Baidu offers several different ways of making a brand seem more official, more trustworthy. Each of these three options is very different, and the prices range greatly as well. In this post, I will thoroughly go over each of these options.

Baidu Real Name Verification “实名实网认证”

Baidu offers “实名实网认证”, which means “real name verification”. It’s required for running Baidu ads.

Non-Chinese businesses running Baidu Ads need to submit scans of their business licenses and bank flow documents. Sometimes, additional documentation is required, particularly for certain industries. Note that these do not need to be Chinese documents, but rather should be the documents from whichever country the business is incorporated in.

For Chinese Businesses running Baidu Ads, the requirements are stricter. They also require an ICP License and information on their legal representative (法人).

It costs 600 Chinese Yuan/year, but fees may vary based on the agency you use.

Baidu “Official” Badge “官方”

This blue “官方” badge means “Official”. It’s only triggered by strongly-associated words, such as the brand name of the business.

For example, when I search “University of Alberta”, there is an “Official” badge next to their official website.

Screenshot of University of Alberta listed on Baidu with the "Official" badge.

This helps Baidu users quickly identify official websites, providing protection against counterfeit or fraudulent sites.


What does Baidu’s Official Badge Cost and How Can You Apply?

For well-known, authoritative websites like universities, hospitals, government agencies, museums, etc, Baidu provides this certification automatically and for free.

For small businesses and other less well-known organizations, Baidu requires a yearly fee of 3,000 Chinese Yuan (Chinese link). It can be applied for via the Baidu Ads account or by emailing [email protected]. An ICP License is also required.

Which Keywords Trigger Baidu’s “Official” Badge?

Usually only branded keywords will trigger the badge.

For example, for University of Alberta:

  • The search term “University of Alberta” triggers the badge.
  • The search term “在阿尔伯塔的大学” (universities in Alberta) does not trigger the badge.

In some cases, it’s also possible to get verification for other keywords that are related to the brand name but different, such as abbreviations or acronyms.  This will cost more though.


Should You Pay For The “Official” Badge?

For small businesses, this badge is nice to have but not required.

We have a B2B client that had purchased this badge before we took over their ad spend. They spent 30K CNY/year (about 4,200 USD) just to get this badge for two keywords, one of which is their brand name and the other of which is a variation of their brand name.

Is it worth it? I’ll offer two opinions:

  1. On the one hand, I think they could’ve more wisely spent this money on driving about 50,000 targeted visits to their website via Baidu ads.
  2. On the other hand, one of our Account Managers thinks the spend is wise because this particular B2B business has their products on many different websites. Those websites are run by distributors and are of varying quality and reliability. Showing which site is “Official” helps users find the best-quality, most up-to-date information on the products, and also helps drive sales directly, which offer a higher margin to the business.


Baidu Trademark Badge “®”

Baidu also has a separate Trademark Badge.

It seems to show up a lot less commonly than the Official badge. You can see it in the image below, where I searched for Siemens and then hovered my mouse over the “R” icon.

Screenshot of Siemens on Baidu, showing the Trademark Badge.Application for this is similar to the above badges, but requires submission of a trademark certificate. The official price is 2,000 Yuan per year.

Note that this is not the same thing as trademark protection for keywords in a Baidu Ads account. That’s something we accomplish for our advertising clients for free.


Baidu Guarantee “保障”

While the “Official” badge protects Baidu’s users from companies pretending to be another business, Baidu’s “Guarantee” badge protects users from the official business itself.

“Guarantee” is spelled “保障” in Chinese.

See the image below. I searched for “Apple” and hovered “保障” with my mouse. It then shows a box with options to click through to see more of Apple’s information.

Screenshot showing the Guarantee Badge on Apple's listing on Baidu.This is the strongest of Baidu’s tools for users, because it provides a monetary guarantee.

If a logged-in Baidu user clicks on a Baidu ad, makes a purchase and gets cheated by the provider, they can get refunded up to 10,000 Chinese Yuan from the advertiser.

All new accounts setup via Nanjing Marketing Group have this feature enabled.

To receive a refund, the user must meet these requirements:

  1. They must have been logged-in to Baidu when they clicked the ad. (Not all users of Baidu login.)
  2. They must have made a purchase.
  3. They must be able to show that they didn’t receive what was advertised, and do so within 30 days.

If Baidu rules in favor of the complaining user, the advertiser must refund payment to the user. If a refund isn’t issued, Baidu may freeze the account and it’s advertising credit.

More details are provided on, although they are in Chinese only.

Note that we’ve run many millions of dollars of ads on Baidu for clients and we’ve only seen this refund process actually being used once. A customer of a provider of American visas complained about false information and was refunded about 140 USD. I bet this is partly because few users are aware of that feature, but partly because we’re so careful with the wording used on ads and websites.


Baidu “Brand Zone”

Although Baidu Brand Zone isn’t technically a verification feature, it still serves to build trust. It’s an advertising product that can help brands make a splash with their audience.

Businesses that pay for Brand Zone (品牌专区) secure a larger portion of the search results page for the keywords they’ve purchased.

Within the Brand Zone product, there are many different options depending on keywords, the elements of the page to be affected and length of contract. To simplify things, there are three flavors of Brand Zone:

  • Advanced
  • Regular
  • General Keyword

“Advanced” Brand Zone

See Nike’s page in the image below. The whole page has a totally different feeling from the regular Baidu search results, right? Besides the Baidu menu up top, every element above-the-fold is controlled by Nike, even the background. Even Baidu’s logo is a different color than usual.

