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How to Optimize Your Website in China with Baidu Webmaster Tools

Ian Lau February 16, 2016

The Secrets of Baidu’s Chinese-Only Tool Finally Unlocked

Baidu Webmaster Tools is a portal created to help webmasters and SEOs monitor and maintain their site’s presence in Baidu’s organic search results. The platform offers a great deal of metrics you can only get from Baidu, tools to test your site’s performance, and a two-way communication channel between you and Baidu. This means that if you are doing SEO in China, Baidu Webmaster Tools is an incredibly important tool you will have to master.

However, there’s one big obstacle facing SEOs outside of China — the tool is only available in Chinese. You could in theory use Google Translate, but this can be cumbersome, inaccurate, and does not translate technical terms well. So until now, unless someone on your team reads Chinese, managing your site on GWT has been a frustrating experience.

But never fear — we’ve provided this detailed, comprehensive guide to Baidu Webmaster Tools to help non-Chinese readers understand how to navigate the platform and get the most value out of it — without having to know a single Chinese word!

(Last Update: Nov 2017)

Baidu Webmaster Tools Features

So what can you do on Baidu Webmaster Tools? We’ll take a look at each of these main features in detail below:

Sign Up For Webmaster Tools

In order to start using Baidu Webmaster Tools, you first have to sign up for a Baidu account.

Unfortunately, even at this first step, the frustration can begin — account registration for Baidu requires a China mobile number for SMS verification. If you don’t have a China mobile number, we have a specific method for registration without a China phone number (see below).

If you have a local China number, then the registration process is pretty straight forward.

  1. Enter your China mobile number
  2. Create and enter your password
  3. Click on the button that says “获取短信验证 ” to get your SMS verification code, and input it into this field
  4. Read and agree to the terms of service, and click the blue register button

How to register for a Baidu account without China phone number

1. Register for Baidu account with international SMS verification

  1. Choose your country and enter your phone number
  2. Enter your password
  3. Click on the right get SMS verification code “获取短信验证 ” button to get a SMS verification code, and enter in to the left space
  4. Read and check the agreement box, and click “注册” to register

2. After registering, login to your Baidu account via Baidu Pan (Cloud storage service by Baidu) with your phone number.

  1. Click 帐号密 登录 to login via account ID and password instead of QR code
  2. Click 海外手机号 to login via phone number
  3. Enter the phone number and password you’ve registered with previously
  4. Click 登录 button to login

3. Upon successful logging in, you can visit the account security page of your Baidu account to bind your preferred Email address to Baidu so you can login to Baidu via Email

  1. Click on the bind “绑定” link next to secure Email “密保邮箱”
  2. Choose your phone number in the drop down menu, click on the right get verification code “发送验证 ” button to get a SMS verification code, enter in to the left space, and click the blue button to proceed
  3. Enter your desired Email address, click on get verification code “发送验证 ” button to get a Email verification code, enter the code into the left space, and click the blue button to proceed

4. All done! If all the steps above are implemented successfully, you should now be able to use your Email address to login to Baidu Webmaster Tools.

Adding Your Site To Baidu Webmaster Tools

Upon successful login, you can start adding sites to Baidu Webmaster Tools (Login required).

The first step is to enter your site’s home address and whether your site is HTTP or HTTPS site. Baidu recommends adding a site’s main or www. subdomain to their Webmaster Tool first, since it will make adding other subdomains easier later. Click 下一步 (Next) after you’ve done so:

After entering your website’s home address, you will need to tell Baidu the industry categories your site is about – Here‘s their English translation from Google Translate.

Similar to Google Search Console, Baidu Webmaster Tools offer three ways for users to verify their sites:

We will be using HTML tag verification in this tutorial since it can be the easiest for SEOs to control, as we may not have access to the FTP server or DNS settings.

  1. Select “HTML 签验证”
  2. Copy the provided HTML tag and paste it into the section of your homepage, here’s an example:

    <html>
        <head>
        <meta name=”baidu-site-verification” content=”xxxxxxxxxx” />
        <title>My title</title>
        </head>
        <body> page contents </body>
    </html>

  3. Click on the “完成验证” button

This screen will be shown upon verification success. It will prompt you to add subdomains by clicking on the blue button 批量添 子站 if you wish, otherwise you can just click 暂不添 to proceed.

