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Hong Kong Search Engines

Local Hongkongers can use these 10 Hong Kong search engines below, which are available for Traditional Chinese and/or English language searches.

For online marketing / online marketers, search engines (whether of Hong Kong or the whole world) have always been one of the free traffic sources to get new users/customers for local businesses.

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Google HK

Google Hong Kong

Google certainly is the search engine with the most users in the world, and also in Hong Kong.

Google’s history

Google were officially founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998.

But in 1996, that was when the first version of Google (which was known as Backrub) was launched. The search engine ranked web pages based on the backlinks that were linking to the web pages. This search algorithms were based on PageRank.

Citations and/or backlinks

When ranking web pages is based on backlinks, it is very much a system with citations (or voting).

Your website authority can be determined by the number of backlinks, the number of unique domains, and the quality of the backlinks and domains that are linking to your site.

Updates of Google’s search algorithms

To provide the best possible quality of organic search (SEO) results, and to keep up-to-date with combating web spam, Google has been updating the search algorithms many times over the years.

Google has made many minor and major search algorithmic updates including Google Dance (which is believed to be a major update in the very early years).

Updates of Google’s search algorithms include:

  • BERT (2019)
  • Medic (2018)
  • Mobile Speed (2018)
  • Mobile-first Index (2018)
  • Google Jobs (2017)
  • Intrusive Interstitial Penalty (2017)
  • Mobilegeddon (2015)
  • RankBrain (2015)
  • Authorship Removed (2014)
  • Https/SSL (2014)
  • Pigeon (2014)
  • Hummingbird (2013)
  • In-depth Articles (2013)
  • Payday Loan (2013)
  • Domain Crowding (2013)
  • Exact-Match Domain (EMD) (2012)
  • DMCA Penalty (2012)
  • Penguin (2012)
  • Ads Above the Fold (2012)
  • Freshness (2011)
  • Query Encryption (2011)
  • Pagination Elements (2011)
  • Google+ (2011)
  • Schema.org (2011)
  • Panda (2011)
  • Caffeine (2010)
  • Rel=Canonical Tag (2009)
  • Google Suggest (2008)
  • Universal Search (2007)
  • Supplemental (2006)
  • Big Daddy (2005)
  • Nofollow (2005)
  • Florida (2003)
  • Boston (2003)

How to do Google SEO?

If you focus on optimizing your website for higher Google organic search ranking, you must register Google Search Console, and add and verify your site.

Google Search Console offers many data reports, and informs you about your site’s technical and on-page SEO issues. Refer to:

Google Hong Kong’s official web address URL is:

https://www.google.com.hk/

Yahoo! Hong Kong

Yahoo Hong Kong

Yahoo! has been well-known as one of the most popular portal site for many years, and always has a Yahoo! Hong Kong version of portal site.

Yahoo! Directories (in the past)

Yahoo! was founded in 1994 by David Filo and Jerry Yang.

The very first version of Yahoo! was a web directories.

  • Yahoo! Directories was a collection of many websites (on the Internet at that time), and was managed by human editors.
  • Yahoo! Directories has been free for users to find useful information.
  • A paid listing on Yahoo! Directories would cost US$300.
  • You could submit your website as a free listing, but it may take a very long time before your site appears in Yahoo! Directories.

Other Yahoo! services

Yahoo! used to have many different online services including Yahoo! Games, Yahoo! Jobs, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Blog, etc.

At that time, Yahoo! had acquired Overture.com (formerly called Goto.com) which is recognized as the most successful ancestor of pay per click search engine, before Google AdWords took over as number one paid search platform.

Refer to the difference between SEO vs PPC.

You can access Yahoo! Hong Kong with the following web address URL:

http://yahoo.com.hk/

YouTube Video Search

YouTube

YouTube is a video search engine (in the form of a website and a mobile app) which is made available for free by Google.

Google did not develop YouTube (as a web product) from the beginning, but Google has paid US$1.65 billion to purchase YouTube in 2006.

The world’s second most popular search engine

Nowadays YouTube is the mostly used video search engine in the world, and is the number two search engine (after Google).

How do people find videos on YouTube?

  • YouTube has algorithms to recommend relevant videos to users who are browsing on YouTube.
  • Many users also enter keywords to actively search videos on YouTube.

YouTube’s web address URL:

https://www.youtube.com/

Bing HK

Bing HK

Bing is the official search engine owned by Microsoft, and is officially named Microsoft Bing.

The launch of Bing

Microsoft has always been famous for being the developer of Microsoft Windows (the operating systems of home PCs) and Microsoft Office (the office software), but Bing is a search engine program developed by Microsoft using ASP.net.

Microsoft announced the launch of Bing search engine on 3 June 2009. The launch of Bing was to replace the Microsoft’s previous search engine Live Search.

Organic search results? Bing? Yahoo?

If you do keyword searches on both Yahoo! and Bing search engine, you will find that both search engines display identical organic search results. The reason is that the search results of Yahoo! has been powered by Bing’s search algorithms.

