Four Ways To Get Started With Content Marketing For Baidu

Before you can expect any sort of traffic or sales online in China, you first need to impress the all-mighty gatekeeper of search engine visibility: Baidu guide. Just like the west, no holistic digital marketing strategy is complete without a proactive approach to SEO. In this context, proactive means having fresh, useful and consistent content across a variety of platforms; not just on your website. If you’ve handled content marketing in the west and are interested in how to get started for the Chinese market, grab your favorite cold beverage, perhaps a snack, and sit back as we’ll walk you through what it takes to get started.

Zhidao, Tieba, Wenku, Baike – ring any bells? Yes? No? Well, each of these services are knowledge properties of Baidu and just like western sites like Yahoo! Answers and Wikipedia, they’ll almost always appear on the first page of SERPs for relevant queries. With that said, let’s let’s see how we can leverage each platform for content marketing.

1. Baidu Zhidao

Baidu Zhidao is more or less China’s version of Yahoo! Answers. Similarly to when you type a question into Google and the first result is an answer from Yahoo! Answers, the same can be said about asking Baidu questions and being served answers from Zhidao.

Think of your brand or service – what would a customer want to know? Put yourself in the shoes of your customer/client and brainstorm a list of questions that you’d ask. If the questions haven’t been asked yet, you can go ahead and post the question to Zhidao.

Alternatively, if you find questions that have already been asked, feel free to provide insightful answers and remember to include a link to your site. The highest-rated response to a question will be listed first, so give as much detail as you can! Just be sure to limit the number of links in your response as stuffing too many in there can get your account banned.

baidu zhidao

As you can see here, the poster asked a question about how much beer brewing equipment costs.

The question was answered Hansen’s, a Beijing-based brewing equipment supplier. They not only gave a thorough answer, they also included a link to their website within the response.

2. Baidu Tieba

Baidu Tieba is essentially a BBS (bulletin board system) or online community where users can search or create a forum (or “bar”) by simply entering a query within the search bar. If the forum doesn’t exist yet, there will be one automatically created from the query.


One of the things that makes Tieba so great is that the topics can be hyper-specific; anything from niche video games to types of cell phone cases can be a “bar” (topic).

baidu tieba

The community is similar to that of Reddit in that not only is there a forum for everything under the sun, the quality and quantity of posts and users is quite high.

Here’s an example of a post about wine from Napa Valley and the area’s history of vineyards. As you can see, the post is not only information-rich, it also includes a link to the Tmall store to purchase the vineyard’s wine directly.

tieba baidu
One thing to keep in mind is that Baidu Tieba doesn’t allow ads. So make sure to keep your posting informative as possible and try not to include too many links. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and you should be fine.

3. Baidu Wenku

Wenku is a free platform that allows users to upload and share documents and files of many formats – .txt, .ppt, .pdf, .doc, .xls and more.

So how can a brand leverage this platform? Well, that really depends on your imagination. Let’s say you’re a beer brewer and you have an IPA with a special hop makeup. You can write an article or upload a document to Baidu Wenku giving a background of what makes your IPA special (without giving away trade secrets) – don’t forget to include a relevant link or two if you see fit.

You could also write articles about what foods go best with the beers you brew. Perhaps write up a couple recipes to upload and link to those from your main site – the sky’s the limit.

Here’s an example of how an interior designer shows off the work they did on Shanghai’s Boxing Cat Brewery.

baidu wenku

4. Baidu Baike

Baike is by far one of the most popular and prevalent of Baidu’s properties. Essentially Wikipedia, Baike is a collaborative Chinese-language encyclopedia that was released on April 20, 2006. As of August 2017, there Baike reports an index of more than 15 million articles.

Baike consistently ranks within the first couple positions for searches on brands, people, places and much more. If there’s a corresponding entry within Baike for your search query, Baidu will serve the Baidu Baike article first. So as you can imagine, the opportunities for brands and businesses here is huge.

Just as you would on Wikipedia, you can edit and submit entries to Baike as long as you have a Baidu account. The articles will be reviewed before they go live.

Links are difficult to include in posts, however, it’s still beneficial to mention your brand within relevant articles. Sticking with our wine and beer theme, you can include the brand of your beer or wine in various bar or restaurants Baike entries (so long as they serve your brand’s beer or wine).

