Are you interested in learning how to improve your organic search engine rankings in the Middle Kingdom? This Baidu Guide reveals new strategies on how to surpass your competitors on China’s most popular search engine Baidu.
In general, Baidu places more emphasis on pay-per-click (PPC) ads than Google. Therefore – and because Baidu has its preferred own or partly-owned platforms like Zhidao, Zhihu, Tieba, and Baike – high organic rankings are more difficult to achieve.
The good news is that it’s not impossible. Search engine optimization (SEO) on Baidu has its own specialties and requires some inside knowledge. But…we’re here for you! Being strategically active on the most important Baidu affiliates helps to optimize your business for China’s top search engine.
So, in this article, Tenba Group, your trusted SEO agency for China, takes a deep dive into the benefits of Zhidao, Zhihu, Tieba, and Baike for increasing your rankings on the Baidu search results pages.
Now, let’s get started!
What is Baidu?
First things first. If you are a regular reader of our blog, you certainly know the Baidu search engine already. In case you are a new reader, Baidu is in China what Google is in the rest of the world.
With a market share of 70%, Baidu is optimized for mobile search to serve the needs of Chinese users. In 2019, Baidu’s revenue was more than 15 billion USD, an increase of 3% compared to the previous year. Plus, 90% of internet users in China use Baidu!
This popular Chinese search engine was launched in the year 2000, and to-date follows the Chinese censorship rules in line with the Great Firewall of China. Remember this when we speak about Baidu PPC later on.
The Relevance of Baidu
Consequently, it is important for any business – whether start-up, SME or established business – to implement a smart search engine optimization for China as well as a social media strategy. Depending on the budget, PPC ads will also help to boost your leads.
To find out more, click here to read up on the basic do’s and don’ts for Baidu SEO in this article as well as find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Baidu.
Just like its global big brother, Baidu also comes with a variety of services. Plus, Baidu, Inc. the tech giant behind the search engine is actually one of the largest AI and internet companies in the world. Baidu’s more than 40 services include Baidu Maps, Baidu Baike (an online encyclopedia), Baidu Wangpan (a cloud service), Baidu Tieba (a discussion forum), and Baidu Zhidao (a Q&A community).
Now, how can these services (and other platforms) help you to improve your business rankings on Baidu? We reveal four interesting platforms that can aid your organic search engine performance in this practical Baidu Guide.
1. What is Zhidao?
Baidu Zhidao is a popular Q&A platform in the Chinese market and works similar to Yahoo Answers. Users can create questions and answer them on a variety of topics.
Relevance for Baidu SEO
By being active on Zhidao, i.e. answering (or asking) questions around your niche, brand, or business, you can direct highly targeted traffic to your website. In fact, this is such an effective marketing tactic that some internet marketing experts in China specialize solely on Zhidao optimization.
Keep in mind that just like with any forum, spam links and posts are frequent. As such, Zhidao is taking efforts to minimize spam. Keep this in mind, when posting or answering questions.
Plus, it is difficult to gain relevance with a new account. In general, you will need a good and relevant keyword with a high volume and low keyword difficulty. In combination with a lot of content, this will improve your rankings on Baidu. However, you will typically only get a lot of content in the form of answers to your questions, if you have an aged account with a lot of followers.
To achieve this you basically have two options. You can either set up your Zhidao account and take a lot of time and effort to mature it with high-quality content. Or you can collaborate with an agency, which works with popular accounts to share your desired information (influencer model).
2. What is Zhihu?
Besides Baidu Zhidao, another popular Q&A forum in China is Zhihu. It was originally founded by a company named Beijing Zhiren Tianxia Technology and works similar to Quora.
However, in 2019, Zhihu completed a 450 million USD F-round funding led by the Chinese short video platform Kuaishou and Baidu. Zhihu has more than 200 million active users, who answered more than 130 million questions to date.
Benefit for Baidu SEO
Similar to Zhidao, you can write and answer questions on Zhihu around topics of interest to your target group. Be aware of your brand values and identity when choosing the type of questions to answer in either one or both forums.
Compared to Zhidao, Zhihu is larger, more interactive, and often achieves better rankings than Zhidao. Actually, the best response is chosen through an upvote system. Zhihu also features high-profile Chinese entrepreneurs and public intellectuals among its users, increasingly providing Chinese netizens with space for rich discussion.
3. What is Tieba?
Baidu Tieba is the most popular online discussion forum in China. Its more than 300 million monthly active users can add a topic, and then view other peoples’ ideas on this (similar to Reddit). They can also follow certain topics or “bars” around pop culture topics, sports, and more.
In fact, this social interaction platform accounts for approximately 10% of all Baidu traffic. And more than 1 billion posts have been published on Tieba so far.
Baidu SEO Relevance
Tieba’s slogan “Born for your interest” already gives you a hint on how to engage with your potential audience. You can create a unique “bar” for your brand (unless someone else already did that for you).
This allows you to use this bar as a hub and redirect users to your forum (and from there to your social media or website) when they search for your brand on Tieba or Baidu.
4. What is Baike?
With more than 19 million articles, Baidu Baike is basically China’s answer to Wikipedia, which is not accessible in the Middle Kingdom.
Baidu SEO Benefits
While, in theory, Baike should provide unbiased content, it is still more commercially inclined than Wikipedia. In fact, businesses can pay for increased control of their brand’s Baike page.
Therefore, the SEO opportunities for you are to create brand- or product-related articles in Baike. Keep in mind that the verification process of Baike articles is quite strict and thus can be lengthy (similar to Wikipedia).
Since Baike belongs to Baidu, it is considered as a trustworthy source of information with high authority. Thus, building positive, unbiased quality content on the Baike page of your business will help you to appear at the top of Baidu SERPs.
The Takeaway – Baidu Guide to Improve Your Rankings
Now you have learned about four platforms, which will help your Baidu rankings. Most importantly, also optimize the content on your own web page with relevant long-tail keywords and high-quality information in order to appear first on Baidu searches.
If you have a bit of extra budget, online PR and PPC advertising in China are a great addition to increase the visibility of your brand. Regarding Baidu PPC, it’s important to remember that some niches are excluded from paid advertising in China. These include the health sector (in particular health supplements), finance, and gambling.
Also, keep in mind to set up your brand’s website with informative and engaging content. Chinese internet users will appreciate this and reward you with their trust and loyalty. Plus, remember that Baidu prioritizes websites with a high number of backlinks (with less focus on the quality of links).
If all this sounds a bit overwhelming, or you simply want to save time, money, and energy, a Baidu SEO agency can ease your worries. So, are you ready to get started with China SEO & more? Click here for a FREE CONSULTATION by Tenba Group, your SEO expert for China.