Yandex is the top Russian search engine with more than half of the search market share in Russia, providing a wide range of internet services including images, mail, news, maps, translator, advertising, weather and many more. Yandex.ru is also rated as the top site in Russian market with a good presence in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Turkey.
However, Google is the major search engine in all over the world, but if you are thinking to expand your business in the Russian market, then optimizing the site for Yandex should be your first priority. The SEO optimization strategy differs in some extent for all search engines, because each one has their own algorithms and requirements. Yandex is not an exception; it also has its own SEO strategy and algorithms to analyze the website. This guide will catch your attention about some important aspects of Yandex SEO.
- Indexing In Yandex
Have you ever wondered why your newborn site gets indexed immediately in Google, but not in Yandex. It is because Yandex doesn’t crawls and index the pages continuously like Google.
To efficiently index your site in Yandex, you have to create a proper sitemap of your website and submit it to Yandex webmaster. To get all the information about your website’s indexing you can use Yandex webmaster service.
- Yandex’s Thematic Index Citation (TIC): – Yandex uses the TIC score to analyze the overall website popularity and relevancy. Each website is assigned a TIC score in the range of 0-150,000 based on their quality and credibility. High TIC score means, the website quality is very good.
TIC does not influence the ranking, it is only the way to measure the importance of your website. The weight assigned as TIC score remains same for entire website. Some important factors that can affect the TIC score of your website are:-
- Quality of internal links along with quantity
- Quality of content
- Relevancy of content
You can see your website’s Citation Index by downloading the plugin Yandex Element.
- Geo-targeting feature of Yandex
Geo-targeting searches is the most important and unique functionality of Yandex, which allows the user to search in a particular location.
It checks the queries whether they are geo dependent or not. For example, if someone searches for “plumbers (location dependent query)” using the IP of Orenburg, then the results will belong to Orenburg only. On the other side, general queries can return results from multiple locations. The companies that target the particular region in Russia for their business must focus on Yandex Optimization.
- How Yandex determine region: – Yandex automatically checks each website and determine its geographical location by IP address, contact information and domain name.
- How to check your website’s rank in a different region: – To check your website’s position, Yandex provide two choices, either to check manually or check with the help of free tool. The free tool allows you to check the position of a website in multiple regions at a time.
- How to change your website’s region: – In case, if Yandex crawl your website and assign a wrong region, then you can change it by requesting the Yandex webmaster with the right region information.
- How to associate your website with multiple regions: – Yandex allows to choose maximum 7 regions for your website but, to associate your website with multiple regions, it must be listed in Yandex catalogue.
- Ranking factors for Yandex
Ranking factors for the Yandex search engine is quite similar to Google with a little twist. Here is the list of some important ranking factors that must be focused while optimizing your site for Yandex.
- Regional domains– If your website belongs to a specific region, then it is very important to have a regional domain. It will greatly influence your website’s ranking because most of the Yandex search queries are based on regions. It is one of the most important factors that is taken into account during the ranking process. If your business is global, not particular to a region then, it is not necessary to have regional domains.
- Keywords in URL: – Including keyword in the URL is an important factor that helps Yandex to estimate the ranking of your website.
- Domain Age: – In Yandex, the older domains website is believed to be more trustworthy and better than the new generated website. It doesn’t mean that websites with new domains will never rank higher. If the right SEO strategy is used, then a newborn website can also make its good presence in a few days.
- Content quality and relevancy: – Like Google, Yandex is also fond of good quality and relevant content. As I have mentioned earlier in the guide that content quality also influences the Citation Index score, so try to produce good quality content to increase the trustworthiness of website.
- Quality of Website: – “Make the website first for users, then for search engines”. The quality of website not only gives you the ranking benefits, but also delivers a good user experience. Ensure that your website doesn’t contain any 404 errors, broken links or any other type of errors which can reduce the website’s quality.
- Comeback of backlinks in Yandex algorithm: – In March 2013, Yandex dropped the links from its algorithm for commercial queries. Yandex has taken this step because marketers were using paid and auto generated links in order to get ranked higher.
This change was quite successful, but SEO specialists had not stopped buying links. So Yandex has decided to bring back the links into account with both positive and negative impacts, same as like Google’s Penguin.
In April 2015 Yandex announced that the ranking will be influenced by links in positive as well as negative ways. Now the algorithm will only consider the natural links as a ranking factor and if the website uses paid links or unnatural links, it will be penalized.
- Yandex hates Black Hat Techniques: – Yandex doesn’t like black hat techniques in SEO such as hidden text, low quality content, keyword stuffing, cloaking, link farming, paid links, auto generated links, doorway sites etc.
As you can see, that Yandex is the evolving search engine in Russia. Optimizing for Yandex provides a good opportunity for companies that target the particular location in Russia. However, the SEO strategy is little different from Google and other search engines, but a slight effort can make your website appear in top Yandex results.