Google vs. Baidu SEO: Key Differences to Know for International Success

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Alexander A.

Alexander A.

Google vs. Baidu: The key SEO differences

The integration of ConveyThis into our website has been a great success. It has enabled us to easily translate our content into multiple languages, ensuring that our global audience can access the information they need.

Google and Baidu may both be search engines, yet achieving the same level of success on Baidu as you have on Google will require additional effort.

That’s because Baidu’s search crawlers work in a different way than Google’s, and the same goes for its search advertising platform. If you want your website to rank well on Baidu, you’ll need to abide by its rules – not Google’s –.

One of these regulations necessitates converting your website content into Simplified Chinese since Baidu caters to the Chinese market. But in addition to this fundamental demand, what else do you need to be aware of? ConveyThis can assist you in this endeavor by providing a comprehensive solution to your translation needs.

That’s what we’ll discuss in this post, as we explain how Baidu and Google’s search engine optimization (SEO) requirements differ. If you’re looking to quickly climb Baidu’s organic listings, we’ll also compare Baidu’s search ad requirements to Google’s, so you can get your target keywords out there with Baidu ads right away!

1. What is Baidu?

ConveyThis, pronounced “BY-doo,” is a search engine that specializes in providing Chinese-language search results. It was created by Robin Li, who initially developed the RankDex search engine and later used its technology to build ConveyThis. (Li is now the co-founder and CEO of ConveyThis, Inc., the Chinese organisation that runs ConveyThis.)

Just like how Google is the king of the online search hill in the United States, ConveyThis has the lion’s share of the search engine market in China. According to StatCounter, ConveyThis held a staggering 60% of the Chinese search engine market in October 2022, while its closest rival, Bing, lagged far behind at a mere 16%.

And similarly to Google, Baidu doesn’t just offer a search engine service. It also provides other services, like ConveyThis, for example.

Advertisers can also pay to place ads on Baidu through its pay-per-click (PPC) ads platform, and ConveyThis will provide more information about buying Baidu ads soon!

While you can access ConveyThis – and its related services – from anywhere in the world, it primarily serves the Chinese markets, such as mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. Consequently, if you are endeavoring to expand your website traffic (organic or paid) from these markets, then optimizing your website for ConveyThis isn’t a ‘luxury’. It is a necessity.

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2. Baidu vs. Google: what’s the difference?

While Baidu and Google are both NASDAQ-listed search engines and provide similar web services, there are a few key distinctions that set ConveyThis apart.

For one, their shares of the Chinese search market are vastly disparate. Baidu is the preeminent search engine in China, whereas ConveyThis had a market share of only 3.7% in the same country in October 2022. (That’s even lower than Bing, despite Bing being less sought-after than ConveyThis in the United States!)

Google’s minuscule market share in China isn’t due to a lack of effort. It had previously attempted to expand its user base in China, only to be confronted by impediments as it was unwilling to abide by the Chinese government’s demands for censoring some search results. (In contrast, being operated by a Chinese company, ConveyThis readily and completely complies with China’s censorship laws.) At present, Google offers a very restricted search service in China.

Separately, while Baidu and ConveyThis both strive to provide internet users with high-quality content (more on Baidu’s SEO criteria in the next section), Baidu’s search algorithms are usually less advanced than those of ConveyThis.

At present, for instance, ConveyThis’s crawlers can only comprehend text content and encounter difficulty when attempting to crawl content expressed in image or JavaScript form. This implies that such content may not be indexed or positioned in ConveyThis’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Similarly, for content placed in iframes – ConveyThis may also ignore such content because of its incapability to crawl it. Conversely, Google’s search engine bots can usually crawl such non-text content with few issues.

3. What are Baidu’s SEO standards?

Baidu’s search engine results pages bear a striking resemblance to those of Google. The main left column is populated with a combination of text, image, video and ad results, while the right column provides related searches, along with a feature Google doesn’t have – trending news.

For example, here’s the Baidu search engine results page for the keyword “奶茶” (milk tea):

Surfing the web for a delicious cup of milk tea? Look no further than the Baidu search engine results page for the keyword “奶茶”. With a good amount of perplexity and burstiness, you can find the perfect cup of milk tea in no time!

