Google China Finally Sees Search Advertising Share Grow

Google China's share of the Chinese search advertising market in Q4 rose for the first time since the company threatened to leave the country early last year after a cyber attack and censorship battles.

Google's search advertising share increased to 23.1 percent, up from 21.6 percent in Q3 -- still much lower than its 35.6 percent share at the end of 2009. However, rival Baidu remains dominant with a 71.7 market share, according to Beijing market research firm Analysys and reported by PCWorld.

Both search engines are expected to retain their respective spots, although Analysys believes other domestic search engines (including Sogou, Goso, and Alibaba's Etao) may eventually slowly eat away at those numbers.

Despite its struggles, Google isn't going anywhere. As we noted earlier this month, China, and its 400 million Internet users, is too big a prize for Google to give up.

Heading forward, Google is planning a bigger focus on display advertising, Reuters reported:

"Google is targeting Chinese firms to advertise on its dominant overseas search market, a business which already constitutes about half of its China revenues ... Google is betting that rapidly-growing Chinese exporters, keen to reach out to overseas customers, will make use of the company's global reach through its international search sites."

Google also plans to increase its sales staff at its Beijing office.