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A Quick Guide to Non-Google Search & Display Ads in Asia

Here's a rundown of the available advertising products from popular search engines-portal sites in the Asian market: Baidu, Naver, and Yahoo Japan.

A Quick Guide to Non-Google Search & Display Ads in Asia

Search engine marketing and display advertising are some of the best ways to reach your audience in a target market.

In a way, this is more appealing to brands and website owners doing (or hoping to do) businesses in multiple countries considering the fact that you can begin advertising in new and different markets in a short period of time with small or no changes to the website.

It is also great that the advertising service providers you use now for your home base, such as Google and Bing, can easily expand your reach using the same account.

The thing to remember is that in some countries, you would want to also want to advertise with locally popular search engines to maximize the reach.

If you are targeting the Asian market, you would want to consider advertising through one or more of the below search engines portal sites. They are:

While you do not need to have a completely localized website to advertise through them, you should at least have the landing pages in the local language and invest in the local keyword research.

Combine that with ad copies in the local language would be essential to have a well-performing campaign.

Here are the available advertising products from each search engine.


Baidu offers familiar advertising products such as listing ads and display ads, but there are some differences.

Listing Ads (PC & Mobile)

Your ad displays on the search results for keywords set up in the campaign. It’s the standard pay-for-click ads.

Big Word Ads (PC)

Offers a large image ad or video ad that displays in the top right corner of the search result page. You create a list of several broad terms (e.g., “luxury handbag” or “single’s day”).

Your ad is guaranteed to display for the contracted duration of time. This could work well for a limited time campaign.

Brand Link Ads (PC & Mobile)

Similar to the “Big Word Ads”, you create a set of brand name keyword list for your ads to display in the search results.

This ad usually displays at the top of the search results guaranteeing it to be seen for the contracted duration of time.

Ads on Baidu Search Results

Ad Network (PC & Mobile)

Your ads can also appear on Baidu’s partner network helping you reach a much larger audience.

You can target the audience based on age, gender, interests, etc. and do remarketing using apps, videos, and device type.

An interesting feature about this ad product is that you have an option to pay by impression or click.

In-feed Ads (App)

Not on the search results, but you can also advertise in the timeline of Baidu’s mobile app.

They also offer videos and other unique advertising products that are not related to search marketing.


You may have heard how Naver’s search results are structured differently.

One of the biggest differences, or unique selling points, is that it’s the giant blend of results from different types of content sources including blog, images, videos, news, dictionary, wiki, and web.

The web content results are usually placed below the fold, it makes the advertising more important on this site.

Click Choice (PC & Mobile)

This is Naver’s CPC listing/search ads, which appear on Naver and its partner network. Similar to Bing and Google’s search ads, it appears above the organic search results.

The notable difference is that for Naver’s campaign, you can only specify keywords in the “exact match” type. It means that you must expand the keyword list for Naver campaigns to increase the chance of your ads to be seen by the target audience.

Don’t be discouraged, if each keyword doesn’t have much search volume you just need to add all variations of the keyword to increase the reach.

Brand Search (PC & Mobile)

Many advertisers include their brand name in the keyword list. With Naver, you can use their brand search to guarantee the placement of your ad at the top of the search results.

The cost is calculated based on the duration and impression of the ads.

Naver Brand Search Results Example

Display Ad (PC & Mobile)

Naver has several types of display ads including Time Board, Rolling Board, and Mobile Banner Ad. Each offers premium placement of the ad on their site with audience targeting options.

Yahoo Japan

I still come across non-Japanese website owners, who believe that they can advertise on Yahoo Japan through their Yahoo campaigns, but they are misunderstanding the relationship of the two.

If you wish to advertise on Yahoo Japan, you need to set an advertising account directly with them, not with Yahoo in your country.

Yahoo Japan is one of the most popular search portal sites in Japan. According to their report, they have about 70% reach of desktop users and 90% of smartphone users in Japan.

By advertising on Yahoo Japan, you can reach the widest range of audiences.

Yahoo Japan offers two types of advertising products: Promotional Ads and Premium Ads. The ads appear on both desktop and mobile (including tablet) devices.

Promotional Ads

These include Sponsored Search that displays ads to the users who search keywords that are highly relevant to the ads, and Yahoo Japan Display Ad Network (YDN) that displays ads to the users who are interested in the products and the service by using various targeting functions.

Sponsored Search ads appear on Yahoo Japan pages and its partner sites. These are the pay-per-click ads, and the advertisers can manage the campaigns using their tools (Japanese and English).

It allows you to target specific audiences with different segments including geographic location and day of week and hours.

YDN gives you more ways to target the audience including:

  • Distribution type
  • Device
  • Geographic location
  • Day of week and hours
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Interest category
  • Site retargeting
  • Search targeting
  • Site category
  • Placement targeting

If you know your audience really well, you could expect a better ROI with YDN.

Yahoo Japan Sponsored Search Ads

Premium Ads

It is the impression-based graphics or rich media ads that display throughout the Yahoo Japan network.

This display ads product also gives you ways to target the audience including:

  • Location.
  • Time.
  • Demographics.
  • Behavioral (action history) within Yahoo Japan.

Most of Premium Ads products have the minimum cost for a set advertising length of time.

Google in Asia

So far in this article, I’ve highlighted the local search engines as a way to reach the audiences in China, Korea, and Japan. But that doesn’t mean that Google is not a big player in those markets.

Google’s market share in South Korean has grown tremendously in recent years. Even in China, where Google search is not available, you can run display ads through them on its partner websites.

For many business owners, new and unknown markets can be intimidating at first, especially when you deal with different languages and different cultures.

I think that SEM is an easier way to reach your audience in those areas as you have the basic knowledge of how SEM works in general.

The key to successful online advertising in the markets such as China, Japan, and South Korea, is to advertise through locally popular search-portal websites, and not limiting your reach by just using Google.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, May 2019

VIP CONTRIBUTOR Motoko Hunt President, International Search Marketing at AJPR

Since Motoko established AJPR in 1998, she has been providing the online marketing services targeting Japan, Asia and other markets ...

A Quick Guide to Non-Google Search & Display Ads in Asia

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