Baidu has decent webmaster tools. There only comes a problem if one does not read or write Chinese. However, Google Translate can do a decent job. Also, it is possible to create a Baidu account using a non-Chinese phone number for verification.
Why Register a (non-Chinese) website with Baidu
- While it is the case that Baidu is focused on the Chinese market, some traffic might come your way when people are searching on Baidu.
- Baidu has a very large user base
- Who knows?
- It doesn't take long
How to Register a website with Baidu
- First, I had trouble with the account login on the actual Webmaster (zz.baidu.com), so I went ahead and tried to create a Pan account (which looks to be their Google Drive/Dropbox knockoff).
- That worked (providing a Thai phone number, receiving a text with a verification code).
- Then I just did a hard refresh of the Baidu Webmaster site and got in that way
- From there the idea is to add website URLs, verify the domains are yours, then change some configuration settings
Sitemap Submission Captcha
There is still one part of the process that eludes me, and that is the Sitemap Submission Captcha. Not knowing how to type in Chinese, or even recognize characters, means it is impossible for me to submit a sitemap, as the captcha is present.
However, the work-around is to get Baidu Webmaster to process the robots.txt file, which has an entry for the sitemap location. Along with categorizing the website in one or two of the 30 categories, and also registering each site as being responsive, those are the main factors of what matters.