After you’ve verified the site, DON’T remove these tags or files! In order to maintain the verification status, Baidu recommend users keeping the files, HTML and records since they will use these to check their user’s verification from time to time.

Common Verification Errors

If you get an errors on verifying your site, here are the common verification errors and their recommended solutions:

Error text Translation Recommended solutions
法解析您网站的域名 Unable to parse site’s domain name Please check if site’s DNS settings are correct, and update your own website DNS
法连接到您网站的服务器 Unable to connect web server Check if web server settings are correct and can be accessed normally
获取验证文件或网页发生错误 Errors getting the verification file or Web page Check server settings, or try again later
您网站跳转次数过多 Excessive redirects Check server settings, see if multiple redirects are in place, if so cancel them and try verifying again
服务器检查结果为空 Server checks result is null Please check if the server have settings specifically for Baidu (for example: Baidu are banned) and try again later
我们 法访问您的网站 Site inaccessible Please check if the server settings are correct, if your site is blocking Baidu’s UA / IP, try to verify your site after lifting those restrictions
找不到验证的html 签或者验证的html 签内容错误 Can not find HTML validation tag or the html tag is incorrect Please check if the html tag content is correct
验证的文件内容错误 Validation file error Please check if the validation file is correct
没有找到对应的DNS CNAME记录 Corresponding DNS CNAME record not found Check if the DNS settings are correct for your website
您的网站跳转到另一个域名下 Website redirected to another domain name Please check if the server has redirect set up, if so please cancel them and try reverifying

Adding Sites Via Baidu Analytics

If you’ve Baidu Analytics (Tongji) installed on your site, you can add your site directly in Baidu Webmaster Tools without verifying, but we won’t be covering this method here.

The Baidu Webmaster Tools Dashboard

If you only have time to learn one thing about the whole tools after setting up your account, the Baidu Webmaster Tools Dashboard will probably be the one. The Dashboard of the Baidu Webmaster Tools gives users high level overview of all the data available inside the tool. This dashboard is not customizable, and below are the description of each component.

  1. Site Selector (选择站点) – This dropdown menu allows you to switch between different sites you’ve added to Baidu Webmaster Tools. The blue link next to it (将该网站设置为默认站点) will let you set the currently selected site as the default site, so this site will shown first every time you login to Baidu Webmaster Tools.
  2. Important Messages (重要消息) – Notifies you of Baidu news, errors, system updates, site status etc.
  3. Traffic and Rankings (流量与关键词) – Shows you the total and for top 3 keywords, the number of clicks and impressions for today
  4. Indexation (索引量) – Total number of indexed pages in Baidu for the last few days
  5. Link Submission (链接提交) – The number of submitted links to Baidu for the last few days
  6. Mobile Adaption (移动适配) – The number of total clicks and mobile clicks for the last few days
  7. Crawl Frequency(抓取频次) – The number of times Baidu Spider has crawled your pages for the last few days
  8. Crawl Errors (抓取异常) – Server and site errors Baidu Spider has encountered for the last few days
  9. Broken Links Analysis (死链分析) – The number of broken links for the last few days
  10. Backlinks Analysis (外链分析) – The number of backlinks for the last few days

Validate your HTTPS site with Baidu

Baidu started supporting HTTPS websites since 2015 however China SEOs has been complaining that the indexation for HTTPS websites haven’t been great (Some even reported huge traffic loss for extended period of time). However Baidu has been improving their ability in crawling HTTPS pages and we’ve seen more and more China websites started using HTTPS for all their pages in the past year.

Recently, Baidu released a HTTPS Validation Tool that allow SEOs to trigger a validation of whether their site is a valid HTTPS site or has been successfully migrated to HTTPS, and provide a quick index update for the HTTPS site once validated.

