How to maximise your organic search rankings using Zhihu: the Chinese social website with 400 million users

Kexin Wu

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If you're eyeing the Chinese market, you've probably heard of popular platforms like WeChat, Weibo, Douyin, and Baidu. And if you're targeting the younger generation in China (Gen Z), chances are you're familiar with RED (Xiaohongshu), the trendiest social media platform in recent years.

But here's the question: Do you have Zhihu on your radar?

What is Zhihu?

Think of it as China's version of Quora. It's a social website where users create and answer questions, forming an interactive knowledge community. Users share their professional expertise, experiences, and insights, creating a hub for high-quality information. Zhihu has over 400 million registered users, 80 million daily active users, and a monthly browsing volume of 54 billion, according to their 2022 user survey.

For example, the topic 'study abroad' on Zhihu has a whopping 11.7 billion views. Subtopics under 'study abroad' range from 'Admission process for American universities' to 'Unexpected costs of studying abroad' and 'Dealing with cultural shock abroad.'

How to make your content stand out on Zhihu and organically appear higher in Baidu's search rankings

The key lies in focusing on keyword search operations. Understand the search context, tap into precise traffic, and build a solid content strategy. 

Zhihu has top-notch SEO among Chinese platforms and consistently ranks high on Baidu, China's largest search engine.

Let's break down Zhihu's traffic mechanisms into 4 types: Search Traffic, Comprehensive Algorithm, Recommended Traffic, and Hot List Traffic.

💡 Search Traffic

Think of Zhihu's search ranking like any search engine. Your content needs to be indexed for better search term rankings. The more your content matches search keywords, the higher the probability of inclusion. Quality accounts get higher weight, leading to better rankings. Achieving high rankings for both search terms and questions is crucial for better traffic.

💡Comprehensive Algorithm

Zhihu algorithm determines content recommendations based on likes, dislikes, and saves. The rate of agreement and disagreement is more crucial than the actual numbers.

💡Recommended Traffic

Zhihu's recommendation algorithm pushes content to users based on feedback data like completion rate and agreement rate. It starts by recommending content to a small group and then decides whether to continue based on the data.

💡Hot List Traffic

The hot list showcases popular content based on 24-hour views, interaction volume, and domain weight. To hit the hot list, your content needs a substantial number of users in the domain interacting quickly.

Zhihu stands as a dynamic and influential platform in the Chinese digital landscape, offering a unique space for knowledge exchange and engagement. Understanding Zhihu's traffic mechanisms is essential for anyone looking to harness its full marketing potential.