If you’re in Shanghai, you might be familiar with Dr. Beer – the western restaurant and brewery on Fumin Lu. Here’s a look at their Baike page:

baidu baike

As you can see, there is indeed a Baike page but it only includes the bare-bones information. Also, up top you can see that the listing’s business card hasn’t been filled out yet – this is a great example of how brands or business owners can really build out their online footprint and leverage these properties.  

On the flip side, say you’re a brewer and your beers are now being served in Dr. Beer. This would be a great opportunity to edit this listing to include or mention your beer under the types of beers served (a section that has yet to be created for this listing).


If you’re just getting into content marketing for your brand, business or service in China, this guide should give you enough to chew on. Having a presence across these four Baidu-owned properties will not only increase your brand’s visibility and SEO in China, it’ll also help your organic ranking within Baidu.

This is by no means a be-all end-all content marketing guide for China, but if you manage to create high-quality, useful content across these platforms you’ll be well on your way to the land of qualified organic traffic – a great place to be if you ask me.

Baidu SERPs Explained

We’ve spoken about what it takes to rank well in Baidu, how to optimize for mobile and how to get into content marketing in China, so this time around it’s time to breakdown the search engine results page. Most of us are well-versed in Google’s search results pages, but what about Baidu? Are there a lot of similarities?

When it comes to Google, we’re used to seeing 10 results per page, with a short meta description below and perhaps an AMP logo for those accelerated mobile pages. Similarly, Baidu also shows 10 results with meta descriptions, URLs and the MIP logo (Baidu’s verson of Google’s AMP). However, if we dive a little deeper, we see a number of differences.

Breaking Down a Search Result

After further examination, we see that the various components of a single search result are in a slightly different order. Both Baidu and Google show the website page’s title in blue which links to the relevant page. After the title, Baidu then shows the page’s description followed by the URL. Google’s order is: title, URL and then description.  

Another interesting facet about Baidu’s search results is that they highlight the keyword or query in red within the title, description and URL, whereas Google will bold the keyword within these elements.

baidu serps keywords


Rich Snippets

Just like Google, Baidu also recognizes rich snippets and will provide an image within the snippet from the page being served or linked to.

iphone rich snippet

With that said, it’s important to make sure you’re optimizing your images for Baidu. Ensuring the file name, title and alt attributes are relevant is of the essence here. As you can imagine, this can also help you rank within the image results page.

Just like Google, optimizing your images on-page isn’t a guarantee to receiving an extended search result like this.

Baidu also serves other types of snippets, though typically for some of Baidu’s own properties. You’ll find that these snippets consist of larger images, lists, dates, articles, downloads or other types of page extensions.

V = Verified. V1, V2, V3 – What’s the Difference?

If you’ve spent any time poking around Baidu’s search results, you’ve likely seen the yellow or blue V along with a subscript 1, 2, or 3. To gain one of these V-Label verifications, you must participate in Baidu’s PPC program – their version of Google’s AdWords.

This V-Label is awarded to those who pay both an annual fee and submit certain information to Baidu. Having a V-Label is seen as a certificate of trust to both the search engine and the users; it’s essentially a way to gauge a website’s level of seriousness.

v1 label

The V1 and V2 verifications can be purchased, however, the V3 verification must be earned. Obtaining a V3 label requires high traffic to your site, strong social signals and of course, quality content. Oh yeah, and you must already be paying for a V2 verification to be considered for a V3 label.

Here’s where things get a bit hazy. We already know that results that come with any of the three V-Labels are paid results, but we’ve also found that certain organic results will also come with a V-Label attached. So is this an indicator that Baidu is selling ads that are marked as organic results? Or are they favoring companies that run Baidu PPC campaigns? It’s not exactly clear, but I’d put my money on the latter.

v3 label

As mentioned, in order to receive a V-Label, a company must provide a fair amount of information to Baidu to communicate a certain level of professionalism to Baidu. With that logic, shouldn’t this affect organic results since providing such information increases trust on both Baidu’s and the user’s end?

Have you ever clicked on a result from Baidu search and been given an alert from Chrome about a “potentially hazardous” website? I know I have. And I’m sure this happens to Chinese netizens quite often as well, so the only safe solution is to click on results with V-Label.

Guǎnggào (广告) = Paid Advertisement

If you’re a Google user, you’re well-versed in identifying paid search results and ads within the SERPs. Though if you’re here to learn about Baidu, you might not have noticed the “广告” accompanying paid ads in the past.

