Friday, August 04, 2006

Advertisers Demonstration against Baidu for Click Frauds

On August 4, 2006, some advertisers gathered outside Chinese search engine Baidu's office building and demonstrate against its click faults. From the post boards presented by the demonstrators, it was said that 70% of clicks on Baidu's paid ads were invalid. The claimed data was notarized by Beijing Notarization Bureau. The advertisers came to the building during lunch time and were expelled by the security guards. Later they stood on the road in front of Lixiang International Building which hosts other famous technology companies like Sina and SUN in China. The advertisers requested the NASDAQ listed search engine to apologize in public and refund its advertising payment.

One week eariler, Baidu has released its second quarter's financial report and showed a strong revenue and profit growth. But unlike its international rivals Google and Yahoo in China, the Beijing-based search engine's financial performance was largely questionable. In order to increase the clicks of ads, Baidu was notorious for mixing ads with original results and misleading users to click them. To boost its revenue from SME advertisers, the company recently ceased the auction model for ads price - which was viewed as a more fair approach and widely used by Google and Yahoo and other search engines - and increased the price thresholds of ads. One of angry advertisers, a Beijing lawyer, sued the company for breach of contract. The case was later settled down privately after Baidu paid the lawyer a large amount of money. However, it was not the end of Baidu's troubles, but rather a beginning. The company has to cope with many other advertisers' complaints, lawsuits or even demonstrations.

Links to reports on Chinese sites:
  • Techweb
  • Sohu
  • Netease

    Some photos:



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