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Baidu SEO guidebook for all of us struggling with Chinese Search Engine Optimization

Discussion in 'All Other Search Engines' started by Gregory Kowalski, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. #1
    Dear All,

    Some of you might remember that I asked you:

    “How the site can improve its rank index in Baidu?” (https://forums.digitalpoint.com/thr...ts-rank-index-in-baidu.2712562/#post-18915031)

    The answer was rather difficult as most of us are not familiar with Chinese web and its mechanisms.

    I decided to research the subject and get into a little bit deeper and I found the BAIDU SEO guidebook in Chinese simplified: 百度互联网创业者俱乐部 搜索引擎优化指南 V.2.0.

    I believe that it could be useful for all of you interested in Chinese marketing and web presence so I decided to translate and summarize the content in this short guidebook.

    This guidebook is the current one-to-one action checklist for my website.

    You can also download the Baidu SEO guidebook from here:https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/41443181/BAIDU SEO_Guidebook.pdf


    BAIDU SEO: A Comprehensive Guidebook

    Chapter 1 Website’s Preparation

    1. Domain registration.

    Name of your website is the key in your marketing and first impression of the visitors to your website.

    Baidu recommends that your website domain shall be:
    a) Easy to remember and memorize for visitors.
    b) Easy to get a trust. This factor is especially important in China
    c) Short, the shorter the better
    d) Content related. When you think about your website, think also what is the content which going to be inside the site or products to promote.
    e) Associated with well known suffix such as: .com, .cn, .hk, .net.

    2. The site hosting

    Hosting provider for your web presence is a second crucial element associated with Baidu SEO. If you are interested in Chinese visitors then your server needs to be located in China or in Hong Kong. My previous hosting company was in USA, and the website was loading extremely slowly with the speeds around 500-1000 ms.

    If you want to purchase .CN domain and hosting plan in China, then your company has to be incorporated in Mainland China and you should possess the company license, there are also other administrative procedures which make the process rather difficult.

    Baidu recommends that your hosting shall be:
    a) Based in China
    b) Fast and stable, loading time of your website influences Baidu crawling system called BaiduSpider, if website loads slowly then cannot be included in Baidu Index.
    c) Purchased from reliable and known provider. There are often cases that Baidu is blocking cheap US hosting sites which are not able to deliver superior service and especially for Chinese IP visitors.
    d) Reliable, if the hosting is shared with other companies (so called “unlimited” hosting plans) then stability of the server can be affected.
    e) Relied on the access from the most trustworthy Chinese companies such as: China Unicom, China Telekom. This is related to interoperability problems.

    Chapter 2 Website’s Foundation

    3. Site Structure

    The site structure shall be divided into following sections: Homepage -> Catergories -> Articles, this structure is analogical to the TREE, its trunk, branches and leaves,

    The website structure should have a clear structure and easy to navigate menu, all the navigation actions between start of the page and articles included in three quick clicks

    4. Site navigation

    The website should have a concise, clear navigation, allowing users to quickly find their own needs and the content.

    Baidu recommends:
    a) Navigation menu shall be visible all the time for visitor to quickly move from one content to another.
    b) Using breadcrumbs, this allows visitors to know the pages throughout the website and help them to go back to the starting location.
    c) Use the navigation links in the text, without the use of complex java script or flash
    d) Making use of Alt comments if you want to put pictures into the navigation links.

    5. Subdomain

    Subdomain is treated by Baidu as consistent part of the website, and you should think carefully about creating subdomains if you focus Baidu Indexing, Baidu analyzes content of your subdomains and it decides to decrease your website rank if the content on the subdomain is strictly related to your main site.

    Summarizing, Baidu is able to weigh up or down your site rank based on your subdomain content.

    6. URL addresses

    Address URL is integral part of the website, the shorter the better. Baidu accepts Robots.txt, so if you do not wish to be indexed by Baidu Index then please use robots.

    Baidu recommends that your website’s URL is:
    a) Simple, it helps visitors to remember address of your website as well as it aids BaiduSpider to crawl your website and assign to a higher index.
    b) One address based, if your website is associated with more domains then it creates conflict with Baidu and only one link as standard one can be classified what could be a different URL that your main address.
    c) Free from any unnecessary analytical content such as Session id, statistical code, etc.
    d) Mostly static, dynamic or static URLs make no difference on the search engine but Baidu recommends putting as less characters as possible in your dynamic URL.
    e) Not containing any punctuation marks such as: ,,, ; etc.
    f) Using 301page redirect for any possible mistyped URLs.

    7. The website title

    The title of the site informs web users and search engines about the main contents of the website. A web search engine determines weight of the content and title is one of the main reference information for Baidu.

    Title is perceived as the most important information in Baidu Serch.

    Baidu recommends that the title of each page shall be different and more important title content started on the left side and transitioned to less important content to the left side (i.e Photography [important]_wedding[less important]_venue[the least important]).

    Baidu’s favours simple titles according to following hierarchy:

    Homepage: Site name or site name _ description of your services, products or your website content. In this case, underscore “_” is highly recommended to use as separator.

    Categories: Category name_Homepage name.Please use underscore “_” as separator again in your title.