Just like Google’s paid ads, Baidu will serve ads and extended ads above the organic results. The ads will be within a pale pink box and have  “广告” in the upper right-hand corner, signifying that these are advertisements.

baidu ad

Snippets Galore!

There are also a few additional components to the snippets in both organic and paid results. Here are some examples:

1.百度快照 (Bǎidù kuàizhào) = Baidu Cache

baidu cache2. 327条评价 (104 tiáo Píngjià) – 104 ratings


3. 86%好评 (86% hǎo Píng) – 80% positive ratings
4. 翻译此页 (fānyì cǐ yè) – translate this page

ratings translate

Sidebar Related Topics

Quite like Google, Baidu will make use of the sidebar to display additional information about queries. For example, if you search for Wong Fei, one of my favorite actresses and known for her role in Chungking Express,  you’ll see there is a card that comes up with her vital information as well as related celebrities in the sidebar.

wong fei

So as you can see, there are as many similarities as there are differences for when it comes to Baidu and Google’s SERPs. I think both search engines have their advantages and disadvantages, especially for when it comes to features like V-Labels and snippets. But above all, the usefulness of these depends on the user’s search intent and what they need out of a search engine. For more information about organic search in China, have a look at our Baidu guide and our other Baidu-related articles. Should you have any questions, feel free to comment or contact us!

How To Get Started With Baidu SEO

As you probably know, the majority of SEO campaigns tend to revolve around the Google algorithm. While most search engines follow in Google’s footsteps algorithm and update-wise, Baidu however, does not. With 80% of searches made in China being through Baidu, it’s not only a force to be reckoned with, ignoring it as a major player would be a huge mistake. If you’ve been tasked with optimizing for Baidu, listen up; the search engine shares a lot of similarities to Google, but comes with some noteworthy differences as well. Here’s our guide to Baidu SEO and how to get ahead of the competition!

1.Registering For An ICP Record

The first step you’ll need to take if you’re operating a website in China is to register for an ICP record. An ICP record (internet content provider) is essentially a state-issued registration number which allows you to legally host your site on a Chinese server. ICP numbers are only granted to locally-owned companies, so if you’re a foreign-owned company you’ll have to look into renting an ICP from a local provider.

Every website hosted within a mainland Chinese server is legally obligated to apply for and receive one of these numbers before the site is pushed live. There’s really no way of getting around this law, especially since it’s enforced at the hosting level. You can usually find ICP numbers displayed next to a small icon in the footer of websites.

 Baidu SEO

For example, here’s a screenshot of the ICP number on (the first skateboarding website in China).


baidu seo optimization

Here’s the ICP number for the popular video sharing site, Youku. icp screenshot

And the ICP number in the footer of the classifieds site,


There are two types of ICP records, commercial and individual. For a commercial record, you’re required to obtain a Chinese business registration before applying. If you’re looking to get an individual ICP record, you must be willing to provide an address and phone number in China. While having an ICP record isn’t a requirement for your site to be accessed within China, it’s certainly something that Baidu takes into account and favors for when it comes to ranking site’s within the SERPS. Having a locally hosted website will also grant you a faster website, which Baidu looks upon quite favorably over the slower, foreign-hosted sites.

2.Registering Your Domain & URL Best Practices

Another big consideration for increasing the likelihood of high rankings is your domain and the domain suffix. Both Baidu and Chinese internet users prefer to see locally-hosted domains with .cn/ extensions. If hosting in mainland China isn’t an option, it’s highly recommended to at least register a domain with the .cn/ suffix.

Baidu, just like Google and human web users, prefers readable urls as opposed to a mumble jumble of numbers and letters. So, having a semantic URL is of the essence if you want to rake in those ranking points.


3.Mobile Optimization

If you haven’t heard, worldwide mobile & tablet usage has finally eclipsed desktop use and shows no signs of slowing down. We’ve been talking about it for years and now it’s happened, so having a mobile-friendly site is a must these days.

mobile vs. desktop usage 2016
If you’ve ever been to China, you’ve surely noticed that nearly everyone around you has a smartphone, commanding most of their attention at any given time. Baidu knows this. A mobile-friendly site is so important to them, so much that if your site isn’t properly optimized, Baidu will optimize it for you. While you might be quick to thank them and write off doing your own mobile optimization, I strongly encourage you to not cut corners here. If you do, Baidu will decide what is shown on your site’s mobile version and how it reacts.

