The total revenues made by Chinese search services in 2013 is 39.32 billion yuan (about $6.5 billion), a 40.1% increase, according to the latest report by Chinese online data service iResearch. The increase rate is, however, lower than that for the previous year.
Keyword advertising as a percentage decreased too, from 76.2% to 74.1%. Advertising on browser landing page (in the case of Qihoo and Sogou) and directory sites (like Baidu’s Hao123) as a percentage decreased by 1% to 4.5%. Contextual advertising accounts for 13.7%. Non-ad revenues account for 0.3%.
When it comes to market share, Baidu, Qihoo and Sogou are the big three. In 2013, Sogou received strategic investment from Tencent and merged Soso, the search brand previously under the latter. Qihoo also pocketed Youdao which had no more than 0.5% a share in the last couple of years though.
Speaking of search, 2013 is a big year for Qihoo. Launched in August 2012, Qihoo’s search service had grabbed 23% of the market as of December 2013. It gained traffic and users mostly through Qihoo 360 browser landing page and search boxes on other Qihoo services while a small percentage of users visit the site, So.com, for searches. The management said, however, they saw organic increase of traffic on So.com without promoting the separate site.
The company claims the market share reached 24% in January 2014. Former lead of Google China has joined Qihoo as Chief Business Officer recently.