    Articles: Articles name_Category name_Site name

    Baidu also recommends that the title should be included and refered to the html document <title> label, and not inside the <head> Tag file.

    8. The website content,

    Please do remember that internet in China is filtered and the content perceived by government as inappropriate is forbidden. So please be aware to not use any content related to human rights, Tibet Autonomous Region, Chinese government, sexual content or gambling as your website will be banned and excluded from Baidu Index.

    9. Meta description

    Meta description parameter is still a key for Baidu Search Engine. It acts as web content concise summary. If the meta description is consistent with the web content then the site will have a higher recognition in Baidu Search. Meta description content shall be written between <Head> tags.

    Baidu suggests that every page should have an unique meta description content and not the same as other pages in the website and not associated with text either Homepage, Categories or Articles. The meta description Tag shall have an accurate description of that page and please do not use keywords in meta description tag because Baidu is able to punish our website rank by such a behaviour.

    Chapter 3 Website’s Analysis

    10. BaiduSpider

    This is a special program developed by Baidu to crawl the internet websites to build them into Baidu Index.

    Baidu is able to recognize text only and any dynamic content on the website is not identifiable.

    You website to become recognizable for BaiduSpider shall not include or limited content of:
    a) Flash, flash is called by many as dead-end technology but it seems very popular for photographers and advertising driven companies.
    b) Images, BaiduSpider can not identify any non-text content and photos are one of them.
    c) Java script and Ajax. Please be careful if your website is based on these technologies because it cannot be recognized as ‘useful’ content for Baidu. So if you have any Chinese simplified contained in your dynamic navigation menu, then think again about use of these technologies.
    d) Excessive amount of pictures, do not use a lot of photos in your website if the content is not related into this. Baidu will analyze if the usage of the images is rational and balanced to the site content.
    e) iFrame. Baidu pays no attention to such segments arrangement.

    11. Zhang-zhang – zhanzhang.baidu.com, Baidu’s webmaster tool

    Zhang-zhang is a superb tool to analyze your website, similar instrument to Google Analytics,

    It is free of charge and what you need to do is to put Chinese mobile number and confirm installation by putting data from the sms message Baidu sent to the mobile.

    It helps to manage the website, checks safety of your website and inform you about any threats coming from the site. It checks your URL and scans your site for any dead links such as 404, 503, 403 errors, and checking also the results of the crawling by BaiduSpider program. It will also help you to put the search terms associated with your website. Based on also this list, Baidu will assign your website position in its Index.

    Baidu webmaster tool, zhanzhang.baidu.com is all in Chinese simplified, so it better to use Chrome to translate page or translate.google.com.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
    Gregory Kowalski, Apr 11, 2014 IP
    John Dave and Foxxy like this.
  2. Foxxy

    Foxxy Active Member

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    As many Chinese spammers as I have to IP ban on a daily basis, I would prefer to not be in Baidu at all.
    Foxxy, Apr 12, 2014 IP
  3. Gregory Kowalski

    Gregory Kowalski Active Member

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    Sure, if your business is not related to Chinese community. Baidu is essential for those who want to do business here, their products are directed into Chinese customers etc.

    I want to do a wedding photography here, so my goal is to bring a small percentage of a giant Chinese online community to my website. i figure out also thank to that chinese Baidu SEO guidebook, that i made many SEO mistakes.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
    Gregory Kowalski, Apr 12, 2014 IP
    Foxxy likes this.
  4. Jameyson MacDonald

    Jameyson MacDonald Well-Known Member

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    Unless you have unlimited bandwidth, I'd suggest not being indexed by Baidu. A few years ago, I ran a forum and, in an attempt to generate high traffic, I submitted my site to over 500 search engines. Baidu was among them and they immediately started indexing my site. Within a few days, I was getting more traffic than I ever thought imaginable, all from China. Unfortunately, much of this traffic began posting spam content in my forum and within a few days, I had reached my monthly bandwidth limit and my site was disabled. It was only the second week of the month, so for 2 weeks, I had no website.
    Jameyson MacDonald, Apr 12, 2014 IP
  5. Gregory Kowalski

    Gregory Kowalski Active Member

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    Jameyson MacDonald, sorry to hear that. i wonder:

    1. What did you do to start an immediate traffic from Baidu? - just submitted link to your forum?
    2. I have some anti-spam filters on my wordpress website, and it works well so far. is that spam content was all in Chinese simplified?
    Gregory Kowalski, Apr 12, 2014 IP
  6. Jameyson MacDonald

    Jameyson MacDonald Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I'm not 100% sure what got them started; back in those days, I was trying a lot of new things to generate backlinks and traffic. I doubt it was just the submission to the search engines, but I do believe that played a role. I was also using the automatic pinging utilities, auto sitemap submission programs and a handful of black hat SEO programs designed to automatically create tons of backlinks. It could have been any number of things; the only thing I know for certain is that the spam and excessive traffic began shortly after the search engine submissions.

    As for the spam content, most of it was in English and consisted of tons of links; even the user names and profile pages were filled with them.
    Jameyson MacDonald, Apr 13, 2014 IP