Robin Li, chairman and chief executive officer of Baidu explains the factors contributing to Baidu’s growth:

  1. First, traffic growth maintained its strong momentum in the quarter.
  2. Second, we made solid progress on monetization.  ARPU growth was at a record high of more than 65% year-on-year.  This was largely driven by the enhancement to our Phoenix Nest platform.  For example, we introduced a new keyword matching option called advanced [quick] match. This is more focused than the traditional broad match, but offers more flexibility and higher coverage than the exact match.  It better captures user intent and improves click through rate — improved click through quality.   We are seeing very encouraging adoption rate so far. And there are few many other levers in Phoenix Nest that we can pull out to drive further monetization efficiency.
  3. The third factor influencing our strong revenue growth was increasing spending by our large accounts, which has been a priority for Baidu.  One fourth of revenue growth came once again the e-commerce sector, in particular the revenues contributed by the online retail sector retained impressive momentum, growing over 100% year-over-year. Separately, classified information website spending also maintained a strong upward trend, increasing by over 50% quarter-on-quarter.

Because of our central position in China’s internet ecosystem we can always benefit enormously from emerging growth area. While it is difficult to predict the future of any single industry category, the overall online marketing spending trajectory for our large account remained very positive.

Another area of strong revenue growth was in customers from more traditional industries. We benefited as these customers transitioned from offline to online marketing. The auto industry is a good example of this emerging trend. This established offline businesses increasingly recognize the value of Baidu’s online marketing platform and are allocating larger percentages of their amortizing budget to us. Meanwhile, our top verticals continue to grow healthily as well and remain an important part of Baidu’s revenue makeup.

Source:  Seeking Alpha Transcript of Baidu Earnings Call