Yandex is not ready to replace the links with the social signals

On December 5th 2013 at the conference of IBC Russia 2013 the manager of the Yandex web search section Alexander Sadovsky said that next year 2014 Russian search engine will stop taking into account the links in search engine optimization ranking by commercial queries. This statement caused a lot of questions among the SEOs. And even, despite the fact that on the next day after the statement the Yandex search team published mini-FAQ aiming to satisfy the webmasters’ wish to know their future, the discussions in the professional medium only enhanced. After the comments collected from the participants of the conference IBC RUSSIA 2013 were published in hot pursuit, the team collected the most interesting opinions of the specialists on this burning topic.

Thus, Nikita Melkin from SeMonitor suggests that Yandex can switch off not the record of the links, but the record of “anchor” for commercial queries. “I.e. if there are 100 links for Bruce with the words “installation of air conditioners”, and Michael has a “smart” anchor sheet (50 accurate, 30 diluted), 10 anchorless, 10 “click-here-there”, and Brendon has 100 anchorless – they all will be in the same position”, – he comments.

Besides, in Nikita Melkin’s opinion, Yandex will continue taking into account the static weight of the page and work as a switch. “If there are no links at all – make away with it, if there is at least some minimum – the site is allowed to take part in further ranking/competition (behavioral, etc.)”.

I.e. if Michael has 100, and Peter has 10 – then Peter is out in the cloud, and Bruce with Michael are on equal footing (the quality of links is supposed to be equal). Also, the impact of links which are dofollow, can increase. That is, real links will be considered, no matter bought or natural. And if the subject does not allow to build the issue by these principles (the same suppositive “road metal sale”, where there are neither natural links, nor behavioral, nor the content – nothing) – everything will stay as it is, there will be ranking by links, as it was before,- the representative of the branch explains.     

Roman Klevtsov, the  manager of the considers that this innovation of Yandex keywords ranking was quite predictable and must not affect the optimizers’ income.

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This event was expected …… in 2011 Yandex introduced “New principles of ranking commercial sites” and already in April 2013 prepared the reportQuality-biased Ranking for Queries with Commercial Intent”. So, most of major players in the market of internet-marketing have already realized future changes and made emphasis on complex work on the projects, detailed working out of inner factors, navigation and usability. Certainly, link promotion will exist at least in other regions including Moscow and Moscow region, and in the sphere of informational queries. In this connection it is too early to write off the links as a tool on internet-marketing.

However, the panic in the market can cause the losses for link exchanges or aggregators. The result will be that such business models will undergo functional changes. The most obvious way of further development of these projects with realization of their functional potential is turning them into big PR-holdings that will be oriented for creation of informational background in the internet. Also, most likely, the number of freelancers and small SEO companies will decrease as a complex approach to promotion will be more important. Small SEO-companies lose in this respect to major players, and, possibly, will leave the market, failing in the competition”, – Roman says.  

In his turn, the manager of Mihail Kuzmin says that, making this launch, the Yandex team does not realize completely the own risks: “Thus, Yandex can only destroy the whole algorithm of search engine ranking. They, clearly, do not estimate all the risks that will follow such measures. You can assess my statement as a way to stir up a dull exhibition or a means of creating a new topic for discussion”.  A bit later representatives of added that stopping to consider the links in ranking Yandex tries to take more traffic through the Yandex Islands, by doing this decreasing the influence of behavioral factors for issue; also the search engine team tries to increase Yandex Direct ratings artificially.

Besides, it has become known that today attention of the search engine representatives has switched to the other signals in commercial queries which in the nearest future will play an important (if not a key) role in ranking search systems of commercial queries.

Alexander stated that Russian search engine collects and studies social signals at ranking commercial queries. We should not forget that Yandex has an access to the tape of publications in the Facebook and the Twitter flow. Still, it is too early to say if Yandex will unconditionally consider social signals when ranking: “We did not see any useful signal for ranking from social links. Thus, our algorithm will put them down, too, however, do not forget that we are speaking only about commercial queries”, – Alexander Sadovsky explains. Further he says: “Currently we consider more than 800 factors when ranking, but I can declare that the user interaction with the site becomes the crucial factor. It is the most transparent and natural signal for our algorithms. So, for example, in the nearest future we will pay more attention to convenience of site usage on the whole; on how easily the user can make a purchase on the site; as well as on how broad the range of goods and services offered on the selling site is”.

Furthermore, the Russian search engine can already distinguish robots from real users of the resource.

Now, how can resource owners attract target visitors to new and unknown sites at least to reflect in the issue? According to Alexander, two strategies exist: the first is that major sites promoted in highly competitive subject, for example, by queries like: [plastic windows], should generate as much traffic as they can for the site using both the strategies of marketing promotion in the internet and methods of generation quality traffic implying obtaining links from authoritative topical blogs and sites relevant by subject of the promoted resource.

The second strategy is reduced to promoting by “long tail” and orienting on getting high positions by low frequency queries in the issue. As a rule, the site owner has nothing to worry about with such approach, because the content, posted on his site, will surely attract real users, and it is quite enough for successful ranking in Yandex SEO issue.


Anyway, we advise you not to be afraid ot tackling Russian Internet search giant in pursuit to engage with Russian-speaking audience.  Promodo’s team has been doing promotion in Yandex advertising for really long time, so we always keep up with all the changes of search algorithms and know how to win search engine love.  With any question as to the website optimization and marketing on Yandex please feel free to contact us at [email protected], we will be happy to help you.

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