China’s biggest search engine Baidu (BIDU) introduced an option to block its own news aggregation service for users that are looking for news articles, in response to reports that the internet company prioritizes its own content.
Caixin Global reported Monday that Baidu’s Baijiahao platform — which featured republished content from other news agencies — previously appeared at the top of search results and received the most clicks from users who were searching for original news reports.
Journalist Fang Kecheng wrote in January that Baidu is useless as a search engine as it favored less-relevant results from Baijiahao for many search terms, versus informative content.
While Baidu noted that Baijiahao articles account for less than 10% of its total search results, it vowed to improve the service as part of a broader revamp of its search engine that included the removal of 1.1 billion advertisements and 3.4 billion posts containing “harmful” information.
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