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Google Layout in China

Alex Christie

26 March 2008

Google’s homepage in China looks a bit different to the one that we know and love in the UK.  If you check it out you may be shown the normal page because of Google detecting where in the world you are and showing you what it thinks you want to be shown.  Anyways if you can’t see it don’t stress as there is a screenshot of it below:

Layout_2
So yeah apart from the obvious language difference it is hard to see where I am coming from.  What is different is below the search box.  Basically there are a number of animated buttons that expand when the mouse moves over them. 

From the left these are:

  • Videos – which unlike Youtube seems to be working today
  • Images – works as you would expect
  • News – most stories coming from the biggest local news site.
  • Maps – Works well, but I would love if there was an English option
  • Blog Search – Good, but almost all of the western blog providers are blocked including Google’s Blogger
  • Frebang – This is kind of like Google trends on a page.  It shows the most popular bands, TV shows, movies, stocks etc from a search perspective.  Would be cool to get something similar in the UK
  • Daohang – This is a portal page that lets users jump to popular Chinese internet destinations including their big competitor Baidu.  This is an interesting piece of functionality as it is really different from Google’s normally clean and simple interface. 

This all shows that Google is willing to make local adjustments to it’s product in order to be competitive.

When I arrived in Shanghai last year this page was being used as a test for www.g.cn.  Google had set up www.g.cn as research had shown that the word Google did not translate easily into Chinese and so a number of users just weren’t getting through to the site.  Now www.g.cn is just a redirect to www.google.cn.  It is interesting to see that this interface has now made it onto the normal site.

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