Google have announced they are no longer willing to censor their results on their Chinese portal google.cn . This comes accompanied with the news that Google have experienced cyber attacks originating from China in an attempt to gain access to human rights activists information via Googles infrastructure. A possibly outcome will be the closure of Google’s Chinese office and / or google.cn portal. This all apparently depends on talks Google will be having with the Chinese government. Google’s blog post and more details can be found here: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-approach-to-china.html
Dramatic news indeed and I’m sure we all will be following developments with interest. However this lead me to thinking about this blogs website address exposure in China via search engines. Not being naive as a) this blog has not been submitted to Chinese search engines and Chinese sites (such as .cn domains as well as .com etc). b) It’s an English language blog! However this is what I found…
The blog’s url is directed listed on Google’s Chinese portal, but not Yahoo’s. It also isn’t listed at Zhongsou or Baidu. Effectively meaning over ten million english language speakers (I know this doesn’t necessarily mean readers) in China will have problems discovering the blog if they are not using Google’s Chinese portal. Obviously there are no doubt other search engines that ‘could’ directly list the blog (that I am unaware of currently) or sites that are listed that have a link to the blog. However if Google was to close their Chinese portal, it will impact visability (unsure if Chinese population will be able to then access google.com directly itself, unless via proxy). This also means I’ve neglected along with thousands others a whole Countries ability to discover a site. Obviously if your business happens to trade with China, this is even more relevant.
Don’t know about you, but I think it’s time I did my homework.