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Chinese search engine Sogou files for a $600 million US IPO

     
12:55 am on Oct 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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http://www.nasdaq.com/article/chinese-search-engine-sogou-files-for-a-600-million-us-ipo-cm859333 [nasdaq.com]

Chinese search engine Sogou files for a $600 million US IPO

Sogou, China's third largest search engine, filed on Friday with the SEC to raise up to $600 million in an initial public offering.

The Beijing, China-based company was founded in 2005 and booked $711 million in sales for the 12 months ended June 30, 2017. It plans to list on the NYSE under the symbol SOGO. Sogou filed confidentially on August 14, 2017.
2:23 am on Oct 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm actually they weren't public already. Guess they needed this boost to take them to the next level.

Their bots are very active, especially with image mining. Image search seems popular in Asia, especially China.
9:52 pm on Oct 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Is it intrinsically popular, or is it simply that a disproportionate number of your Chinese visits are from image search because images are language-independent?
10:40 pm on Oct 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well I'm sure I'd get significantly more traffic from Asia (and other countries) if I allowed translators access. I block a couple hundred translator requests every day.
8:23 am on Oct 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Sogou has had their own fleet of bots, spiders, crawlers, etc. since about 2004. Given the amount of reports I see in our SE Spiders Forum, I guess they aren't always the best behaved. ;)
8:54 am on Oct 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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On the contrary, I think many new to UA tracking often misinterpret what they see in their logs as malicious or misbehaving.

I have not seen any bad behaviour from Sogou.
6:58 pm on Oct 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have not seen any bad behaviour from Sogou.
Well, we all have our own definitions of “bad behavior”. When you read robots.txt, find yourself disallowed by name, and go on to request pages regardless, I would consider that bad behavior. ymmv.
7:29 pm on Oct 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Well, maybe I should say since Sep, 2013 when China's Tencent acquired Sogou & merged it with their Soso Search to form what in now Sogou Search, I have not seen any bad behavior. Prior to that, I wasn't paying much attention to that part of the web.

However, as I've said many times before, robots.txt is not (and never has been) a web standard. Calling it so does not make it one. Support for it is sketchy and getting moreso each day when you look at the WWW and its multitude of actors.
1:23 am on Oct 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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as I've said many times before
Yes, and I guess we'll end up in Agree To Disagree territory, because what I see is:

Visitor: Please tell me the rules for your property.
Site: Sure, here they are, thanks for asking so nicely.
Visitor: Oh, no, I don't like those rules.
2:02 am on Oct 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The real issue is that robots.txt is not supported universally so it's not a web standard. Heck US search companies Bing & Google can't agree (Google supports wild card (*), Bing does not.) Yandex requires Host Directive [yandex.com] most others do not, etc, etc, etc

So why use robots.txt as a barometer for determining whether a bot behaves or not.

80% of the agents I allow access to not request robots.txt at all. Since they did not request robots.txt, I guess they can't be accused of disobeying it.
7:54 pm on Oct 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just a FYI - here's Sogou's Spider FAQ: [sogou.com...]
1:18 am on Oct 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Over the past several years I've translated my sites into Chinese, and have servers within China (to negate the 500ms connection lag of the Great Firewall) and I have to say that I love love love the Chinese SEs. For all my sites the following is the 2016 SE referred traffic conversion rate (NOT traffic volume):
Note: # - Chinese
Note: Chinese SEs almost wholly affect Chinese language sites only.
---Baidu: 5.1% #
---Qihoo 360 (Haosou): 4.9% #
---Sogou: 4.7% #
---Yahoo: 3.2%
---Bing: 2.7%
---Google: 2.2%

Yes, they really are that much better. For Chinese language sites. And what is truly amazing is that my Chinese sites are typically on the fourth or fifth, occasionally second or third, results pages as opposed to being typically on the first or second pages of B-G-Y for English language sites.

It will be interesting to see what happens if/when Sogou et al come out into the greater world.