While China surpassed the United States for internet user population about a year ago, it now seems the majority of content on the web will soon be Chinese too, GizMag reported. The impact seems to have people going in a couple of different directions.
The Chinese government has ordered any use of English terms in print and web information must be accompanied with a Chinese translation of the terms. Marketers outside China are now looking at how this will impact search behavior and search engine results.
"Currently the online population is about 1,966,514,816 people and of them 42 percent speak English. Another 32.6 per cent speak Chinese. Nextweb thinks that the extent that the Chinese market is growing means that the number of Chinese users will overtake English speakers.
While it is unlikely that your average American will know where Beijing is, let alone want to visit a site there, businesses have been doing a lot more searching in China lately. It could be soon that Chinese could be the lingua franca of business in the latter part of the 21st century.
PhysOrg pointed out:
The growing strength and influence of the web population has prompted concern in Beijing about the Internet's potential as a tool for generating social unrest, and authorities have stepped up surveillance in recent years. The government blocks web content that it deems politically sensitive in a vast system dubbed the "Great Firewall of China".
Will Chinese pop in to rearch results when they have some English terms? Will linking from the dominant language have an impact on all SERPs? Will Chinese become the competitive language and English become a little more open?
How will this impact paid search? Will content and Adsense success pivot on knowledge of Chinese?
As this situation unfolds many of these questions will be answered, but it is the unknown ones now that will reshape how online marketing is conducted in the 2010s.