Baidu SEO stands for Baidu search engine optimization, which is the optimization of websites and web pages that can help a website to appear highly on Baidu search engine. The article will list some basic knowledge of Baidu SEO and provide some helpful content including how to do Baidu SEO. The rest of this article will focus on several points that may be useful for you to increase your rankings on the Baidu search engine.
While many people are focusing on Google rankings and Moz metrics, it’s important to not forget your domestic search engines. Baidu is the most popular search engine in China and arguably, it is the fifth most visited site in the world.
Baidu is the powerhouse of Chinese search. Baidu’s market share was as high as 75% in November 2015 and you can read more about the company’s size by checking out Hitwise research for Global Search Engine Market Share. So there is a huge Baidu user base which had little effect on the rankings of non-Chinese sites back then. But now things have changed!
Step 1: Go to the Baidu registration page
First things first, click this link and head over to Baidu’s registration page.
Step 2: Translate the page into English
Simply right-click on the page and select ‘Translate to English’.
Step 3: Fill in the necessary information
Next, fill in the registration form and verify your account via your mobile number.
Your Baidu account should then be up-and-running.
But wait, I never received my verification code…
Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for international users to experience problems when trying to register a Baidu account.
One way to overcome this is to register via Baidu Cloud. This is a very long process, however, and doesn’t offer any guarantees.
If that doesn’t work, get in touch with us and we’ll open a Baidu account for you on your behalf. We’ll also give you access to a whole host of Baidu SEO services, which we’ll be breaking down a little later.
Getting started with Baidu SEO — understanding the basics of Baidu
Now you have a Baidu account, you’re ready to start learning more about Baidu SEO.
First, let’s take a look at Baidu’s SERP
To optimize for Baidu, you’ll need to know what you’re actually working with… or on.
So, here’s a screenshot of Baidu’s first SERP for the keyword ‘mobile phone’ in Simplified Chinese:
You’ll notice that the page is divided into two columns, with the left containing the most relevant results, and the right featuring related results. Both columns include paid-for ads, just like Google.
In fact, at first glance, Baidu doesn’t look all that different to Google, at all.
So, what is the difference, exactly?
Well, look a little closer, and you’ll see that rich snippets take up a far larger amount of space on Baidu than on Google. This means that there’s a lot less room for high-ranking, organic search results, as paid results tend to dominate the available space.
Keep scrolling, and you’ll also notice a whole host of keyword-related web pages from Baidu-owned websites, such as:
- Baike: Baidu’s answer to Wikipedia
- Tieba: Baidu’s answer to Reddit
- Zhidao: Baidu’s answer to Quora/Yahoo Answers
Unlike Google, Baidu prioritizes its own websites. So, instead of ranking external sites that feature particular keywords, Baidu prefers to send users to websites it already owns. This, too, can make it very tricky to get high Baidu rankings for your content organically.
Don’t worry, though, there are ways around these problems — but, for now, let’s stick to unpacking the basics.
Introducing Baidu’s Trust Score System
Some sites on Baidu have a small ‘V’ icon attached to their SERP snippet. This is part of Baidu’s domain credibility system, which essentially marks ‘trusted’ sites with a ‘V’ badge.
Although these do not directly influence a site’s ranking on Baidu, they do help to optimize click-through rate, as users have come to recognize and trust these badges, over time.
There are three badges available:
- V1 (trust core of 0-40)
- V2 (trust score of 41-90)
- V3 (trust score of 91+)
The catch here is that these badges come at a cost. Site owners have to apply for a badge themselves, and pay a yearly fee to keep it. They also have to have an active ad account with Baidu.
If you’re an international company, we at AdChina.io can help you set-up a Chinese website.
The all-importance of a Chinese website
As you might expect, Baidu prioritizes Chinese websites — both in terms of .cn domain names, as well as websites that have a Chinese host. If you don’t tick these boxes, your Baidu SEO strategy is unlikely to deliver results.
Baidu Vs. Google SEO — What’s The Difference?
Google and Baidu are similar, yet very different search engines. Here’s a quick overview of some of their key differences, in terms of SEO:
Google is focused on the worldwide market, whilst Baidu primarily focuses on China. As such, optimizing for Baidu requires a Chinese website, as well as an understanding of Chinese users, language, and trends.
Baidu ranks its own sites
As we’ve already covered, Baidu likes to rank its own sites more than external sites. This is very different to Google, which doesn’t usually prioritize its own products in SEO.
Baidu prioritizes meta descriptions, tags and keywords
Ever since its Panda and Penguin updates, Google has shifted away from meta descriptions, tags and keywords, and instead prioritizes content based on quality and relevance.
Baidu, on the other hand, is still very much focused on those simpler elements of SEO, as it is not as advanced as Google.
Mobile optimization is important to both search engines, but Baidu is particularly focused on serving a mobile audience because it has over one billion active mobile users. In China, mobile is the most common way to access the internet.
Baidu prioritizes backlinks from Chinese websites and focuses on internal linking more than Google. It also puts a heavier weight on the number of links, not just their relevance.
Time it takes to rank
New websites can rank on Google quite quickly, whilst ranking on Baidu usually takes much longer. That’s why Baidu prioritizes aged domains more strictly than Google.
Keywords for SEO
Both Google and Baidu rank websites according to keywords, but Baidu’s crawler is less savvy when it comes to keyword stuffing. As a result, it tends to prioritize websites with a higher keyword density, regardless of quality.
Baidu doesn’t have the capacity to process images as well as Google. Therefore, optimizing an image’s alt text is crucial to ranking in Baidu’s image results.
Baidu favors websites that frequently update their content more than Google does. This requires sites in China to keep on top of their site data far more diligently than international webmasters are used to.
Baidu Vs. Google SEO — The Bottomline
Ultimately, Baidu is a simplified, Chinese version of Google. As such, Baidu SEO requires a different but familiar approach to what you’ll already be used to. Just remember that Baidu ranks according to signals that Google no longer does, so try not to outsmart it too much!