The tool is pretty straight forward to use – You visit the page and there’s only 1 button on the page, once you’ve confirmed your site’s HTTPS implementation status, you can click on the button and Baidu will immediately start checking whether your site’s HTTPS status, and update their index within a day accordingly.

Requirements for successful HTTPS validation

Apply for Brand Terms Protection (官网保护)

Fake official websites has been an issue for Baidu SEOs for years. Experienced black hat SEOs in China often look for global brands with lack of SEO efforts in Baidu, creating fake websites that rank for brand terms of these companies before they do, and trying to sell their fake websites back to the company, or resell their leads to their competitors for profit.

To help fight this issue, Baidu’ve recently released a brand terms protection tool which allow legitimate website submitting up to 3 brand terms they should rank for but aren’t because of fake websites. With this tool you can also report to Baidu for fake websites. Let’s look at the tool together:

Inside the page, you’ll be able to:

  1. Select whether you’d like to submit your brand protection request on Baidu Desktop (pc搜索) or Mobile (移动搜索)
  2. Select whether you’d like to submit your brand terms for protection (官网提交) or report fake websites (官网举报) to Baidu
  3. Enter up to 3 terms (需求词) you’d like to apply for protection (They cannot be changed once Baidu accepted your request)
  4. Confirm the URL of the official website (官网链接) (Same as the URL you’ve verified on Baidu Webmaster Tools)
  5. Submit your request

Things to keep in mind when using Baidu’s Brand Terms Protection tool

The first thing you should bear in mind is that this tool is created for websites who’re suffering from fake websites ranking above them for their brand terms, so if your site is not having this issue, Baidu likely won’t accept your application as there’s nothing need to be fixed on their end.

Time required for Baidu to process brand protection application is normally within 15 days. Also the Brand Terms Protection tool is a different feature than the “Official website tag” (Where you will see “官网” next to the search snippet, learn more about rich snippets in our Baidu SERP Features article) and they do not affect each other.

Submitted terms will need to be closely related to your brand, here are some examples:

Eligible

Not Eligible

Submit Content To Baidu For Indexation

Baidu currently offers 4 methods for submitting content. To ensure best indexation, we recommend implementing all of them if possible:

Submitting links will help Baidu discover your new content, however this doesn’t guarantee indexation and rankings.

We will be demonstrating the Auto Push method, since we believe this will be suitable for most SEOs. Simply copy the following JavaScript code, and paste it into every page of your site. If you are using a CMS like WordPress, you can paste this code into the section of the header.php file of your theme.

<script>
(function(){
    var bp = document.createElement('script');
    var curProtocol = window.location.protocol.split(':')[0];
    if (curProtocol === 'https') {
        bp.src = 'https://zz.bdstatic.com/linksubmit/push.js';
    }
    else {
        bp.src = 'http://push.zhanzhang.baidu.com/push.js';
    }
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];
    s.parentNode.insertBefore(bp, s);
})();
</script>

After doing so, every time when a page is browsed on your site, the page’s URL will be pushed to Baidu automatically, thus ensuring new content being submitted to Baidu.

You can track your submission stats overtime in Baidu webmaster Tools as well. In the screenshot below, you can see that the site is primarily relying on sitemap for URLs submission (The purple line).

Having too many broken links on your site will negatively affect your site’s user experience, traffic, conversions and indexation — especially if they’re showing up on Baidu search results pages. You can use the Broken Link Submission Tool (死链提交) to inform Baidu your sites’ broken links.

There are two methods you can use to submit broken links: File submission and rule submission. We will be demonstrating File Submission in this article:

  1. Choose 文件提交
  2. Select the update frequency of your broken links file
  3. Input your broken links file path, e.g. www.example.com/brokenlinks.txt
  4. Submit

A. Here you can see the status and stats for your submitted broken links file

Note

Both.txt and .xml file formats are supported for broken link files. Each file can contain up to 50,000 URLs, and cannot be larger than 10 Mb.