4.Keywords & Content

Similar to Google, Baidu also takes into account keywords for when it ranks a page. The biggest difference here is keywords and the keyword tools you’d use for Google are not the same for Baidu. Google’s keyword tool and the keywords it provides won’t directly translate to Chinese correctly. If your aim is to have a multilingual website, it’s best to work with a human translator with native-level Mandarin.

With that said, sites written in simplified Chinese tend to work best. All copy should be written in simplified Chinese, including the metadata and title tags. You should try to avoid using Roman characters, except for within the URL. The slug should be written out in Pinyin (the way Chinese words would be written using Roman characters).

Just like Google, Baidu takes into account many of the same standards for assessing content and copy. You must avoid duplicate content like the plague; ensure that each page has at least 300 words of quality, useful copy; and be sure to write for the user first…don’t worry about keyword density or overthink things too much.

Additionally, make sure to keep your site’s copy fresh and consistently updated. Not only does this mean maintaining a regular blog, but also making sure to revisit all pages on your site and add to or revamp them as needed.

Another thing to consider content-wise is the large and growing list of blacklisted words. Censorship is heavy in China, so any page that has blacklisted words on it will be de-indexed by Baidu (if not your whole site). You can do a quick search online for a complete list of blacklisted words (hint: Wikipedia) to keep handy while writing content. It’s also a good idea to proactively monitor your site’s comments section (if applicable) and immediately remove any sensitive comments or those containing blacklisted words or phrases.

5.Meta Data, Descriptions & Titles

Meta titles and descriptions should be filled out and unique for each page on your site. One big difference worth noting though is that while other search engines no longer consider meta keywords, Baidu does. So make sure to do your keyword research and fill out those meta keywords for each page on your site!

6.Technical SEO

1)Inbound Links

Let’s start off here with one of the biggest differences between the Google and Baidu algorithms. We know acquiring paid links or participating in link schemes of any kind is a big “no-no” in the Google world, however things are quite the opposite for Baidu. While they’ve been taking strides to improve in this area for some time, Baidu is still rather far behind when it comes to evaluating inbound links. Historically they’ve been known to favor quantity over quality, which is why many folks looking for quick gains participate in link building schemes. We expect this area to be cleaned up, so it’s advisable to avoid the temptation of purchasing links.

2)Site Structure & Internal Linking

Baidu’s spiders and crawling power isn’t as refined as Google, so having pages easily accessible with the fewest possible clicks will likely yield a better crawl. Layout your site with a simple, flat structure make sure you link to relevant pages when possible. Anchor text is also highly important here, so having relevant anchor text on both your internal and external links is seen very favorably in the eyes of Baidu.

3)External Links

Regardless if you’re optimizing for Baidu or Google, linking to other high-quality sites is seen as best practice. However, Baidu prefers to see links pointing to other Chinese sites whereas Google doesn’t appear to have country restrictions when it comes to external links. While Baidu will take links to trusted foreign sites into consideration, they certainly give preference to trustworthy China-hosted sites.

4)Image ALT Attribute

The only way Baidu can rank images is based on their individual ALT attribute, so having an ALT attribute written in Chinese is crucial.

5.Some Parting Words

So as you can see, getting ready for launching a Baidu SEO campaign can be a bit different than your average Google-targeted plan. One of the biggest reasons companies invest in Baidu is that the search engine has a complete understanding of the Chinese market, as well as their consumers and their unique searching habits. Hopefully, the points we’ve discussed today will help you get started on your journey to SEO success on Baidu. Keep in mind, these are just starting points and not the be-all, end-all for a successful Baidu campaign.

Details of Organic SEO Services We can Provide

Implementing high-quality SEO on your website and digital media will always be beneficial for your marketing efforts. You should see SEO as a required investment. Contact Baidu SEO to gain more insights on how SEO can benefit your brand exposure and how we can help you achieve digital success.


Organic SEO Services


Here is a brief introduction to the organic seo services we can provide:

1. Comprehensive Strategy

Our team customizes strategies comprehensively based on each client’s requirements and situations, including the application of search engine optimization technology, content marketing and link building. The main goal is increase the conversion and revenue from natural/organic traffic.

