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  • Posted on 15 June 2016

Baidu changed its rules, will it change your business?

Baidu changed its rules, will it change your business?

Keyword: Scandal

You’ve probably heard the scandal of Baidu recently that a young talented Chinese student, Wei Zexi, got the wrong knowledge about his disease and contacted an unethical hospital by searching through Baidu. Unfortunately, he lost his life because of having received the treatment wrongly. The Chinese public think that it is the fault of Baidu, who is abusing its monopoly position of search engine market, by driving advertising traffics as much as possible in recent years.
Due to the strong polemical debate, Baidu finally received governmental pressure and announced that they are going to have a big change in SEM: 4 positions maximum.

What does it mean?


Baidu SEM 1


Baidu SEM 2

For consumers, it means cleaner search environment, less advertisement.

For advertisers, it means harder to maintain the same brand visibility face to less SEM advertising positions, but same competition. 

After the 1st week’s optimization with the new rules, NetBooster Asia has collected and analyzed more than 20 brands’ data, to share with you some insights.

Click HERE to download our White Paper

Less advertising positions don’t mean less marketing efficiency

3/4 positions are removed, however, the impressions are impacted by 1/5

in general. If we look closer, performance is stable on PC. We reached much higher CTR (click through rate) by decreasing CPC (cost per ad click). Especially for the keywords targeting to potential clients (product, category related keywords), their marketing efficiency (less media but more traffic) is even better than brand keywords.

→ Build brand awareness and improve campaign performance via category keywords.

Potential in mobile for middle small companies

Along with the mobile development, the search volume of certain keywords on mobile can drive the same volume of ad impression on PC. And on mobile the SEM campaign has generally much higher CTR and lower CPC than on PC.

After 1 week change in Baidu, the impacts on mobile are much smaller in both impression and CTR. However, CPC has increased slightly. The reason should be the competition of MSE switched from PC to mobile. For smaller advertisers with limited budget, it’s wiser to invest more in mobile to maintain their brand visibility, instead of competing directly with the brands who have higher media budget.

Thus in order to get ready to embrace your audience from mobile, having a clear campaign objective and a responsive mobile site is necessary.  

→ Leverage cross-device marketing efficiency

More opportunity in content marketing and SEO

Obviously, organic search results have more chance to drive traffic now. However, the first search result page is still filled by a lot of Baidu products: Baidu Baike, Baidu Zhidao, Baidu Tieba, Baidu News, etc. SEO is no more about keywords, but also content marketing. How to leverage Baidu’s other product to drive SEO traffic as brand window? Focus on long-term queries can be the alternative solutioin in mi-term, facing Baidu’s new rules.

→ Focus on long term optimizations and use omni-channel strategy to face media changes.

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Posted by NetBooster Asia (Shanghai)