Minimize Negative Seo Effects Caused By Site Migration

Baidu Webmaster Tools offer users the ability to notify Baidu when you move to a new domain, or shuffle content around on your site by using the Site Migration Tool (网站改版工具). You absolutely should use it when migrating your site. The tool currently support the 3 types of migrations:

  1. Change of domain (站点改版) – For example from “www.example1.com” to “www.example2.com”, site architecture remaining the same.
  2. Rules Migration (规则改版) – For structural updates without changing root domains, e.g. “www.example.com/blog” to “www.example.com/blog-new” or “www.example.com/blog” to “blog.example.com”
  3. URLs pairing (新旧URL对) – Suitable for webmasters who’ve encounter updates to a specific set of URLs that can’t be described by Regex, or failed to implement the above two methods. You can submit a document of updated URLs to Baidu. Document format: 2 URLs per row, the first URL being the old URL and the second URL is the new URL, 2 URLs are separated by a space, you can upload as much as 50000 pairs of URLs per document, or 2000 pairs of URLs by directly inputing into the text box. An URLs pairing format example: “http://www.example.com/a.htm http://blog.example.com/a.htm”

We will be covering Change of domain (站点改版) and URLs pairing (新旧URL对) in this tutorial.

Before using the Site Migration Tool

This tool will notify Baidu of the changes to links in your site. Changes of content will not be taken into account.

Using 站点改版 (Change of domain)

  1. Your old site’s domain name
  2. Your new site’s domain name
  3. Submit

Using URLs pairing tool (新旧URL对)

  1. Your old site’s domain name
  2. Your new site’s domain name
  3. Upload URL pairing document, or
  4. Paste pairs of URLs
  5. Browse files
  6. Submit

Results of site migrations

  1. 规则 验中 – Verifying
  2. 验失败 – Verification failed
    • 提交重复规则 – Repeated rules, If you’ve submitted currently existing rules you will get this error
    • 未设置301跳转 – 301 redirect not set, old URLs have to be 301 redirected to new URLs
    • 旧链抓取失败 – Old link is not crawlable
    • 新链抓取失败 – New link is not crawlable
    • 跳转关系与规则不符 – Redirect mismatch with migration rule
    • URL与所提交站点不匹配 – URL mismatch with submitted site
    • 正则 式不正确 – Incorrect Regex format
    • URL对文件 式不正确 – Incorrect URL pairing document format
    • 多跳一 – Multiple links redirected to a single link
  3. 需改版 – No update required, it means your new links has been indexed by Baidu, so using this tool will not be necessary
  4. 改版进行中 – Migration processing, after the verification process, the migration process will take 48 hours at most
  5. 改版完成 – Migration completed

These errors will be shown in samples in the tool interface.

Notes

Track Your Site’s Indexation On Baidu

A site’s indexation is the number of pages on a site that are in the search engine’s database and available to be shown in search results. This is important because if your pages are not even indexed in a particular search engine, there is no chance they can have any ranking for any keyword.

One of the simplest method to get indexation data is to use the “site:” search operator, however this number as we all know, is not accurate.

To get a site’s accurate indexation on Baidu, you should use the Indexation Volume tool (索引量) in Baidu Webmaster Tools.

Notes

Track indexation for a particular directory within your site

By adding custom rules in the indexation tool, you can check a particular directory or subdomain’s indexation volume as well. Custom rule can be defined by inserting “*” into your site URL, placing “*” at the end of the URL after “/” you can get the page’s and all subfolders’ indexation for that URL. If you add the “*” in other position before “/”, you can get indexation data for that directory, here are some examples:

  1. Add new rule
  2. Define custom rule and give the rule a name
  3. Confirm
  4. Check Baidu indexation for your defined directory

Track Ranking Keywords, Impression And Clicks In Baidu

Probably the most important feature for any search engines’ webmaster tools is to check for ranking keywords and their impression and clicks. In Baidu Webmaster Tools’ Traffic and Keywords (流量与关键词) section, webmasters can get their sites’ impressions and clicks from Baidu organic search results in a daily, weekly and monthly level, as well as the impressions and clicks for your sites top keywords for the last 30 days. Top landing pages are also provided so you can get a sense of how your pages are performing in Baidu. There is a maximum of 50,000 rows on each report.

