As far as areas to invest in the technology space go, search engines are one of the most attractive spaces around.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), the world's de facto search company, and Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU), the "Google of China," both generate fantastic profits, continue to grow at outsized rates, and have strong brands that keep consumers in their respective geographies coming back to them time after time.
And while the similarities vastly outnumber the differences between Google and Baidu, I recently landed one key way (and a number for it) that Google and Baidu differ. Baidu investors will want to pay attention.
1 way Google trumps Baidu
Both Google and Baidu are struggling to adapt to the mobile future, but, in my eyes, Google finds itself in an eminently more preferable position than Baidu.
Fortunately for Google, it controls Android, the world's go-to mobile operating system. And because Google gives Android away for free to smartphone and tablet makers around the world, it's able to bundle its search, mail, and other key applications into the OS every mobile hardware manufacturer this side of Apple is clamoring to use.
Baidu, on the other hand, has to strike deals with third-party smartphone and tablet companies to buy placement of its key services into the smartphones and tablets on which it increasingly relies as a source of search traffic. In the video below, tech and telecom specialist Andrew Tonner discusses in further detail this key difference between Google and Baidu.
Andrew Tonner owns shares of Baidu. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Baidu and Google (A and C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.