Yandex SEO Guide

Yandex SEO: The Ultimate Guide

Yandex SEO Guide

Yandex SEO Find out everything you need to learn about, including off-page SEO and on-page SEO Mobile and SEO for images as well as keyword research and much more.

Given that Yandex as the largest and most frequently utilized internet search engine used in Russia It could be a crucial component to the SEO strategy.

Yandex has made strides over Google in the last few years because of the legal decisions against Google from Russia’s antimonopoly departments which led to modifications of the default search provider that is available on Android devices.

More than simply a Search engine is not all it does, Yandex is also a provider of a search engine (YaBrowser) and email service maps, news and paid ads, as well as translators to the Russian market and also in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine as well as Turkey.

Also Read: 20 Search Engines You Can Make Use Of instead of Google

In this article we’ll teach you all you must learn about the following specifically for Yandex:

  • Technical SEO
  • Image SEO
  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO
  • Local SEO
  • Mobile SEO
  • International SEO
  • Keyword Research Tools

Yandex Technical SEO


While there are a lot of commonalities in Google and Yandex However, the Russian engine comes with its own rules and nuances that have to be considered when developing and designing for your Russian website (or alternative versions).

Header TagVery Important
Title TagVery Important
Meta Keyword TagImportant
Keywords in URLsVery Important
Internal Linking StructureSomething of a Majority

Gets Indexed in Yandex

Google has delighted the world with its Caffeine upgrade and the speed at which it finds and indexes fresh content.

Yandex however, takes a bit longer locate new websites and URLs.

In order to get your site’s content listed more effectively within Yandex It is important to upload sitemaps using Yandex.Webmaster.

JavaScript and CSS

In November of 2015, Yandex reported via its blog for webmasters that it was beginning in the crawler process JavaScript in addition to CSS. A subsequent Support article explained the way Yandex handles AJAX websites.

Shortly, Irstlena Pershina, an active Yandex public spokesperson on their webmaster blog advised the following in the year 2018 in response to an inquiry regarding Angular, AngularDart, and whether they require rendering on the server side:

The general rule is that you must provide static content available for the robot. Irstlena Pershina, May 7, 2018 at 18:18hrs.

At the beginning of this year’s quarter some webmasters announced they had discovered that Yandex has indexed their SPA however, the issue was heatedly debated on the same forums where reported the news along with data being rebuffed by the general public.

Hreflang & XML Sitemaps

For a long period, Yandex did not support the implementation of hreflang. In August 2020 they have updated their documentation on support with XML sitemap support for hreflang.

Page Level Tags

Contrary to Google, Yandex does support meta keywords for HTML elements

It can be used in determining the relevance of a page to searches.


Since 2008 Yandex launched an algorithm using the codename Nakhodka with the intention of stopping and identifying the cloaking process in a more agressive manner. Based on blog posts, this seems to have been successful.

Pop-Ups that are intrusive

The year 2012 saw Yandex modified its main algorithm to block websites that display unwelcome (and fake notifications) pop-ups.

The law was updated later in 2014 to make it even more strict on pop-ups that impede user experience and accessibility to content.

Also Read: Seven Best Closed Captioning Software for 2022 (Ranked and reviewed)

In-page SEO is available for Yandex

Yandex offers a variety of algorithms that make sure that users get high-quality relevant content that matches their intention of searching.

This was initiated in 2007 when an unnamed upgrade that included new ranking as well as adjustable weightings for single as well as multi-word search terms.


The unnamed algorithm was replaced in 2008 by the first official algorithm, called 8-SPI1.

In this period of Yandex’s history, websites that were older were ranked higher due to their old age. The algorithm was able to alter this, giving newer (and possibly more quality domains) greater fighting chance of ranking at the top of the list.

This algorithm also changed the way backlinks were weighed as an indicator of ranking in that it decreased their importance.

8-SP1 was followed by a few small quality algorithmic changes including Magadan (2008) in which made it possible for it to comprehend abbreviations and beginning to comprehend the distinction between commercial and noncommercial queries and the uniqueness of content.

AGS Filter

AGS filter was first introduced in September 2008. AGS filter was launched in September 2008, and it was revised in 2009 2013, 2013 and 2015. It is also known in Yandex’s Panda algorithm.

The initial version of this algorithm focused on low-quality and duplicate content.

Updates later on meant that Yandex could lower the ranking of websites designed to increase traffic through on-page ads and penalize websites that focus on selling products and placing hyperlinks.

Reykjavik & Kaliningrad

Reykjavik (2011) along with Kaliningrad (2012) are the initial steps towards Yandex personalized search. Cookies, search history, and user behaviours started to influence and produce personal results for searches.

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Yandex ISC

The Yandex ICS score has replaced their long-running TIC (Thematic Index Citation) and was replaced with the more contemporary ICS score.

ICS is a website quality score that is used to assess how pertinent a website’s content is in relation to an inquiry.

The primary data points to be considered when calculating the score are:

  • Yandex’s estimate of the audience for the site/brand (bigger reach and search for the brand is superior).
  • How is the site performing? Yandex considers the site to answer user questions by taking into consideration aspects like popularity of the site and time to result (TTR) as well as other user metrics.
  • Yandex’s own interpretation of the word E-A.T.
  • The website has one or all of the 16 marks of quality on a website.

