Every marketer, who is planning promotion in China, sooner or later will start thinking about advertising in Baidu. And it is no wonder, because it is by far the most important search engine in China, country with the most internet users in world. Due to problems of Google in China, share of Baidu has been rising, reaching 83,6% of Search Engine Market.
With 4,02 bio search queries during Q4 2011, Baidu is world’s third largest search engine. And it continues to be on the rise, as China’s internet more and more advances. Even today, Chinese internet users are spending quite a lot of time on old fashioned all-in portals, but this is changing and traditional search engines, as well as social networks are becoming more and more popular.
Baidu is Chinese search engine, made by Chinese for China. So it can be pretty good at understanding Chinese search queries, but it is quite bad at English ones.
Besides traditional search results, Baidu SERP can be quite rich and also contain results for pictures, maps, weather forecasts, train and flight schedules and other content. It can be also quite ad heavy, with up to 10 ads on the top of search results. Baidu often promotes their own services on the first page of SERP, like Baidu Encyclopedia and Baidu questions and answers, so in order to find some organic independent results, one has to dig quite deep.
Chinese Internet is still not very transparent. For example, some important websites, like the biggest e-commerce platform Taobao and the biggest microblogging platform Sina Weibo, are blocking Baidu’s crawlers, thus information about products sold on Taobao or Sina Weibo posts cannot be shown in Baidu’s search results. Probably, this can change in the future.
SEM on Baidu.
Baidu’s search ads are normally located at the top and right of search results, sometimes also at the bottom. On the top there can be up to 10 ads, and up to 8 ads on the right. According ad located, in can be shown in 3 different formats with different text length and layout.
For brands Baidu also offers Brand zone – large ad with picture and several links, which would appear for specific set of Brand keywords for fixed monthly fee.
As everything on such a different market, as China, Baidu has its own unique challenges. What are they and how you can succeed on Baidu? We will discuss this in second part of this topic.