Screenshot of Nike's Brand Zone ad on Baidu.

“Advanced” Brand Zone is a high-cost branding option, primarily targeted at consumer brands.

Here’s one more example. In this one, the image in the background is a video.
Screenshot of Fotile's Brand Zone Ad on Baidu.

However, not all Brand Zone advertising takes up as much space as these. You’ll see in the examples below.


“Regular” Brand Zone

Here’s another example. It’s for the brand Sephora and still taking up quite a bit of the page. It doesn’t make the whole page “feel” like Sephora though, does it?

a Baidu regular brand zone screenshot for SephoraWe priced out this kind of “Regular” Brand Zone for a mid-sized B2B enterprise in July 2023. This is what it would cost.

  • Monthly fee:
    • Desktop: 50,000 CNY
    • Mobile: 40,000 CNY
    • Total: 90,000 CNY
  • Discounts based on how long you purchase:
    • 3 months: 35%
    • 6 months: 40%
    • 9 months: 45%
    • 12 months: 55%

This price is for three branded keywords, which are variations of the English and Chinese brand name in exact match.

But how many impressions or clicks would that mean?

Since we’re running the regular search campaigns for this project, we can make an educated guess.

It will get about 40,000 impressions and 1,500 clicks. Let’s compare that to regular cost-per-click search ads.

Factor Regular Search Ads Baidu Brand Zone
Overall spend 1,800 CNY 90,000 CNY
Views 40,000 40,000
Clicks 1,500 12,000
Clickthrough Rate 3.8% 30%
Cost per thousand views (CPM) 45 CNY 2,250 CNY
Cost per click 1.2 CNY 7.5 CNY

On a cost-per-click basis, Brand Zone is still not outrageous, and it could be worth a try if budget permits. However, the budgets we manage for SMEs often do not allow for this.

When choosing where to spend marketing budget, it’s not a “yes or no” decision, but a “this or that” decision. For example, here are some other promotion options that could compete for the 90,000 CNY spend:

  • Influencer campaigns (sometimes these really pop, getting tons of views.)
  • Zhihu content marketing (our impression-based views on organic Zhihu content are probably about 10 times lower cost.)
  • Running ads on other platforms (many have either big reach or good rates, such as WeChat, 360 Search, Zhihu, niche websites, etc)


“General Keywords” Brand Zone

There’s one more type of Brand Zone which looks almost like regular search ads.

Here is an example:

Baidu Brand Zone ad for general keywords.The ad is not for a branded keyword, but for regular non-branded keyword “high-speed connector”.

The keyword “连接器”/“connector” would cost 3,768 Yuan/week. Here’s the comparison chart:

Factor Regular Search Ads Baidu Brand Zone
Overall spend 250 CNY 3,768 CNY
Views 10,000 10,000
Clicks 170 1,000
Clickthrough rate 1.7% 10%
Cost per thousand views (CPM) 25 CNY 377 CNY
Cost per click 1.5 CNY 3.8 CNY

‘Light’ Brand Zone ads do occupy a bit more screen space, but the difference isn’t substantially greater than what can be achieved with images and ad extensions in regular search ads.

For instance, the image below depicts a search ad purchased through Baidu’s system, which operates similarly to Google Ads.

What’s the difference between this “Light” Brand Zone ads and regular Baidu cost-per-click ads? Not a Brand Zone ad, just a regular pay per click ad.

  1. The bidding model. For Brand Zone, you pay for time and for the cost-per-click, you pay per click of course.
  2. The clickthrough rate. With a #1 position so much of the time, the clickthrough rate will be much higher. However, that high clickthrough rate can also (sometimes) be achieved with regular cost-per-click ads if they are managed very well and the bid is high enough.

How to Purchase Baidu Brand Zone

Do not just go to the first Baidu contact and ask because you’re not likely to get the best deal. You should choose an agency that can get you a good deal. This includes:

  • Getting a lower rate on Baidu Brand Zone.
  • Running the overall marketing campaign in the best way to improve ROI.
  • Enjoying payment and communication methods convenient for your business.

If you want to advertise on Baidu Brand Zone, you can ask us, we’ll get a price. But the price is only valid for the month. To use Baidu Brand Zone, you will need to be ready to sign off and send payment within about two or three weeks.

Which Baidu Verifications Should You Use?

I’ll list them in the order from least essential to most for companies that wish to advertise on Baidu.

  1. To run Baidu ads, you must do:
    1. Real Name Verification
    2. Guarantee
  2. The Official badge is nice to have, but not required.
  3. The Trademark badge is less important than Official, but also nice to have.
  4. Brand Zone should be used selectively for companies that want to amp up their branding.

What if you’re only doing organic marketing (SEO) on Baidu?

You can forget about all these badges and not have a problem. Or you could choose to buy them. It’s up to you.

What if you’re trying to get setup properly on multiple platforms (not just Baidu)?

Every platform out there has a confusing array of options for setup, verification and advertising. If you work with one agency, like Nanjing Marketing Group, it could literally save you over a hundred hours of figuring these complexities out. It could also save you three months or more of delays.

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