and expand into new markets in no time.