Yandex is getting traction, and you might as well start looking for ways to rank your website on the platform. Although Google still dominates search engines, there will surely come a time when others like Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex will emerge.
Today, I will discuss methods you can use to do Yandex SEO. Like Google SEO, there is no guarantee that you will rank. Anyone who says otherwise is just perpetuating the myth of guaranteed ranking.
1. Technical SEO
There are similarities between Yandex and Google. However, Yandex has its own rules. For example, internal linking is not that important in Yandex.
Indexing is also different. Google made indexing easier for users, and it discovers fresh content on its own. Yandex takes longer in indexing.
The key to getting indexed in Yandex is to submit a sitemap. You must also follow the rules against cloaking and static pages. Yandex also hates intrusive pop-ups.
2. Image SEO
The process for optimizing images is not that different from Google. According to Yandex, they believe that images can enhance user experience. As such, sites with optimized photos get a better ranking in the search engine.
Yandex has two ways to index images. The first is Yandex. Search and the second is Yandex.Image. These are different entities. While your photo and page may get indexed in the search algorithm, your image may not be indexed in Yandex.Image.
Yandex downloads images with the IMG or SRC attribute, so make sure you have those. Also, they only support JPEG, PNG, and GIF.
They do not support images that are blocked by a robots.txt file. The system also determines the value of the image based on its description meta-data.
3. On-Page SEO
Yandex has several algorithms that decide how to index and rank web pages. They want to make sure that the results match user intent.
Like Google, Yandex does not like duplicate and low-quality content. Web pages that do not meet high standards will get demoted. Websites that sell or place spam links also get penalized.
Here are the things they take into account to determine ICS strength:
- Estimated audience size of the website or brand
- Potential of webpage to satisfy user queries
- Site popularity, time to result or page speed
- Yandex’s version of Google’s E-A-T
Yandex also has what they call ICS. It is a scoring method that determines the site score. Think of it as the equivalent of domain authority.
4. Off-Page SEO
Yandex introduced a link-based algorithm as early as 2005, while Google did it only in 2012. Although this algorithm has no official name, people call it the Nepot filter. Like Google, the algorithm does not like links from Private Blog Networks, link exchanges, and other spam.
As such, you do not want your website to have an unnatural link. The Nepot filter checks organic backlinks and then ranks the website accordingly.
Yandex rolled out an update in 2013 for some verticals like travel, real estate, and household appliances. The update produced rankings without backlinks as a factor. The update apparently did not work out so well.
5. Local SEO
The beautiful thing about Yandex is that you can specify the region you want to target instead of global SEO and do it in Yandex.Webmaster. Local SEO is essential to local users—it reduces the amount of information irrelevant to their needs.
In 2006, Yandex allowed users to determine if the search results served their purposes. What this means is that they have control over your SEO. If your business appears in locations that you do not serve, you will experience a negative impact.
The algorithm tracks your site’s IP address and contact information. As such, you need to put this information on your website if you want to appear locally. This information must also be in your domain registration.
6. Mobile SEO
According to estimates, there used to be more than 80 million mobile users in Russia, which grew to 97 million in 2021. Therefore, mobile optimization is one of the keys to ranking in Yandex.
Since Android holds 70% of the market in mobile, the Russian government did something about it. Because of that, the mobile market share of Yandex grew from 29% to 44%.
Since November 2015, Yandex has been paying better attention to mobile-friendly sites. The search engine is looking for websites that offer optimal mobile experiences,
7. International SEO
In 2020, Yandex made an update to its support documentation. Now, Yandex discourages web admins from using GEO-IP redirects.
GEO-IP redirect happens if a site redirects a user based on the user’s IP address. Because of this, the user goes to a different version of the website.
Because of this, the website may have several versions of the same page—versions for different IPs. All of them may display on the search results, and it will not give the user much choice.
Users may not find what they are looking for, and Yandex does not like it. For international SEO, you must maintain only one version of your age
8. Keyword Research Tools
Like Google, you can use tools to search for high-volume keywords in the market. One such tool is Wordstat. It is a tool that shows keyword statistics in Russia.
Wordstat is Yandex’s paid search toolkit. With it, you can break down searches by region, which can help you manage your local SEO efforts.
As always, you can also use Google to do your keyword search engine. Google is available in Russia, and it is the second-largest search engine in the country. For marketing, Google search is also valuable for determining what keywords to use for your ads.
Summary: Yandex SEO: How to Rank Your Website on Yandex
Yandex is the most widely used search engine in Russia, and Russia has a population of 145 million. As such, you must do something to reach that market.
In Russia, there is also a ruling against Google to prevent monopoly. Because of that, the default search engines in Android for Russian phones are Yandex, not Google.
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