Some Chinese people say that using the internet without Google would be like "life without electricity," according to an article published by Nature magazine.
The magazine says that of the 784 Chinese scientists who responded to its recent survey, "more than three-quarters said they use Google as the primary search engine for their research." Eighty percent use Google’s Scholar service to search for academic papers, and roughly half use Maps and or Gmail.
Google’s Chinese portal, Google.cn, is censored voluntarily by the company, and its main portal is censored by the Chinese government. However, the company may pull out of China entirely after last month’s hacker attacks targeted Gmail accounts and other elements of Google’s infrastructure. Nature reports that censorship of Google and other foreign-owned websites hampers their ability to communicate with their peers and perform necessary research, and 84 percent of scientists surveyed said that their research would be at least somewhat hindered if the prospective pull-out occurs.
Search engine optimization (SEO) professionals are undoubtedly watching both the Chinese government and Google’s leadership to see what the next act in the unfolding drama will bring.