  1. Choose from Desktop or Mobile traffic
  2. Total number of clicks and impressions
  3. Your specified date range, and whether you’d like to compare your data with the previous month

    1. The red line is clicks and the blue line is is impressions (The screenshot below also enabled the Compare to last month option):

    1. Choose to view your top keywords or top landing pages
    2. A list of your top keywords or top landing pages, if you click into detail (详情) you can see which pages are ranking for these keywords or which keywords are bringing traffic to these pages.

  1. Download these data to a CSV file

When you are viewing mobile data on this page, you can view data for All Pages (全部), Mobile Pages (移动页), Encoded Pages (转 页) or Desktop Pages (PC页). This will give you a better idea of how’s your site performing on Baidu Mobile if you have different types of mobile pages on your site.

Track Crawling Errors

If a site has a lot of crawling errors or uncrawlable content, search engines will rank them lower and index less pages, since they offer a poor user experience. With Crawl Error Tool (抓取异常工具) in Baidu Webmaster Tools, you can see how successful Baidu spiders are able to crawl your site over time.

  1. Shows different types of server errors, orange line is DNS errors, light blue line is connection errors, dark blue line is connection timeouts, green line is crawl timeouts.
  2. Different types of links errors, categorized as 服务器错误 (server errors), 访问被拒绝 (access denied), 找不到页面 (page not found) and 其他错误 (others), only the first 1,000 problematic links are shown.
  3. Download data in CSV

Note

If your 404 links are shown in this tool, you won’t need to submit broken links for these links to Baidu

Test For Potential Baidu Spider Crawling Issues

Within Baidu Webmaster Tools you can diagnose potential SEO issues by checking using Crawl Diagnostic Tool (抓取诊断). 200 fetches are available for each site every week, and the fetch results will only show content of the first 200 KB of content.

Within the crawl detail page, you can:

  1. Choose from Desktop UA or Mobile UA
  2. Start fetching
  3. Status of the test crawl, clicking into anyone of these will take you to the crawl detail page

Result page of the crawl test:

  1. Information about the test like URLs, UA, crawl date and time, website IP and download speed
  2. Returned HTTP header
  3. Crawled HTML content (First 200kb)

Look at the number of broken links in your site Baidu’s found over time:

  1. Choose 死链分析
  2. There are 3 types of broken links data are available inside the tool. To illustrate these, let’s say your site is www.abc.com and the external site is http://www.example.com:
    内链死链 (Internal broken link) – A broken link in the same domain as yours, e.g. A broken link http://www.abc.com/2.html found on http://www.abc.com/1.html
    链出死链 (External broken link) – A broken link that is linking to an external domain, e.g. A broken link http://www.example.com/1.html found on http://www.abc.com/1.html
    链入死链 (Inbound broken link) – A broken link from an external domain that is linking to your site, e.g. A broken link http://www.abc.com/1.html found on http://www.example.com/1.html
  3. Search bar, date selector and details of your broken links,
    死链链接 (Broken link URL) – 404 status code is shown when Baidu Spider is crawling a page
    死链前链 (Link before broken link) – A link that navigate user to a page where the broken link is at
    锚文本 (Anchor text) – The anchor text of the broken link
    发现时间 (Discovered date) – The latest date Baidu Spider has discovered the broken link
  4. Download these data to a CSV file

With Baidu Webmaster Tools Backlink tool, you can:

Backlink data in Baidu Webmaster Tools is updated weekly. It is not perfect, and is missing many backlinks Baidu likely knows about. But it can still be useful as an extra source of backlink data.

Track And Adjust Baidu Spider’s Crawling Frequency

What is crawling frequency (抓取频次)?

Crawling frequency is the number of times a search engine’s crawler visits a site’s server to perform a crawl within a specific period. For Baidu, crawling frequency is counted daily. Baidu Spider will automatically adjust a its crawling frequency according to its update history and server capabilities.

With Baidu Webmaster Tools, webmasters can adjust Baidu Spider’s maximum crawling frequency. It’s important to choose the right balance between frequency and performance, since a too-low crawl frequency can affect your site’s indexation on Baidu, but a too-high frequency can affect your server’s performance.

