How Baidu PPC compares to Google PPC

When it comes to search engines Baidu is almost universally described as ‘the Chinese Google’. In terms of dominating the search market this is certainly true, as thanks to an absence of Google in China. But how similar are Google PPC and Baidu PPC?

Similar format of displaying sponsored links

Following a redesign Baidu’s search results are displayed in a similar fashion to Google’s. One criticism of the old design was that it was hard for users to tell which links were paid for by advertisers, and which were organic search results. The new design makes things much clearer, with paid-for links appearing above the organic search results, as well as sponsored links displayed to the right hand side of the results.

More characters allowed on Baidu ads

Baidu gives you considerably more space for ad copy than Google. Where Google allows only a maximum of 25 characters for an ad title, Baidu gives users 50 characters to play with, the equivalent of 25 Chinese words. Google ads can contain up to 2 lines of text, each with no more than 35 characters in them. With Baidu PPC you have 80 characters per line, with the two lines of text. This gives you more opportunity to communicate your message with your target market.

Fewer negative keywords

Negative keywords prevent your ads from being displayed against irrelevant searches. For example, if you ran a campaign to advertise your luxury handbags, you might want to match the term ‘handbags’, but you wouldn’t want your adverts to be displayed alongside searches for ‘cheap handbags’. While Google seemingly has no limit on the number of negative keywords you can include in a campaign, Baidu limits users to 200, so you have to pick them a little more carefully.

Both have a keyword quality scoring system

Google and Baidu both use a quality scoring system for keywords which puts the focus on creating high quality campaigns. Each keyword is giving a rating from 1-10, with higher numbers being better. Your quality score is affected by several factors, including historical performance and the quality of landing pages linked to from the ad. The better the score, the more relevance given to it by the ad platform.

Similar on the outside, different on the inside

While Baidu and Google may have their similarities, it is the differences in the people who use them that sets them apart. In order to succeed with Google Adwords you can always read online tutorials. But when marketing to China you have an entirely different culture, language, and set of behaviours to cater to. That’s a lot harder to learn from a bit of internet reading, which is why the smart option is to enlist the help of a Baidu PPC management agency.