Chinese search engine giant Baidu has sued a search engine optimization company for alleged unfair competition, according to an April 22 report by Beijing Daily.
The Beijing Haidian District Court heard Baidu's case against Shenzhen Yiyou Network Technology Co. on April 20, the first case involving search engine optimization.
Baidu said that it invests a large number of technicians, servers, and bandwidth each year to continuously optimize its search engine algorithms to ensure that natural search results are objective and fair.
However, Yiyou provides search engine optimization by increasing clicks for targeted websites either manually or by machine, Baidu said, adding that the company cheated Baidu's search ranking algorithm and disrupted the normal operation of the company's services.
Baidu said that false user demand would make websites with small user demand sorted to the first page of search, which is unfair competition to other legitimate operators and disrupts the order of market competition.
Yiyou said that it does not compete with Baidu and does not provide search ranking optimization services for the websites in question.
Moreover, Baidu provides advertising promotions for its search engine optimization customers, indicating that it recognizes the legality of the service.
Yiyou claimed that it optimized its website according to the needs of its customers, not as interference with Baidu's natural search results, and did not violate the principle of good faith and business ethics.
In addition, Yiyou claimed that Baidu's control over advertising and promotion, and not allowing others to optimize their own websites to improve search rankings, would lead to a monopoly of Baidu search.