If you notice your site’s performance drop due to Baidu Spider’s crawls (you can check for Baidu Spider’s user agent in your server logs), you may want to reduce the max crawling frequency. If you’re seeing a decrease in indexation, you’ll want to increase the crawling frequency.

Crawling frequency too low

  1. If you’ve already defined a maximum crawling frequency, please cancel the maximum frequency or raise it
  2. If you haven’t set a maximum crawling frequency, please use the crawl error tool to check if Baidu Spider can successfully crawl your site
  3. If you still think indexation is too low, you can try submitting links to Baidu

Crawling frequency too high

  1. If you think Baidu is crawling content that you don’t prefer to be crawled, please update your robots.txt to block these content and use the robots tool to test your changes
  2. If the performance drop due to Baidu Spider crawl has negatively affect your visitors’ browsing experiences, you can use this tool to decrease the maximum crawling frequency

Baidu Webmaster Tools let you keep track on how Baidu Spider is crawling your site with their Crawl Frequency Tool:

You can see number of times Baidu Spider has crawled your site each day.

Also average time taken for Baidu Spider to crawl your site each day, in milliseconds.

So let’s say after all the analysis, you’ve decided to adjust Baidu’s maximum crawling frequency.

  1. Adjust maximum crawling frequency by using the slider
  2. After selecting your decided frequency, click here to submit
  3. Here you can check your adjustment history

Create, Validate Or Update Robots.Txt For Baidu

The robots.txt file is a document placed in your site’s root directory to inform search engines which pages should be crawled and which should not be crawled. With the robots tool in Baidu Webmaster Tools you can create, validate or update your robots.txt file, or check your site current robot.txt saved on Baidu.

  1. You check how Baidu can see your site’s robots.txt, and start making changes by clicking this button
  2. Here you can make changes to the robots.txt file, the tool will even tell you if there’s error within the document, click on the “提交” button after you’ve made your changes
  3. you can enter an URL from your site and see if Baidu Spider is allow to crawl that page

Notes

Here are some examples of setting up a good robots.txt file for Baidu:

Applications robots.txt
Block any search engines from crawling anywhere of the site

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

Allow all access to robots.txt

User-agent: *
Allow: /

Only disallow Baidu Spider from crawling your website

User-agent: Baiduspider
Disallow: /

Only allow Baidu Spider from crawling your website

User-agent: Baiduspider
Allow: /

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

Only allow Baidu Spider and Google Bot from crawling your site

User-agent: Baiduspider
Allow: /

User-agent: Googlebot
Allow:/
User-agent: *
Disallow:/

Disallow any search engines from accessing a certain pathIn this example, there are 2 subfolders blocked from search engines,
please keep in mind that each path must be written in a separate row with separate directives,
something like “Disallow: /members/ /admin/” won’t work

User-agent: *
Disallow: /members/
Disallow: /admin/

Only allow certain url to be crawled in a specific subfolder

User-agent: *
Allow: /blog/new
Allow: /products/new
Allow: /about/contact
Disallow: /blog/
Disallow: /products/
Disallow: /about/

Using “*” to restrict accessRestrict all .html content of the folder and its subfolder

User-agent: *
Disallow: /members/*.html

Use “$” to restrict accessOnly allow .html content to be crawled

User-agent: *
Allow: /*.html$
Disallow: /

Disallow all dynamic content of the site

User-agent: *
Disallow: /*?*

Disallow Baidu Spider from crawling any images on your siteOnly allow pages crawl, disallow any images from crawling

User-agent: Baiduspider
Disallow :/*.jpg$
Disallow :/*.jpeg$
Disallow :/*.gif$
Disallow :/*.png$
Disallow :/*.bmp$

Only allow Baidu Spider from crawling pages and .gif filesAllow crawl of pages and .gif files, disallow any other formats’ images to be crawled

User-agent: Baiduspider
Allow :/*.jpg$
Disallow :/*.jpeg$
Disallow :/*.gif$
Disallow :/*.png$
Disallow :/*.bmp$

Only disallow Baidu Spider from crawling .jpg images

User-agent: Baiduspider
Disallow: /*.jpg$

Conduct Site Security Test

Within the Baidu Webmaster Tools, there is a Site security test (网站体检) that you can conduct, which will check your site against some basic web security issues like malicious links, cloaking, hosting vulnerability, 0-day risk etc.

