Cell phone maker Motorola has reacted to the news that Google was set to pull out of operations in China entirely, rocking the world of mobile search engine optimization (SEO) by switching the default search engine on its smartphones to Baidu for the Chinese market.

There has been no move by the Chinese government against Google as yet, but some analysts fear that the authoritarian regime would not limit its restrictions to Google’s search engine and could clamp down on other products like Android, the company’s cell phone OS. Phandroid reports that, conversely, Google might restrict the distribution and use of Android phones in China on its own.

Agence France-Presse reports that Motorola released a smartphone app library called Zhi-Jian-Yuan, or Place for Apps Wisdom, on its phones for sale in China at the same time as it announced the switch to Baidu, suggesting that the company is heavily targeting the Chinese market.

Search engine optimization (SEO) in China will be shaped by Motorola’s move, experts say, as the expanding smartphone market makes mobile SEO more and more important.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.