This is different in comparison to that of the TIC score, where backlinks were among the primary data points to assess the suitability of a website.

Also Read: 10 Reasons Why People Love What’s Coming In WordPress 5.9

Yandex Image SEO

Making images optimized for Yandex isn’t that different from the same methods you’d use to optimize images for Google.

There are however some distinctions that could to give you an advantage in regards to the way Yandex returns (or places) your images in results from searches.

Yandex recognizes that images can aid in improving the experience for users and improve the quality of a website. Images that are optimized for quality can improve the ranking of a website’s page in search results by improving behavior aspects ( ICS score) and in general improving the relevancy of the site for that particular query.

It is important to remember the fact that Yandex.Search as well as Yandex.Images are two distinct entities.

Each has its own algorithm for determining content’s rank. It is possible for your website to be listed in search results that are normal but not the image from results of images.

The way Yandex Indexes images

In terms of the indexing of images, Yandex’s User-Agent downloads them from websites using either the img attribute or the src attribute.

Yandex is also able to support data-src as well as data-original. However, at the moment, Yandex only indexes images that are in JPEG, PNG, or GIF format.

Yandex can only search for images which aren’t block directly from robots.txt files. robots.txt document, and are are located only on pages that are blocked.

Apart from these technical requirements, Yandex also determines an image’s value as well as whether or not it’s worthwhile to index by looking at the description of the image and metadata. This is one of the factors that determine the ranking of an image for Yandex images.

Upload an XML sitemap onto your website and include a variety of details, including the caption of the image and the location at which it was taken as well as its title. the image’s license URL.

An image XML sitemap could be particularly beneficial if your site typically uses images to serve JavaScript for example, since Yandex has difficulties in identifying the websites and the content it serves using this method.

Ranking Images In Yandex

In the Yandex documentation they explain metadata for images as one of the ranking factors taken into account when a search engine ranks.

The different types of metadata for images that are important in Yandex are:

  • The text is contained within the alt attribute of an image.
  • The text is included in the image’s title attribute.
  • Name of image files the file itself.

These elements alone could allow an image to rank on queries that is related to the image even if it’s not displayed as plain text on the webpage where the image is.

Alt and Title attributes can be considered the most common attribute, and Yandex suggests that they are always defined.

The text and the focus of the page may also influence how well an image is performing in organic search results.

For text and articles that are shorter headers on the page are also a factor. However, most of the time, Yandex takes into account the text within and around the image’s proximity.

When you write image captions or descriptions, titles, or titles, Yandex recommends that they are written with the reader in mind. Try to make them as informative as you can. This is not the time to use keywords.

Also Read: How to Download YouTube videos on Desktop & Mobile (2022)

Image Schema

Yandex supports schema markup for images. In their webmaster’s documentation they state that through the use of schema mark-up you’ll be able to increase the visibility of your website within the Yandex.Images result in search results.

Yandex offers support for schema mark-up, which is implemented using the Microdata format (unlike Google, which prefers JSON-LD) and also includes the following itemprops:

  • Image or Content Url ( required).
  • Thumbnail.
  • Name.
  • Caption.
  • Description.
  • Height.
  • Width

Yandex Local SEO

Due to the immense size of Russia the country is huge, localized search functions slightly differently from what we’re used Google -and this is true even in countries like that of the United States.

Within Yandex.Webmaster it is possible to select the region you’re in search of (if appropriate). From a user’s perspective geotargeting is crucial to get relevant and relevant results.

Arzamas & Konakovo

In 2006 the Arzamas update made it possible for users to manually decide if they were seeing regional or national search results. In 2009, the Konakovo release saw this roll over more than 1250 towns across countries that included Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

Yandex analyzes your website’s IP address, contact details (make sure it’s properly formatted and clearly displayed) as well as domain registration details.

If all indications here suggest being in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug region but you’re in fact trying to target specifically the Murmansk Oblast region, you might not rank as high in local search results.

The functionality was further improved in 2010 with The Obninsk algorithm. This resulted in websites getting local rankings, with directories that were spamming penalized.

Change the Region in which you Yandex Region

Like we said that you can change the region you want to use in Your Yandex.Webmaster account. But, this is just an attempt and not accepted as a standard for the purposes of the search engine.

If you’re not aiming at an area in particular (e.g. or it’s an internet-based retailer who is able to ship anywhere) You won’t be subject to Yandex’s localized searches feature for web-based retailers.


You are able to specify up to seven regions in Yandex.Webmaster However, to do that, you have to be included within the Yandex.Catalogue.

Yandex Offsite SEO

Although the Google’s Penguin algorithm was not a an integral part of the world until after 2012 Yandex released their initial link-based algorithms back in 2005. It didn’t have a name officially but was later referred to as”the Nepot filter. Its goal was to lessen the effects on link exchanges PBNs as well as other hyperlinks that are spammy.