The result pages will contain links to other Baidu’s web hosting products. Although it’s far from a proper server security audit but it’s good know that there’s such a tool.

Avoid Negative Seo Effects Caused By Offline Maintenance

Whenever a site is not available for a relatively long period of time, Baidu will consider the site as dead, and take away its ranking power. This is an extremely detrimental unintentional consequence of site maintenance that needs to be avoided.

By applying for Closure Protection (闭站保护) in Baidu Webmaster Tools, Baidu will retain the indexation, stop crawling and hiding your site in their SERP pages temporarily, after the site is back to normal, webmasters can apply for recovery within the tool, and everything will back to as it is.

Things to keep in mind before applying for closure protection:

  1. If your site will not be available to the public for a certain period due to migration, updates, server malfunction or political reason etc., applying for site maintenance protection can avoid Baidu from crawling and hide those pages from their index, after the site is back to normal, you can apply for recover and switch everything back to normal
  2. Please apply for site maintenance protection as soon as your site is not available, otherwise indexation of your sites’ content will not be protected
  3. 2 protection methods are supported, full site 404 or Server shutdown, DNS closure is not supported
  4. Applying for site closure or recovery will take effect within 3 hours after Baidu’s approval
  5. Protection period can be as long as 180 days, after 180 days protection will be canceled automatically
  6. Site closure protection will not protect closed sites’ from ranking changes, it can only keep your site indexed
  7. During the protection period if the site’s homepage is accessible, Baidu will show only the homepage in their search results

Optimize Site For Baidu Mobile

Baidu Desktop and Mobile search is vastly different, SEOs are not advised to treat it as you would Google Desktop and Mobile. The Mobile Adaption Tool in Baidu Webmaster Tools is available for webmasters to associate their site’s mobile and desktop relationship, thus increasing their potential for better mobile ranking performance.

There are 3 main types of mobile friendly websites technologies: Separate URLs, Dynamic Serving and Responsive Design

If you are using the separate URLs method, you can use the mobile adaption Tool within Baidu Webmaster Tools to tell Baidu the relationship between your desktop and mobile site.

There are two methods to use the mobile adaption tool, rules adaption and URL adaption, we will be demonstrating the URL adaption method this time, click on the 添 适配关系 (Add adaptive relationship) button to start.

  1. Click on the URL适配 tab
  2. Make sure you’ve selected the correct desktop site and input your mobile site URL.
  3. For the pairing rules, you can upload a pairing document or use the text box provided in the page. With the document, you can define up to 50,000 pairing rules, and with the text box you can define up to 2,000 pairing rules.
  4. After inputting your pairing rules, press 提交 to submit the adaption request. Format of the pairing document: Each pair of desktop and mobile URL listed in the same row, with the former one bring desktop and later one being mobile, separated by a blank. e.g. “www.example.com/home.html m.example.com/home.html”

After submission, Baidu will verify your submitted rules, the process will take around 10 days. You can check back at the same page to see your results.

To learn more about optimizing for Baidu mobile, you’ll definitely want to check out our comprehensive guide to Baidu Mobile SEO.

Structured Data Submission In Baidu Webmaster Tools

Unlike Google, which is using Schema markup for structured data, Baidu SEOs must use Baidu Webmaster Tools to submit structured data. Aside from its completely different technical implementation, types of structured data webmasters are allowed to submit will be limited according to a site’s authority, credibility and participations of different Baidu beta projects. At the time of this writing, with Baidu Webmaster Tools you will be able to set the following:

  • Set site logos, suitable devices, and industry
  • Submit sitelinks (Open to websites who’ve actively participate in Baidu Webmasters Forum)
  • Download, Play now and watch now button in search snippets (Closed beta which can be applied by directly contacting Baidu)

Please note that submitting structured data does not guarantee your site will appear with these rich snippets — it’s up to Baidu’s discretion as to when they’re shown. We think it’s definitely worth a shot to submit data for all rich snippets that make sense for your site. If you are interested in learning more about how search appearances can affect your SEO performance in Baidu, you’ll absolutely want to check out our in-depth analysis of the Baidu SERP.

