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Baidu Advanced Search Capabilities

Baidu is most popular Search Engine in China with more than 50 % of shares. It's one of the most influential information providers for the most populated country in the world. Baidu searches are accurate and fast but also censored. Today we will dive into Baidu Advanced Search capabilities.

Simplest Query

The most straightforward Query in Baidu works like boolean AND operator. Moreover, Baidu looks for particular term everywhere: site title, site content (body), meta information, URL etc. Example of move to west simple query: Baidu Simple Query

Exact phase.

All Search Engines used in SEQE can search with exact phase. In all of them, you put your query between " ". Example of move to west query as an exact expression: Baidu query with exact phase.

Looking for any of words.

Baidu allows you to look for any of the words - just use | as boolean or operator. When most search engines use the OR as the keyword for this operator and sometimes accept |, Baidu is significantly different in this aspect. Only the | is interpreted as boolean or operator, OR is not. Baidu search with or

Exclude searches with a particular word.

To exclude a specific word from Baidu results you can use - operator before the word. You can group it with | operator. Baidu query with excluded word.

Narrowing results for domain or site.

Baidu has both options. There is little difference between them. Imagine that we have to sites. One of them is my.example.com and second is example.com when you use the domain search both sites will be included. But when you narrow your searches to example.com with the site operator, there won't be results from my.example.com.

The following table represents this relationship:

domain:example.com site:example.com domain:my.example.com site:my.example.com
example.com YES YES NO NO
my.example.com YES NO YES YES

Filetype

Baidu is no different when it comes to providing the ability to narrow a search to particular filetype. According to Baidu documentation and SEQE tests you can search for following file types:

  1. PDF - Printable document format.
  2. DOC - Microsoft Word Document.
  3. XLS - Microsoft Excel Document.
  4. PPT - Microsoft PowerPoint Document.
  5. RTF - Rich Text Format.
  6. All

All is a unique argument for Baidu. It means that you are looking for any file that is not a webpage. Note that technically web pages are also files, so you can translate it as all filetypes that are not a webpage.

There also not documented formats that might works like docx - the newer form of the doc. Baidu search with filetype.

Words in Title.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the most basic builder of nearly all websites. There is a separate tag for page title with visible name <title>. The title element:

  1. defines a title in the browser toolbar
  2. provides a title for the page when it is added to favourites
  3. displays a title for the page in search-engine results

You can search for the site with a particular title with intitle: operator.

Baidu search with 'intitle' operator.

Search for a term in URL.

URL means Uniform Resource Locator - in most cases websites. All search engine optimization experts know that URL matters. For example seqe.me/blog/post/7-games-you-can-play-on-Google/ is easier to understand for both indexing machine and human than seqe.me/b/p/1349876zcv. URL's are so important that most popular search engines implement dedicated search operator. Baidu uses the common name inurl:.

Usage example:

Baidu search with 'inurl' operator.

Baidu Time Machine.

Baidu can query websites modified/indexed in last:

  1. Day
  2. Week
  3. Month
  4. Year

There is also a possibility to provide own time. Unfortunately, there is no simple form of it. To maintain compatibility with other search engines, SEQE also doesn't offer it. The URL query parameter responsible for this is lm=NUBMER_OF_DAYS. There is sample query https://www.baidu.com/s?wd=stephen+hawking&lm=700 Try it: https://www.baidu.com/s?wd=stephen+hawking&lm=700

Controlling a number of results per page results.

Baidu allows you to narrow or broaden some results from 1 to 50. Numbers lower (0 or negative) or higher ( >50 ) will be ignored.

SEQE Advanced Baidu Form allows you to use one of a predefined value. You can also use own - add rn=Result_Number to your query parameter in search URL. Sample Query URL looks like https://www.baidu.com/s?wd=Great+firewall+of+china&rn=36 Try it: https://www.baidu.com/s?wd=Great+firewall+of+china&rn=36

Languages

Baidu is Chinese search engine, and it supports only two languages when it comes to narrowing results to:

  1. Traditional Chinese
  2. Simplified Chineses

Well, it's awkward, but for Company that has bigger domestic market than the USA with Europe combined it might make sense.

Advanced Queries.

Baidu allows making advanced subqueries. With ( as start and ) as an end. Note that default boolean operator between each advanced search operators is AND. So to make robust queries you have to use | that is boolean OR.

Baidu advanced multilevel query search.

Summary.

To leverage Baidu advantages over other search engines, you must be fluent in Mandarin :). Still, Baidu search capabilities are impressive - trust this article is the only tip of the iceberg.

All of the advanced capabilities are available here - Advanced Baidu Form.

To make an advanced (multilevel) query, please use the SEQE Interactive Builder .

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