Baidu Verified Client Trust Rank
I recently posted about Baidu account verification and I mentioned I'd follow up with an explanation of trust rank, called 信誉度 (xinyudu) by Baidu.
Trust rank shows up for advertisers that have verified their accounts on Baidu's ad platform. As you can see in the image below, when you hover over the "V" icon of a paid search result, you can see a popup that shows the company info and the trust rank stars.
The best source of info about trust rank is Baidu itself, so here's a translation of Baidu's official page about trust rank, with my comments added in green.
What is Baidu's trust rank?
Baidu trust rank is a 5-star ranking of trust for Baidu's verified advertising clients. It can be earned by adhering to Baidu's guidelines and continuously maintaining an ad campaign over a long period of time.
After a Baidu client obtains their verified status, they will receive a trust rank within 48 hours and receive the accompanying privileges.
What do the star rankings have to do with trust rank?
The more trusted a Baidu client account is, the more stars it gets. And the more stars it has, the more benefits it gets with regards to Baidu products, services and advertising policies.
(And, below is a very useful image, telling you that 1 star refers to a rank of 1, 2 stars to a rank of 2, etc. Thanks for helping us decode that Baidu! :P )
Baidu trust rank evaluation factors
Baidu trust rank factors include, but aren't limited to, "advertising legality" and "advertising stability".
Advertising Legality: Includes, but isn't limited to, a combination of informational records (the right paperwork), submitted materials (ads, keywords, ad groups), the website advertised, and the degree to which Baidu advertising policies have been violated.
Advertising Stability: The historical stability of advertising. (In other words, clients shouldn't stop spending money.)
How to improve trust rank
What shouldn't I do?
Don't submit ads that endanger public security, or the lives or property of citizens.
Don't infringe on the rights of other companies or products. Don't slander other companies or products while promoting your company or products. Don't create a fake version of a well-known website to gain an unfair advantage.
Don't exagerate the features, benefits or quality of the products or services you advertise, such as by using terms like "the best", "100%" and "number 1" to describe it.
Don't use redirects. (Visitors that click an ad shouldn't be redirected to another website.)
What does it really mean?
What it means is that advertisers with a higher trust rank will find it easier to keep their ads up and easier to rank higher. It's also part of Baidu's efforts to keep advertisers in line with their policies.
A problem is that the verification system isn't sorted out for non-Chinese companies yet. As you can see in the screenshot above, the Australian property website doesn't have verification. Reportedly, this will be worked out soon, but who knows how long it will really take.