Thursday, September 14, 2006

CNNIC Survey

Almost at the same time, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) also released 2006 survey of search engine use in China.

CIC's founder Bowang(Peter) Lu was the main architech for CNNIC survey. The similarities between the two surveys are thus expected. However, consider the resource and official name brand of CNNIC, the new CNNIC report may be more credible.

CIC is a private company and only founded recently by Bowan Lu and the CIC report was undoubtly rushed out to compete with CNNIC report. Anyway, a first research report from a new consulting company lacks the continuation of the CNNIC report

Following are main points from the CNNIC report:

1. Brand name recognition, Baidu 86.5%; Google 64%; Yahoo 38.5%; Sogou(Sohu) 36%; iAsk(Sina) 15%.

2. Among search engines within users' top three choice, Baidu 84.6%(12.8%+); Google 57.5%(2.5%+); Yahoo 23.6%(3.8%+); Sogou 18.3% (5.7%+). All four search engines saw increased usage among users. That is to say, 84.6% of all users are using Baidu more or less and 57.5% of all users are using Google more or less.

3. Among first choice search engines, Baidu continue to gain at 62.1%(14.2%+); Google's share at 25.3%, lost 8%; Yahoo at 4.8%; Sogou at 3.2%; iAsk at 1.2%.
Between cities, Beijing users continue to favor Baidu, while Shanghai users continue to favor Google.
Comments: Beijing has more students, Shanghai has more businessmen; Beijing users are more proud of being Chinese, Shanghai users likes to make more mony may contribute to their choices of search engines.

4. Among all users, multiple search engines users are 76.3%. Google led as second choice at 37.8%, Baidu 26.9%. None of the search engines alone satisfies users.
Comments: There are some discrepancy in this category and category 3. If you combine first choice with second choice, Baidu would come in at 89% and Google come in at 63.1%. The numbers are even bigger than top three choices combined. The data may have some overlap here.

5. High end users (same definition as in CIC report), 46.5% still choose Google, 39.4% choose Baidu.
Comments: This data differs from CIC report which indicated Baidu also beat Google at high end user base.

6. Yahoo users' loyalty saw biggest increase(by definition of users who have not switched their first choice)
Comments: Yahoo should not be any happier here since only a few die-hard(4.8%) left for using Yahoo as first choice.

7. Though many addtional functions are provided by search engines, 72.8% of users are using their first choice only for search function.

In this category, Baidu 70.5%; Google 77.8%; Yahoo 60.5%; Sogou 80.8%.

8. Among search styles, main page used 76.7%; address window used 31%, toolbar used 14.4%. Also 57% users only use search engine main page for search.

9. Among users, only 16.8% of them heard about sponsored search but do not understand the details. As low as 11.6% of them understand the details. More surprising, only 5.1% of users can tell the difference of natural search results and sponsored results.

10. Student led Baidu users at 48.2%. Enterprise users led Google users at 48.5%.

11. 52.7% of users younger than 23 chose Baidu while 19.7% of them chose Sogou, thus make Sogou the most "mature" search engine.
Comments: this is maybe another wrong conclusion since Sogou's user base is also much smaller.

12. Part of reasons of choosing Baidu is the convenient spelling of it's Chinese name.

13. Almost 80% of users do not receive Google's Chinese name Guge well.

14. Users' search engine dependency rated 3.94, but satisfaction only rated 3.69

15. High dependency on search. Among all users, 44.1% of them search multiple times while online

16. 32% of users searched for private data and 29% of those 32% found something. This indicates 9% of users are risking losing privacy online. This category was added to the new survey after the news of AOL private data exposure.

17. two-thirds of users do not want search engines to keep their search records.

18. Complete with Accuracy; habit; and speed are the top three reasons for choosing a search engine.

19. Baidu's bulletin board, Yahoo, Sina, and Sohu's free emails are important factors for user attraction.


Comments: CNNIC's report looks more thorough but much less rosy for Baidu/gloomy for Google than the CIC report.
Addtionally, CNNIC's sample size is almost four times larger than CIC's sample size (4500 vs 1200) also make CNNIC's report more reliable.


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