Baidu Pay Per Click Account Verification - Another Hassle
Baidu is now making most existing Baidu pay per click customers jump through yet another hoop.
Here's a translated excerpt from the official announcement:
In order to further strengthen an honest marketing environment on Baidu search as well as provide the most benefit for searchers and advertisers, Baidu launched an authenticity verification initiative in 2012. This initiative effectively helped advertisers improve the reliability of their advertisements. The initiative now applies to the majority of Baidu clients.
Beginning on June 1, 2013, Baidu will take the following actions for any clients that have not yet completed the verification process:
1) Gradually increase advertising expenses. Expenses will increase by 5% at first, and will increase further in the future.
2) Apply stricter policies to their advertising account. Any advertisers in the health industry will need to verify in order to have their ads displayed in the left-side (main) column of the search results pages.
So, this isn't totally new now, but what's new is that Baidu is actually beginning to enforce it. That being said, it still isn't unanimously being enforced. Baidu advertising resellers are enforcing it at different paces. As is common with many Baidu policies, many resellers are confused about how to deal with the verification process for foreign (non-Chinese) accounts.
Verified accounts will also have a "V" added next to their ads on search results.
Although the official announcement said the placement limitations are only for the health industry, another source in Baidu told us this will apply to all ads.
The verification process shouldn't actually be very tough to get through in most cases, but it seems to me that it's just another extra little barrier for advertisers. The verification can be obtained by submitting a combination of documents such as business license and passport copies. Or, with Nanjing Marketing Group, we should also be able to process the verification by getting a signed letter of authorization from clients authorizing us to manage accounts.
You might be wondering what the "trust index" stars are for. I'll be following up about that within a week.