Your Baidu PPC account can be a money burner

Posted by Ryan on 2011-05-03

A marketing conference is intended to concentrate your potential customers and sell your products. But Baidu’s conference marketing efforts during the “Search Dominates” Baidu 2011 Guangdong Conference (“搜赢天下,智引未来”) on April 28th didn’t go well – during the conference, some participants got on the stage and called “Baidu is a cheater company”. Many people at the conference recorded the situation with mobile phones and shared it via weibo…

I first got to know this from a weibo connection of mine, but when searching for it on Baidu, I got nothing – it seems Baidu’s reputation management team is really responsive and efficient.

Business owners use Baidu PPC, of course, to increase revenue, but most of them find the results are not as good as Baidu promises. Should Baidu be blamed? In some way, yes.

I have been helping companies manage their Baidu PPC campaigns for years, and one of the major complaints brought up by many business owners is Baidu PPC’s low conversion rate, much lower than that of Google Adwords.

I studied the statistics and found this is caused by cheating websites that has joined as Baidu PPC publishers. For example, I found a mobile device review website, with 12 pages indexed on Baidu and 23 pages indexed by Google ridiculously had a daily impression count of 400 thousand, and the average time on site was only 2 seconds – it is obvious the number was software-faked. But the fake clicks still counted, and the business owners’ money were spent.

Google is doing a better job in fighting for cheater sites, while Baidu’s technology seems not matchable. Google Adsense’s statistical functions can filter the invalid clicks to reduce the advertisers’ loss, but for Baidu, you have to count on yourself.

For business owners that are not SEM-savvy, this is kind of a Mission Impossible.

This is why Baidu PPC can be a money burner.

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