Here are some of the rich snippets available by submitting structured data through Baidu Webmaster Tools, much more examples available at our Baidu rich snippets glossary:

Logos and extra description of content

Add your logo or extra information about your content. Available to all webmasters.

Available to actively participants in Baidu webmasters forum

Download or Start Game button rich snippets

If you have a downloadable or streaming game, add a call to action button to your snippet. Closed beta, invitation based.

Site Properties

The Site Properties page in Baidu Webmaster Tools allow webmasters too tell more to Baidu about their sites:

  1. Site types – Tell Baidu whether your site is designed for Desktop or Mobile (Dynamic served or Responsive)
  2. Site Logo – If you submit your site logos in 121×75 and 200×200, Baidu might show in along with your search snippet
  3. Industry – The industry your site is in
  4. Bei An Number – Enter your website’s company Bei An number (Business Registration number in China) can speed up indexation of your website on Baidu

Bonus: Access Baidu Webmaster Tools On Mobile Devices

Baidu offers a mobile version of their webmaster tools with a simple and effective interface, and with a few exclusive metrics. View directly on your mobile device or use a viewport on your browser to access.

  1. Site selector
  2. Indexation
  3. Traffic
  4. Keywords
  5. Mobile Adaption
  6. Messages and notifications
  1. Mobile / Desktop Selector
  2. Total number of ranking keywords over time, blue line being top 10, orange line being top 20 and green line being top 30
  3. Date Selector
  4. In this table, 关键词数 (the total number of ranking keywords), 升入词数 (the number of keywords emerged), 跌出词数 (the number of keywords dropped out) are shown for your top 1-10,11-20 and 21-30 keywords respectively.

Explanation to each data columns:

  • Keywords (关键词) – Each of your ranking keywords
  • Traffic (导流量) – Traffic a keyword’s driven to your site
  • Impact Score (影响力) – This is a calculated value taken into account your keyword ranking, search volumes and impressions etc., the higher the better
  • Ranking (排名) – Your site’s ranking for a keyword
  • Detail (详情) – Access data for that keyword to your website overtime, read on below:
  1. Mobile / Desktop Selector
  2. Impact Score (影响力) – Calculated value taken into account your keyword ranking, search volumes and impressions etc.
    Traffic (导流量) – Traffic that keyword’ve driven to your site
    Ranking (排名) – Your site’s ranking for that keyword The chart below will show you these metrics overtime, for the Impact Score (影响力) chart the blue line is your site’s impact score, the orange line is the most impactful site’s impact score for that keyword, the green line is the total impact score for all the ranking sites for that keyword. Note: The report only show the top 50000 keywords of your site

Conclusion

With this guide, we can now finally understand how to use Baidu Webmaster Tools to maximize your search visibility in China. While mastering Baidu Webmaster Tools may not guarantee success of your SEO campaigns, one thing is certain — not being able to use it can drastically impede your success in Baidu search results.

As Baidu Webmaster Tools is constantly updated, we’ll be updating this guide from time to time as well! We hope you find this article useful, and feel free to let us know if you have any feedback or questions!

Continue Reading

Chapter 8 : Social Media

Continue Reading

Chapter 8 : Social Media

Chapters

Chapter 1

Introduction

Chapter 2

Keyword Research

Chapter 4

Content Marketing

Chapter 5

Link Building

Chapter 6

Mobile SEO

Chapter 8

Social Media

Chapter 9

Reporting

Chapter 10

Universal Search

Chapters

  1. Introduction
  2. Keyword Research
  3. Technical / On-Page SEO
  4. Content Marketing
  5. Link Building
  6. Mobile SEO
  7. Baidu Webmaster Tools
  8. Social Media
  9. Reporting
  10. Universal Search