How to do Bing SEO?

Regarding improving your website’s Bing organic search ranking, you can refer to this Bing Webmaster Tools Tutorial. Bing’s official SEO tool can report important data and issues about your website.

Microsoft Bing search engine’s web address URL:

https://www.bing.com/

MSN HK

MSN HK

One of the second-tier search engine (for Hongkongers) is the MSN portal site.

MSN portal site

As a portal site, MSN has always made a keyword search box available on the MSN Hong Kong portal site.

MSN is the abbreviation of Microsoft Network, meaning the collection of web applications and web content services.

On the MSN portal site:

  • Many software were made available for download (or even free download).
  • Free blogs / free web spaces were offered.
  • News information are/were offered for free.

MSN Messenger and Hotmail

In the desktop era, almost everybody were using MSN Messenger (as instant messaging software on PC) and Hotmail (free web mail program). Both software and other free software were made available to all Internet users through the MSN portal site.

MSN Hong Kong’s web address URL:

https://www.msn.com/zh-hk

Duckduckgo

Duckduckgo

Duckduckgo is another second-tier search engine.

Source of information

Duckduckgo uses its own web crawler to collect web pages information from about 400 sources in the Internet, including Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, etc).

For example:

  • Duckduckgo gets user reviews information from reviews sites such as Yelp.
  • Duckduckgo retrieves information about locations, directions, etc from Bing Maps.

Information privacy protection

When doing keyword searches on Duckduckgo, the privacy of your information is protected.

It is because Duckduckgo has been keeping the simplest way to run a search engine on the web.

Google/other search engines collect your personal information

When you open Google.com (and usually other search engines) on your web browser (e.g. Google Chrome), and enter a keyword search (on Google), the web browser automatically sends information about your computer, such as IP address, user agent, date and time of your search, etc. This data together creates a unique identifier in the form of a web browser cookie.

When you are logged in to your Google account (or Gmail), and do a keyword search on Google, the above information is captured, alongside with more information including your name, email address, etc.

This way, all your previously searched keywords (i.e. queries) with your identify can be retrieved by Google.

Google collects the information for purposes including:

  • Google can analyze and improve organic search results.
  • Google can target and/or re-target you with AdWords ads and other online ads (e.g. Google AdSense network) with higher relevance, hoping more users will end up clicking the ads.

Your personal information is protected with Duckduckgo

When you open Duckduckgo.com on your web browser (e.g. Google Chrome), the web browser automatically sends information about your computer, such as IP address, user agent, etc. But Duckduckgo does not store this data.

When using Duckduckgo’s search engine, all your previous keyword searches are not stored in a personally identifiable way.

Duckduckgo’s web address URL:

https://duckduckgo.com/

Ask

Ask search engine

Ask is another 2nd-tier search engine, and at the same time is a search engine from the old days.

  • Ask was used to be called Ask Jeeves.
  • Ask was a natural language search engine, combined with human editing, to produce the best matches for users’ keyword searches.
  • Ask used clustering to sort organic search results and rank search results according to popularity.

Ask search engine’s web address URL:

https://www.ask.com/

Google Images

Google Images HK

Google Images is Google’s official image search engine.

The web address URL of Google Images (Hong Kong):

http://images.google.com.hk/

Pinterest

Pinterest

Pintrest is an image search engine, and users can search through Pinterest database with their visual image memories.

Google ranks web pages with algorithms. Pinterest does not sort and rank search results the same way.

How does Pinterest sort and rank information (images)?

Pinterest sorts and ranks images with Pins and Boards that are created by each user who has contributed on Pinterest.

For example, many users on Pinterest search for food recipes, stylish photos, etc.

How can you use Pinterest?

If you like a photo/image that you have found on Pinterest, you can Pin the photo, and add the photo to your Board.

Pinterest’s web address URL:

https://www.pinterest.com/

Timway

Timway Hong Kong

Timway is a search engine that collects Hong Kong websites, and fully supports searching in English and Traditional Chinese languages.

Timway Hong Kong search’s homepage URL:

http://timway.com/

Bonus: Baidu

Baidu homepage

Google is the number one most popular search engine in almost all countries in the world. One exception is in Mainland China where Baidu is the number one search engine.

Use Baidu, if your requirements are to search for:

  • Chinese websites hosted in Mainland China.
  • Web pages that are written Simplified Chinese language.

Baidu’s homepage:

https://www.baidu.com/

Conclusions

We have introduced 10+1 search engines that are suitable for the use of Hongkongers.

Major search engines:

  • 1. Google HK
  • 2. Yahoo! Hong Kong
  • 3. YouTube Video Search
  • 4. Bing HK

Second-tier search engines:

  • 5. MSN HK
  • 6. Duckduckgo
  • 7. Ask

Image search engines:

  • 8. Google Images
  • 9. Pinterest

Local search for Hong Kong based websites:

  • 10. Timway

China market specific search engine (in Simplified Chinese language)

  • Bonus: Baidu

I have written a Chinese version of this article (about Hong Kong search engines).

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