Blog / Optimizing Websites for Shenma Mobile Search Engine: Best Practices and Strategies

Optimizing Websites for Shenma Mobile Search Engine: Best Practices and Strategies

In this basic guide, we delve into Shenma and explore how you can optimise for website speed and compatibility to maximize visibility on this search engine.

What is Shenma?

Shenma, meaning "mythical horse" in Chinese, is a mobile-focused search engine launched by Alibaba Group in collaboration with UCWeb. It aims to provide fast, efficient, and relevant search results tailored specifically for mobile users.

Launched in April of 2014, Shenma has rapidly gained traction as one of the top search engines in China, covering 80% of mobile users.

Who uses Shenma?

Shenma is primarily used by mobile users in China. According to the statistics from Similarweb, Shenma receives more than 120 million monthly visits.

Shenma Traffic Data from Similarweb

Interestingly, 83.66% of them are from China, 4.46% from the United States, 2.73% from Taiwan, 2% in Hong Kong, 1.25% in Singapore, and 5.9% in other countries.

Search Engine Market Share in China. Data from Statista

As of February 2024, Shenma is ranked 4th most preferable search engine in China, with 3.04% of market share, just behind Baidu, Bing, and Sogou.

What are the features of Shenma?

E-commerce Focus

Search Engine Market Share in China. Data from Statista

Catering to online retail, books, and apps, Shenma integrates with the UC Browser to prioritize e-commerce results. Shenma boasts a vast indexed collection of buyer reviews, verifications, and reference data, aiding Chinese consumers in making informed purchasing decisions within the search engine results pages (SERP).

Mobile Ads

Shenma mobile search ads. Image from Nanjing Marketing Group

Upon completing a search on Shenma, users encounter a results page dominated by mobile ads linking to individual product pages. Advertisers can benefit from large paid ad spots to promote products and apps.

How does Shenma SEO and Shenma SEM Work?

Goods listed on Taobao and Tmall, Alibaba Group's platforms, receive priority in Shenma search results. Thus, promoting products on these platforms to Shenma’s SEO strategy

On the other hand, SEM in Shenma offers different ad formats catering to different campaign goals.

Shenma advertisement from iHerb

Paid Search appears prominently at the top of search results, making them highly visible to users actively searching for relevant information. Shenma Brand Zone ads appear at the top of search results and feature prominent branding elements, such as logos, images, and slogans. Lastly, Brand Zone with App Download is an extension of Shenma's Brand Zone format.

What are the optimization tools for Shenma?

To effectively optimize websites for Shenma, businesses can leverage a variety of tools. These include:

Shenma Webmaster Tool

Register as a webmaster on the website using this link: Only an email address is needed; no phone number required.

Shenma webmaster tools. Image from Autoveille

Dragon Metrics

Dragon Metrics is an SEO platform designed for global search engines, including Google, Baidu, and Shenma.

This platform allows users to monitor keyword rankings, run automated site audits, track backlinks, conduct keyword research, and create custom reports.

How can you optimize speed and compatibility to maximize visibility on Shenma?

Most people experience slow load times in China on websites built for global audiences. This is because websites do not perform the same in China as they do in other regions.

A slow or broken website is correlated with low indexability - or worse yet, being left out on search engines.

Websites can still appear broken even if they aren't inaccessible simply because -

i) They take much longer to load in China than when they load elsewhere (i.e. 30 seconds+)

ii) Critical assets (e.g. images, and videos) fail to load

The main cause of these issues is building these websites with code, plugins and third-party resources that are not compatible with the digital ecosystem in China.Global websites are also not built infrastructural set-up optimised for China out of the box.

This is where Chinafy comes in.

Chinafy achieves near-native performance by combining code-based optimization with a China-friendly infrastructure

Using a highly tuned complex integration of both Software (i.e. Code) and Infrastructure (i.e. Hardware), Chinafy can be bolted onto any site.

Combining a multi-load-balanced infrastructure with intelligent China-specific resource optimisations,

Ready to optimise your website for China? Click Get Started to evaluate your website with Chinafy

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