China Marketing Blog

The Anatomy of a Baidu Search Results Page

Tait Lawton — Thu, 10/23/2014 - 14:34
Baidu logo
In Baidu search results pages, there are just tons of different options, and it can be confusing for people new to marketing on Baidu. We’ve prepared some simple screenshots to help you understand it all:
  • Baidu paid search features
  • Other Baidu advertising options
  • Baidu’s own platforms (wiki, documents, etc.)
  • Baidu SEO features

 

Example 1 - A Complex Travel Page

The image below shows a particularly complex Baidu search results page (SERP) for the query "England travel". Most SERPs aren't this complex, but this is a good first example.

  • The little green box in the middle is all there is for regular organic search results!
  • The deep orange boxes on the top, right-side and bottom are regular paid search results.
  • Purple boxes are for Baidu sites. In this case, Baidu's travel site, wiki, Q&A platform and "Baidu Experience".
  • Light blue boxes are for Qunar travel search results. Qunar is partially owned by Baidu.
  • Yellow boxes are simply navigational elements such as related searches.
  • The blue box in the middle is for Baidu Aladdin an open data search platform.

Baidu search results page

 

Example 2 - A Simpler Page

The second example shows a much simpler page. It shows a much higher proportion of organic search results (in green), some pay per click ads (orange) and one result for Baidu Maps.

Baidu search results page for "Bentley car parts"

 

Brand Zone

Baidu provides an advertising option for brands that allows them to really dominate the top of the SERPs. It's called "Brand Zone" and allows for multiple images, links and textual content. It always shows up at the top of the page above all other search results.

The image below shows the Brand Zone ads for Durex for the search "Durex".

Baidu search results for Durex

 

Mobile Results

The Baidu mobile results page is similar, but simplified. For Baidu pay per click, mobile ads must be created, there is no option to turn it off, but it can be effectively turned off by using bid multipliers. In the image below, the top three results are ads. You may notice the text is a lot shorter, sublinks are prominent and the phone call extension is present for each one.

Baidu mobile results page screenshot

 

Paid and Organic Special Features

There are multiple ways to extend regular paid and organic search results. Let's look closely at some specific search results.

  • Sublinks can be used in paid search ads. This shows an ad for plane tickets, with sublinks for "check plane tickets", "plane ticket booking website", "book plane tickets" etc.
    Baidu sublinks

 

  • Images can be added to ads, but only ads that perform well enough to be in the top position. Plus, these ads need to be associated with certain keywords and landing pages, which involves some administrative work.
    Baidu paid search image.

 

  • Baidu may place a brand icon in search results for famous companies. Baidu may do this on its own and can be applied for via Baidu's paid search platform. Icons appear in both organic and paid search results.
    Baidu brand icon (favicon) in search results

 

  • It's also possible to register a site as an "Official Site". The search results below allow searchers to know that the site below is Toshiba's official site. A brand can only have one official site and it will only show up for specific keywords related to the brand. It can be registered via a Baidu pay per click agency.
    Baidu search results showing "Official Site" badge for Toshiba.

 

  • It's possible to submit an official customer support number. This will show up in searches for the brand name. Lots of other types of data can also be added via Baidu Open, such as software downloads, videos, job postings, etc. However, actually getting access to this tool is not as easy as it should be, so is often not available for small businesses.
    Baidu search results show the customer support number for brands.

 

Baidu Maps

Of course, Baidu has maps too! Baidu Maps (百度地图) is free to use and is useful for local businesses. Even if a business hasn't added themselves to Baidu Maps, they're likely already on there.

Baidu Maps Screenshot

 

Tips on Running an Integrated Baidu Marketing Campaign

To achieve maximum visibility on Baidu, it's best to use multiple tactics that involve doing paid search, SEO and using Baidu's own platforms. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Do not skip Baidu's own platforms! Using Baidu's wiki, documents, and forums especially are great ways to get into the search results. For companies with smaller budgets, these are often very cost effective options.
  2. To utilize all the little add-ons, it requires a team that understands both paid search and SEO. These add-ons are worth it, being either cheap or free. Sometimes they aren't easy to get.
  3. Baidu brand zone is expensive. It isn't often worth it for smaller companies, but is worth it for larger companies that aim to make a big impact.
  4. Baidu paid search is very competitive. Luckily for us, many niches are still dominated by players that are using outdated strategies. Companies with better analysis skills can consistently kick ass in paid search.
  5. Just like for Google, SEO is an activity that provides long-term results, but takes time to gain momentum.

 

What else would you like to know about Baidu?

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Comments

Thanks Tait- this was super helpful!

Is there a way to determine whether a result is paid or organic? It seems not to be like Google, where the background shading is different...

Thanks again!

Yep.
Sometimes there is shading, and sometimes not.
It will show a little "推广" by the bottom-right of the ad. That means "promotion" in Chinese.
 

Very helpful. Thanks Tait!

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