Alongside link quality In addition to link quality, the Nepot filter also looked specifically for patterns of link acquisition that were not natural. It is not clear if this appears to have been updated in 2008.

Indexing Without Links

The year 2013 was the time that a test algorithm was launched in Moscow for certain segments (namely travel real estate, household appliances) It gave rankings without taking hyperlinks into consideration.

It is not clear how effective the trial was. However, in 2015, a link-based algorithm dubbed Minusinsk was introduced. Based on that, we can be sure from the fact that “no link” rankings didn’t pan out very well.

Following the Minusinsk announcement webmasters who were involved in spamming links were notified via Yandex.Webmaster The algorithm rollout was accompanied by three important date impacts:

  • May 15.
  • May 27th.
  • June 23.

Yandex Mobile SEO

It is estimated that there are around 80 million smartphone owners in Russia. If the current rate of growth continues it will increase to the 93 million mark by 2021.

The market for mobile-based search in Russia is also experiencing an era of rapid change.

In May 2017 in May 2017, in May 2017, the Russian Antimonopoly Service ruled that Google’s default Android OS was too restricting and was not beneficial to the user. Google has been forced to create a widget and a new Android OS to make it easy for users to modify the their default search engine.

In light of the fact that data from the most recent information indicates that Android is the dominant player with approximately 70 percent of the market and this has resulted in an enormous shift in the market share of mobile-based search engines. Yandex’s share rose from 29 percent to 44% within the span of a year, despite the loss of Google.

While Yandex has seen gains, Google managed to stall the growth of Yandex and maintain control as the leading search engine, but only by 51% to 36 percent margin.


Vladivostok Algorithm

Yandex launched an algorithm update using the codename Vladivostok the change was designed to provide users with a better experience on mobile users.

In the past (since November 15, 2015), Yandex had tagged mobile-friendly sites in its result pages (which was about 18% of websites at the time of the).

This was actually the first “push” to encourage webmasters consider mobile-friendly experiences and begin to design responsive and dynamic or”m-dot” sites.

Vladivostok granted a brief period of grace for websites that were that aren’t yet providing great mobile experience for their users however, they did experience some fluctuation and an increase in.

One interesting thing to note about Yandex’s mobile ranking criteria (which aren’t all that different from those we’re used to from Google as well as providing excellent user experience) is the fact that in Yandex’s mobile-friendly checker, there’s an criterion for text that is mobile-friendly in size.


If the font size is 12px or larger the page is considered mobile-friendly. If the website has a font that is smaller the page will be affected negatively on search results pages.

Yandex SEO International

in 2020 Yandex has updated their Webmaster documentation for support. We discovered that Yandex now supports Hreflang implementations using an XML sitemap, while before they only supported implementation through the HTML code.

As with Google, Yandex also warns against using GEO IP redirects to redirect users to visit the correct version of the website.

Also Read: Amazon Web Services Launches $30 Million Accelerator for Underserved Business Owners

Keyword Tools for Yandex

Keyword research, an essential element of every SEO strategy, remains as vital as ever.

Many tools are available to allow you to do a thorough keyword search on Russia. Russian market.

Yandex Seo Wordstat

Wordstat can be one of my top tools to conduct search engine research within Russia. It’s part of Yandex’s pay-per-click toolkit that lets you search results by region.

Based on my own experience, I am inclined to believe the impressions here much more than the data of the other tool that is in this section.


Google Keyword Planner

In light of the fact that Google is the second-largest web search engine used in Russia (when the device data are combined) The AdWords Keyword Planner tool works to serve Russian users. Russian market.

It also offers more general and comprehensive lists of related keywords, though relevancy occasionally declines, and the extensive list may require a lot of cutting back.

The search volumes offered have also been proven to be, from personal the experience of others, less accurate than Wordstat’s. Keyword Tool is the third largest search engines in Russia with a little over 8 percent in market. While the search engine isn’t the most popular but its webmaster tools give details on user behavior and break down search terms by gender and age.

Combining data from these tools along with other essential suite tools like SEMrush will help you create more extensive keyword lists for research.


Ahrefs has updated the quality of its Yandex (and Russian language) database in their Keyword Explorer tool, which is fantastic considering that it could already be an element of the tool suite.

While Wordstat is more reliable in terms of search volume, Ahrefs can be used with Wordstat to assist in keyword research.

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Extra: Yandex Search Operators

SEO operators like inurl: and inurl: can be invaluable for SEO professionals in diagnosing issues with indexes.

Yandex also offers a range of operators with a slight difference from the ones of Google. Some good ones to have on hand include:

  • Title[keywordKeyword search for specific keyword inside a title tag. Works in the same way as in Google’s title tag:
  • Inurl=”keyword” – It works the same way as in Google’s Inurl
  • Mime=”html/pdf/doc/ppt/xls/rtf/swf” – Searches for specific file types, for example: seo << mime=”ppt” would return results that are PowerPoint files related to SEO.

You can organize keywords into the most common operator types and variables according to the following structure:

Keyword [Operator]=”variable”

This is all you should be aware of regarding Yandex SEO! Take the time to review the resources linked throughout this guide, and keep it in your pocket to refer to it quickly.

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