China's Sohu.com Refocuses on Search
From The Standard: Sohu goes back to its roots
"Sohu.com, one of China's earliest Internet plays, is returning to its roots as a search engine with double-digit growth expected in the area for the rest of this year, its chief executive said Monday."
"Sohu, whose name literally means "search fox,'' started off as a search specialist but later neglected the field in favor of other pursuits, most notably mobile phone-based services.
The company rededicated itself to the search area last year with the launch of its Sogou.com Web site, and now expects the business to grow at double-digit rates for the rest of this year on a quarter-to-quarter basis, said chief executive officer Charles Zhang."
"At that rate of growth, sponsored search revenues, which totaled US$2.73 million (HK$21.29 million) in the first quarter, could go from a current contribution of about 11.5 percent of total sales to possibly 20 percent by the end of the year, he added.
"Our [search] traffic has tripled in the last six months,'' Zhang said. "In the next two months, we'll focus a lot on Sogou.''
"China's top search engine in terms of traffic is Baidu.com, which aims to raise US$200 million in an initial public offering this year, sources familiar with the situation have said. It is followed by Sogou and then Yahoo's 3721.com site, according to Web research site Alexa.com. Google is also a major player in the market, but until recently did not operate a separate China Web site."