Google down to fourth place in China search market

Search and Maps losing ground to Chinese rivals

Market watchers have placed Google fourth in China's domestic search market thanks to Goverment restrictions undermining the American search giant

Following Google's public disagreement with the Chinese government over censorship in 2011, the company moved its servers to Hong Kong and has since lost ground to several home-grown Chinese search engines.

According to tech site, the Register, searches on Google from within China often return faulty results or errors leading many to choose the self-censoring local search sites.

Statistics released by analytics site last month show Google now sits fourth in the search market with around 4.5 per cent of page views and unique visits.

Chinese search sites Baidu (which handles 73 per cent of Chinese search queries), Qihoo and Sogou all sit above Google in the rankings - with Bing coming in at sixth place.

Meanwhile Google's Maps service has also taken a hit in China, dropping from a 17.5 per cent share to 9 per cent according to figured from Bejing-based Analysis International.

The future doesn't look especially bright either. The market for mapping applications could get tougher following new proposed regulations and a new Google tool that alerts users if a keyword will cause censorship is likely to irk the Communist Party Chinese government.

Via: The Register