Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia, thus it might be an important part of any SEO plan.
Due to judicial judgements against Google by Russia’s anti-monopoly authorities in recent years, Yandex has closed the gap on Google, resulting in modifications to the default search engine on Android devices.
Yandex is more than a search engine, it also offers a browser (YaBrowser), email, news, maps, paid advertising, and translator services. This search engine provides services in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Turkey.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the following topics from a Yandex standpoint:
Yandex Technical SEO
While Google and Yandex have many similarities, the Russian engine has its own set of regulations and peculiarities that must be taken into account while creating and building your Russian website (or alternate version).
Getting Indexed in Yandex
Google’s Caffeine upgrade and the speed with which it identifies and indexes new content has spoilt us. Yandex, on the other hand, takes a bit longer to find new websites and URLs.
It’s important to upload sitemaps via Yandex Webmaster if you want your content to be indexed more quickly by Yandex.
Some webmasters claimed that Yandex had indexed their SPA in the first quarter of 2021, but this was a debatable topic in the same forums where these reports emerged, and the wider community discounted the claims based on the information provided.
Hreflang & XML Sitemaps
For a long time, Yandex only supported the hreflang implementation with the tag. But, They did update their support manual in August 2020 to enable XML sitemap hreflang support.
On-page SEO for Yandex
Yandex uses a number of algorithms to ensure that consumers are presented with high-quality, relevant content that matches their search query.
In 2007, an unnamed update added a new ranking and varied weightings for single and multi-word search queries, starting the process.
The first officially named algorithm, the catchy 8-SPI1, was released in 2008, following the unnamed upgrade.
Because of their age, older websites ranked higher at this period in Yandex’s history. This algorithm attempted to change that by providing newer (and presumably higher-quality) domains with a better chance of ranking for top spots.
This algorithm also modified the way backlinks were weighted as a ranking criterion, reducing their importance.
8-SP1 was followed by a series of smaller quality algorithm updates, the most notable of which was Magadan (2008), which allowed the search engine to recognise acronyms and begin to distinguish between commercial and non-commercial inquiries, as well as content uniqueness.
The AGS filter was first released in September 2008, and it has been upgraded four times since then: in 2009, 2013, 2014, and 2015. This is known as Yandex’s Panda algorithm.
The algorithm’s first iteration was mostly concerned with duplicate and low-quality information.
Later improvements meant Yandex could degrade the ranks of websites that were created to drive traffic for on-page ad impressions, and penalise websites that were primarily focused on selling and placing links.
Yandex Image SEO
Image optimization for Yandex isn’t all that different from image optimization for Google.
However, some distinctions can help you get an edge in terms of how highly Yandex returns (or ranks) your images in search results.
Images can assist improve the user experience and quality of a webpage, according to Yandex. Through better behavioural factors (ICS score), well-optimized images can help boost a webpage’s ranking in search results and, in general, improve the page’s relevancy for that specific query.
It’s vital to keep in mind that Yandex Search and Yandex Images are two different things.
To determine content ranking, each uses a different algorithm. Your webpage will appear in standard search results, but the image will not appear in image search results.
How Yandex Indexes Images
Yandex’s user-agent downloads images from links that employ either the img or src attribute while indexing them.
Yandex also supports data-src and data-original, but currently only indexes JPEG, PNG, and GIF pictures.
Yandex will only index pictures that are not explicitly restricted by the robots.txt file or that are only found on sites that are themselves blocked.
Aside from these technological requirements, Yandex uses the picture description and accompanying metadata to estimate the value of an image and whether or not it is worth indexing. Yandex image search uses this as one of numerous ranking variables.
You can also add an image XML sitemap to your website and include information such as the image caption, the location where it was shot, the title, and a link to the image licence URL.
Yandex Local SEO
Because of Russia’s size, global search works a little differently than we’re used to with Google — even in nations that are close in size to the United States.
You can specify the region that you’re targeting in Yandex Webmaster (if applicable). Geotargeting searches are a key aspect of generating helpful and relevant results from the user’s perspective.
Yandex Offsite SEO
Yandex released its initial link-based algorithm in 2005, whereas Google’s Penguin algorithm didn’t become a part of our life until 2012. The filter was given the name Nepot despite the fact that it had no official name. Its goal was to lessen the influence of link exchanges, private blog networks, and other spam links.
The Nepot filter searched for artificial link acquisition patterns in addition to link quality. This seemed to have been updated again unofficially in 2008.
Yandex Mobile SEO
In Russia, there are an estimated 90 million smartphone users. The population will continue to grow at a rapid rate.
In Russia, the mobile search sector is likewise undergoing significant changes.
The Russian Antimonopoly Service concluded in May 2017 that Google’s default Android OS was too restrictive and not in the consumer’s best interests. To make it easier for consumers to change their default search engine, Google was compelled to create a widget and a new Android OS.
Given that Android currently owns over 70% of the market, this has resulted in a significant shift in mobile search engine market share. Yandex’s market share increased from 29 percent to 44 percent in a year, displacing Google.
While Yandex has made gains, Google has managed to limit Yandex’s rise and maintain its position as the dominant search engine — though by a narrow margin of 51 percent to 36 percent.
Yandex International SEO
Yandex’s Webmaster support manual was updated in 2020. It was We discovered that the search engine now supports Hreflang implementations via the XML sitemap when earlier, only the HTMLcode was supported.
Yandex, like Google, warns against employing GEO-IP redirection to push people to the right version of the site.