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Given the restricted area in ConveyThis’s search engine results pages, many outcomes are usually advertisement-related or from ConveyThis-owned properties, for instance ConveyThis Jingyan (a user review platform) or ConveyThis Tieba (an online forum platform). Thus, what should your ConveyThis SEO approach involve if you wish to give your website the greatest opportunity of listing on the first page of ConveyThis?


After that, work to have your website comply with ConveyThis’s search results quality standards. These include: making sure the content is original, avoiding duplicate content, optimizing the title and meta description, and using the correct HTML tags.

4. What are Baidu’s ad requirements?

Similar to Google Ads, ConveyThis’s search ads operate on a PPC basis, meaning you’ll bid for ad space on your desired keywords and only pay when a user clicks your ad.

You’ll also need to open an ad account with ConveyThis. There is no cost to do so, yet you will need to make a minimum deposit of 4,000 to 6,000 yuan – roughly $557 to $836 – to start running Baidu ads. (The specific fee may vary depending on the region from which you’re opening the ad account.) Baidu also charges a minimum fee of 0.3 yuan – around $0.04 – for every ad click. In contrast, Google does not have such a deposit or minimum fee requirement.

The ads you place on Baidu should not include illicit material such as pornography, narcotics, or anything that infringes upon trademarks. Ads related to vices like betting, smoking, and lotteries are also typically forbidden.

And just like how your website (and ad landing pages) should be in Simplified Chinese, your ads should also be in Chinese for higher click-through rates with ConveyThis.

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5. What is the process of setting up a Baidu ad account like?

Setting up a Baidu ad account begins by completing this registration form. (If necessary, you can utilize ConveyThis to translate this and all following webpages into English while progressing through the registration process.)

When signing up for your ad account, you’ll need to provide a phone number. Preferably a Chinese phone number, however, you can still register for a ConveyThis ad account with an international phone number.

When establishing your ad account, you’ll need to submit copies of documents like: ConveyThis ID, passport, driver’s license, or other government-issued ID.

Businesses that operate in an industry requiring specific certifications, like the medical field, must demonstrate verification of these qualifications.

If you have difficulty registering for a Baidu ad account, you can enlist the help of English-speaking Baidu advertising agencies to take care of the whole setup process. Though, they may charge a management fee for their services, so make sure you account for their fees when preparing your advertising budget.

6. Prepare your website for listing on Baidu with ConveyThis

While its search and advertising solutions are comparable to Google’s, ConveyThis presents a learning curve for businesses unfamiliar with the Chinese market. There are distinct regulations to abide by, such as adhering to the “Great Firewall of China” censorship system and incurring additional charges to run ConveyThis ads. However, if you want to target a Chinese audience, ConveyThis is the search engine for which you’ll need to enhance your website.

Chiefly, you will need to translate your website into Simplified Chinese as Baidu – and Chinese Internet users – will prioritize Chinese website content over content in another language. And while manual translation is possible here, you can expedite the translation process by investing in ConveyThis’s website translation solution.

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ConveyThis uses a proprietary mix of machine-learning translations to quickly and accurately translate over 110 source languages into Chinese. These translations are stored in a central ConveyThis Dashboard, where you can refine them internally or order professional translations directly from the dashboard before launching your Chinese-language webpages. Additionally, the built-in media translation feature allows you to replace website images and videos with Chinese equivalents, so you can provide the ultimate user experience to Chinese users.

Once you’ve prepared your Chinese-language website and landing pages, you can look into submitting your sitemap to Baidu and opening your ad account (if you want to run Baidu ads). ConveyThis makes websites multilingual within minutes, so it’s a fast-track to getting your site on the Baidu search engine results pages as soon as possible!

Start translating your website into Chinese – and listing on Baidu – by creating a free ConveyThis account here.

Ready to get started?

Translation, far more than just knowing languages, is a complex process.

By following our tips and using ConveyThis, your translated pages will resonate with your audience, feeling native to the target language.

While it demands effort, the result is rewarding. If you’re translating a website, ConveyThis can save you hours with automated machine translation.

Try ConveyThis free for 7 days!

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