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Baidu Search Marketing FAQ

Updated on February 25, 2010

Should I focus my Chinese SEO efforts on Baidu or Google China?

Baidu currently has about two thirds of the search market in China while Google has only 20-something percent. That being said, Google’s users tend to have higher incomes and be more focused on searching for something of value. An unknown portion of Baidu’s search traffic comes from users searching for music. This portion is expected to be significant and possibly even the main reason that Baidu has a greater market share than Google.

Luckily, a lot of the work that goes into Chinese SEO will be applicable to both Google and Baidu.

Does Baidu index websites in other languages?

Yes, but Baidu’s goal is to only include websites that are of interest to Chinese internet users. This means a site is not likely to be indexed unless it is linked to from sites that are already indexed in Baidu and it has some Chinese content on it.

Does Baidu use the nofollow attribute?

No, Baidu does not pay any attention to the nofollow attribute.

Do Baidu’s pay per click ads work like Google’s?

Baidu is currently using two different pay per click systems. The newer system, which is expected to gradually replace the older system, is very similar to Google’s. Ads are shown to the right and above organic search results. The older system places ads with the organic search results. These ads look exactly like organic search results except for having “sponsored” written near the bottom right of the ad.

What does it cost to setup a Baidu pay per click account?

Baidu charges an initial fee of 3,600 Chinese Yuan. 600 of this is a setup fee and 3,000 is advertising credit. 1 US Dollar is worth about 7 Chinese Yuan.

Should I start a Google pay per click account or a Baidu pay per click account for my Chinese pay per click campaigns?

If you’re running a large project, do both. If you are just trying to test the market with a very minimal investment, try Google first as it is quick and cheap to setup a Google pay per click account if you don’t have one already.

Will Baidu not index my website because there is _____ on it?

Baidu does not index content that the Chinese government deems offensive – pornography, gambling sites and, of course, material that is politically threatening to the Chinese government. The vast majority of business websites will not be affected by this. Social websites will have to monitor content closely.

Is Baidu better at returning quality Chinese-language results than Google?

No. Despite Baidu’s claims, Google generally returns higher quality Chinese search results. Baidu places greater emphasis on the quantity of incoming links than it does to the quality of incoming links, making it easier to manipulate. Google is also better at filtering out duplicate content than Baidu is. Finally, as mentioned before, Baidu still includes ads directly in their search results.

Why is Baidu more popular in China than Google is?

That’s a good question and many different answers have been proposed. One common answer is that Baidu provides a music search function, while Google does not due to copyright laws. Another is that Baidu has extra equity with Chinese users simply because it is Chinese. Another answer is that Baidu promotes itself a lot more effectively in China than Google does. While Google may be better, it is not so much better that word-of-mouth will cause users to switch. Baidu’s advertising both online and offline is a lot more effective than Google’s.

Does Baidu have a good keyword research tool?

Yes, but it is only available to Baidu pay per click account holders. The tool itself is quite similar to Google’s. In fact, like many Baidu tools, it could almost be considered a copy of Google’s.

For more info, see this translated version of Baidu's official pay per click FAQ.


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