China’s top search engine Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) said on Wednesday it will improve its media aggregating service after a complaint about the quality of the service and its search results went viral on social media, assisting send its shares down sharply.
Baidu was placing low-quality pieces from its Baijiahao service, which selects articles from both legacy and independent media outlets for display on Baidu’s own webpages, and other Baidu properties toward the top of its search results, journalist Fang Kecheng wrote in an article on Tuesday.
“Baidu no longer plans on being a good search engine. It only wants to be a marketing platform, and hopes to turn users searching for content into traffic for itself,” he wrote.
The complaint comes after Baidu, often contrast to Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google, underwent a restructuring and rigorous cleanup of illegal medical advertising that emerged in 2016 and led to regulation that slashed the number of eligible advertisers.
Fang’s article was read over 100,000 times on the author’s public WeChat account and shared by influential domestic media outlets.
Baidu on Wednesday acknowledged the article in a post on its Twitter-like Weibo account and said that Baijiahao articles account for roughly 10 percent of its search results.
“The media attention suggests Baijiahao can be done better,” the statement said.
“We will continue to court quality media outlets and creators and use positive mechanisms to encourage authors to spread high-quality original content,” it said, adding Baijiahao was designed to optimize retrieval speeds for mobile users.
Baidu, (NASDAQ: BIDU) was trading -42.56% away from its yearly high level, during the last trading session. The last session’s volume was 4,425,008 compared to its average daily volume of 3.16M shares. The company has its outstanding shares of 341.95M. The Technologystock showed a change of 0.78% from opening and finally closed at $163.26 by scoring 1.79%.