Sohu steps up search fight against Baidu, Google

Chinese Internet content provider Sohu.com has introduced an updated version of its Sougou search engine.

Chinese Internet content provider Sohu.com announced Wednesday an updated version of its Sogou search engine, saying the update will offer more indexed pages and faster search times than the previous version.

Within three weeks, the Sogou 2.5 search engine will expand the number of indexed Chinese-language Web pages to 800 million, from 500 million indexed by the previous version, Sogou 2.0, Sohu said.

Sohu said the updated search engine is also smarter than the previous version, drawing on information the company gleans from its community-based content offerings to better gauge the interests and habits of Chinese Internet users.

Sogou is the third most-popular search engine in China, according to an August report released by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), which tracks Internet usage in China. For example, CNNIC said 4.6 percent of Internet users in Beijing use Sogou for search, compared to 32.9 percent for Google Inc. and 51.5 percent for Baidu.com Inc.

For its part, Sohu claims it is making up ground against its larger rivals, with traffic to its search engine growing by 50 percent during the third quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, compared to the previous quarter.

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