The graph below illustrates that Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia. According to the latest figures, Yandex generates about 61.8% of all search traffic in Russia. Besides of Russia, Yandex operates in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Turkey. The Eastern search engine giant puts its focus on geographic markets, providing local search results in more than 1.400 cities. Consequently, SERPs will differ significantly in various regions for GEO-dependent queries (mostly commercial queries). For all websites with regional business it is recommended to optimize these meeting regional Yandex SEO strategies. According to Russian SEO specialists, Yandex delivers better quality results to users that want to buy something, while Google performs better with non-commercial queries.
Analyzing the search engines’ users, you can come to the conclusion that Google users carry out more “advanced” search queries than users of Yandex. With subjects, such as entertainment, spare-time issues, movies, web-shops, etc., Yandex clearly dominates the Russian Search Engine market. For IT-topics, like Tech-Blogs, Internet, PC and Website optimization Yandex and Google.ru equally share traffic.
Last year Alexander Sadovskiy, Head of Web Search at Yandex, announced that in the beginning of 2014 they will roll out a new ranking algorithm to improve the quality of their search results. The reason behind it is to reduce link spam in commercial verticals. The problem with Yandex SEO is that for many years it was only based on link buying and selling. Now, Yandex is claiming that they do not consider links in the search algorithm anymore. Acocrding to Sadovskiy, the new algorithm has been tested and the quality of search results stayed on a very high level..
It is not clear yet which ranking factors will gain more weight with the ongoing changes. The candidates are behavioral factors, social signals, content, structured data and usability. Yandex have partnered up with Facebook and will try to include the Social Network’s content more frequently in the future. According to Yandex representatives, thesearh engine has developed a penalty system for buying tweets, likes and shares and other similiar manipulation strategies.