China’s leading search engine is by far Baidu– it currently holds 59% of the market. So understanding how the engine works and all the tools available to lead consumers to the best information is very important for an advertiser.

There are many features of Baidu’s search engine that brands may find useful. Some are like Google’s, but other features are very different. The tabs on the Baidu search engine interface each offer a unique interaction for the user:

  • News (闻xinwen) – Baidu has a section of news aggregated from the web. There are different sections including domestic, international, sport, property etc.
  • Web page (页wangye) – This is where search results are displayed just as they are in Google. It is here that organic and paid search results will appear. Unlike Google which makes a clear distinction between paid and organic results, Baidu’s SERPS are rather more opaque. For paid search results using competitive keywords the first page of the SERPS may show no organic search results.
  • Forums (吧tieba) – This area is kind of like Baidu’s micro-blog. It’s an online themed community helping people to share information in a public forum. 
  • Baidu Know (知道zhidao) – This service allows registered users of Baidu to put forward a question and other registered users to leave an answer and obtain credits. 
  • Music (乐yinyue) – This sections lets you search music and listen to and download the results.
  • Images (片tupian) – Similar to Google images you can search a vast database of pictures.
  • Video (视频shipin) – Here you can search Baidu’s collection of videos related to your search terms.
  • Maps (图ditu) – You can search for places just like using Google maps.
  • Encyclopaedia(百科baike) – This is Baidu’s version of Wikipedia. Anyone can use a Baidu account to write a page about a topic. BaiduBaike is generally seen as authentic information by users of the service.
  • Library (库wenku) – This section provides a library of resources related to your search terms.

There are a few ways that Baidu can be utilised for advertising, most notably with Baidu pay per click, a search engine marketing tool similar to Google AdWords. It usually has a lower cost per click than AdWords though.

Setting up a Baidu PPC account usually takes up to two weeks and Baidu insists that account setup is done through a Baidu reseller. These are agents who control the process and handle the administration. Baidu requires that accounts be credited with 5,000 Chinese Yuan and only accepts payment in local currency. Your website doesn’t have to be hosted in China, but some translations will be necessary.

In addition, Brand Zone from Baidu is an exclusive service for clients that already have a pay per click advertising account. It is like a page takeover when your brand terms are searched on Baidu.

  • Brands own brand related keywords exclusively meaning that no other Baidu advertiser can use those keywords.
  • Brand Zone campaigns can deliver average click through rates (CTR) of 50 per cent. Baidu average PPC CTR is 1 per cent and Google average PPC CTR is 0.2 per cent.
  • Brand Zone does not have a search listing, but rather brand exposure giving users your content before they get to the brand website.

Brand Zone offers a fixed price brand logo, company introduction and tailored content whenever the brand’s specific keywords are searched.

Use Baidu Search Engine baidu-brand-zone-example