2. Competitive Analysis

To find and analyze the direct competitors through insight indicators, to adopt the good methods from competitors and apply on your website, especially UI/UX, industry keywords, search queries keywords. In the long run, your website stands a higher chance to outrank your competitors.

3. Website Architecture Analysis

Our team conducts an architectural analysis of each website to ensure that search engines can crawl every valuable page and we ensure that there is nothing to stop your website from any hindrance.

4. Page Speed Optimization

We track down inefficient pages on the site and fix any issue that is causing ‘turtle’ loading speed, and we’ll continue to monitor performance to keep your website up to pace.

5. Keyword Research

Sourcing keywords and obtain data-driven keyword metrics are critical to your business, thus continuing organic traffic can’t run away from keyword targeting. Our expert team is helping to find the best-performing keywords from your industry and apply them into the related pages of your website.

6. Keyword Ranking Report

We provide detailed search ranking reports every month, with weekly updates and search queries.

7. Link Building

Link building, including internal link building, external link building, friendly link building, link purchase and other processes. The best SEO companies always focus on the quality and quantity of links, and will stay in front during the process of search engine optimization.
Our team looks for links from various authoritative resources/websites/platforms with valuable industry references, such as trade associations and vertical forums, platform with credibility and authority are the key. We will also provide the report of acquired links every month.

8. Content Strategy

Content strategy needs to be tactical and strategic. In general, the content strategy should be developed from understanding your audiences’ needs and business natures in order to create informative and interesting contents. After all, content is king still…A good content not only attract traffic but keeps the audience on your website.

9. Website Traffic Report

We provide detailed traffic reports every week so that you can understand and view the importance of SEO activities on the performance of your website.

10. Principle of Detail focused and Transparency

When you choose an SEO company, you have the right to know what they are doing. We don’t believe in secrets answer as we are proud of our work. We are always ready to share with you every steps of the process.

Readmore Things to Know before Understanding Baidu SEO

Things to Know before Understanding Baidu SEO

1. Registering for a Baidu Account

Before you can do anything with Baidu SEO, you need to create an account which can be used to login onto various Baidu platforms. This will enable you to follow up with what we’re introducing in this guide and move forward with your China SEO effort.

First, head to this page and fill out the form. A working Chinese phone number is required to register.
Baidu Seo

2. Setting up a simplified Chinese site

Baidu is not very effective at reading languages other than Chinese. Even though it recognizes traditional Chinese (used in Taiwan and Hong Kong), simplified Chinese is preferred (used in mainland China) as Baidu’s algorithm is more effective in terms of reading what the website is about, as a result, is able to index and rank them accordingly.

Having a simplified Chinese site alone is not going to guarantee you Baidu success. Other than this, you will need an easy to catch domain name (usually your brand name in Pinyin), a well-designed and visually appealing layout that speaks to the Chinese audience.


3. Purchasing a good Chinese domestic hosting service

Loading speed is an important factor to consider for Baidu’s ranking process. It is especially the case for mobile sites. Compared to website speeds of the popular hosting destinations like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States, website speed is much faster in mainland China. It is recommended to go with reliable domestic service providers such as Alibaba Cloud to optimize your website performance.

However, a business ICP License (Internet Content Publishing License) is needed to operate a website in mainland China. To acquire an ICP, either your company needs to have a physical presence in China to be qualified or you will need to work with a local partner/service provider.

Readmore Baidu SEO Marketing Guide 2020 : Everything You Need to Know

Baidu SEO Marketing Guide 2020 : Everything You Need to Know

Foreign companies pour money into Baidu SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and Baidu SEO (Baidu Search Engine Optimization) every year, and for good reason. No doubt, the right SEM campaign can bring your company quick and effective results for marketing to Chinese consumers. Problem is – a lot of brands aimlessly set up ads, not knowing much about the process, and more than often don’t get the results they would like.

You’ve probably heard a hundred times that Baidu is vital for your Chinese digital marketing strategy, but even if you have a basic understanding of what it entails, you may still not have a solid grasp on how to get started with Baidu search marketing. If your brand is expanding to China and you are new to Baidu and Baidu SEO, you should be aware that doing SEO in China is different from doing SEO in the West. In order to make your Baidu marketing goals a bit easier, we’ve prepared a guide on everything you need to know for getting started on Baidu.
Baidu SEO