The principles of effective SEO for Google also apply to Yandex, however, notable distinctions exist between these two search engines that necessitate special consideration.
At present, Yandex possesses a 44% market share for search in Russia, while Google holds 53%, indicating this is one of the most closely contested markets in which Google operates.
However, Yandex is more than merely a search engine. Over the last two decades, it has expanded to become a consumer technology firm. Currently, Yandex is broadening its services to include personal and business finance, as well as grocery deliveries.
For the purposes of this article, I will compare only Yandex’s search product and products directly related to website performance with Google Search.
The principles of effective SEO for Google can also be applied to Yandex.
Nonetheless, there are significant disparities in the ways Yandex handles specific technologies and expectations you must have as a result.
These are known as Technical SEO Differences
Let’s examine key disparities between Google and Yandex in terms of technical SEO.
Search engines possess the capability to uncover, traverse, and visualize a site’s contents. This information is subsequently analyzed, appraised, and compared against other documents, then assessed and exhibited on the search results pages correspondingly.
For the most part, Google and Yandex process the technical elements of a website similarly. Yet, unique differences exist, necessitating consideration when optimising for the RuNet.
Yandex caused confusion when it announced its Vega algorithm update towards the end of 2019. The company also mentioned pre-rendering search results for mobile users in the same press release.
However, some have misunderstood this as Yandex pre-rendering websites for search purposes.
In reality, Yandex employs AI to enhance query prediction and preemptively fetch and load relevant pages of search results, aiming at reduced user friction during search service use.
there is a comparable debate within Russia’s SEO community regarding the necessity of Yandex’s Turbo feature, in contrast to Google’s AMP. Additionally, there is a comparable debate within Russia’s SEO community regarding the necessity of Yandex’s Turbo feature, in contrast to Google’s AMP. Additionally, there is a comparable debate within Russia’s SEO community regarding the necessity of Yandex’s Turbo feature, in contrast to Google’s AMP. Both sides present compelling arguments for and against.
When Turbo pages were initially introduced by Webmasters, they were considered restrictive and merely a “toy” for content websites.
Nevertheless, recent advancements have made them more adaptable, providing extended customization options, advertising capabilities, and multiple payment options for e-commerce functionalities. Turbo pages also contribute to a discernible site “quality mark” within search results pages – we will delve into this later.
3. Site Region Targeting.
Yandex’s algorithms consider search queries with local intent, or geo-dependent queries as Yandex names them.
This is vital for user satisfaction considering Russia’s size.
Yandex strongly advises certain website types to apply a “regional binding” setting via Yandex Webmaster Tools to guarantee visibility to the target user base, as well as being featured in the correct SERP geo-locations.
Yandex suggests that general article and content websites that lack a regional focus, such as the example in the image above, do not necessitate regional binding.
Websites that are oriented towards location-specific or regional topics, such as newspapers and certain magazines or websites that do not have the capability to fulfill nationally, should specify the particular regions in which they function.
it is worth mentioning that Yandex did not support hreflang through XML sitemaps in the past.
In August 2020, Yandex’s webmaster documentation on internationalization support underwent changes and included a new section on XML sitemap hreflang.
As a result, Yandex now possesses the same hreflang support capabilities as Google.
Yandex’s Webmaster Tools were fairly limited in the past, but in recent years, the Yandex team has invested heavily in the platform.
Here are some essential features to help you monitor, index and gain valuable insights into your campaign’s performance across Yandex’s organic search.
most useful tools in Yandex Webmaster Tools is active URL monitoring for up to 100 links on your website.
Yandex Webmaster Tools will actively observe the URLs and keep a close eye on significant pages for natively integrated monitoring capabilities.
This feature updates automatically. You can indicate which URLs to monitor.
The information presented will provide details on the current status of the page, the version currently displayed in the results (i.e. cached or last crawled), and the date of the last indexing.
In the image displayed above, the URL located at the bottom was last indexed on the 17th of April; it returned a 200 and this version is currently being used in search results.
When used alongside crawl stat reporting – which can be found in Yandex WMT – you will be able to determine the reindexing and serving of your updated content.
5. Quality Mark Badges.Google has tested displaying icons in the SERPs for the upcoming update to Page Speed experience.
This practice is new for Google, although Yandex (and Baidu) have been showing icons within search results for some time now.
Yandex possesses 16 icons referred to as site quality indicators that it can opt to display.
Technical setups, like the Turbo page badge, make it possible to obtain certain indicators.
Other badges, such as the Popular Site badge, depend on the website attaining a sufficiently high score on the SQI (Site Quality Index), which is calculated from numerous factors such as
the size of the website’s audience,
the level of user satisfaction calculated from behavioral
signals, and the amount of trust Yandex places in the site, as indicated by inferred EAT signals.
There are additional factors to consider. It is important to note that Yandex’s algorithms and quality evaluations heavily depend on user behavior signals.
Therefore, Yandex has developed a proficiency in detecting any attempts by marketers to manipulate the system. According to Yandex’s documentation, they can reset or remove a website’s SQI values in response to such attempts.
Furthermore, Yandex confirms that all algorithmic punishments follow specific guidelines.
“Yandex does not provide any commentary regarding amendments to this indicator and cannot guarantee its recovery date.
In line with Google, Yandex incorporates a
range of special content result blocks and snippets to enhance search result pages.
Nevertheless, dissimilar to Google, Yandex Webmaster Tools provides access to these features.”