HomeDIGITAL MARKETINGA Dive Into The Secrets Of Yandex's Algorithm

A Dive Into The Secrets Of Yandex’s Algorithm

On January 25, 2023, the news shook the SEO world. A data leak (also known as a “leak”) has made accessible a document listing 1,922 relevance criteria from Yandex, the Russian search engine. Information is oh so precious in SEO because it allows us to better understand the functioning of the algorithm of this engine… and, at the same time, that of Google.

Indeed, although these two algorithms present differences, they also have some similarities, particularly on the level of these famous classification factors. This is why the announcement of this data theft (more than 40 GB) took place in July 2022, and their online sharing a few months later was a boon for agencies and SEO experts.

And even if we know that some criteria are now obsolete and others have been added, it is still useful to take an interest in them. Especially since this type of leak is quite rare in this area and gives access to information that arouses the curiosity of any good SEO professional. Our Power Trafic agency is no exception!

Yandex, The Russian Version Of The Google Search Engine

Yandex is a browser and search engine from Russia. Available since the end of 1997, it was created by the multinational of the same name, founded by Arkadi Voloj. Like the American giant, the company has developed many services over the years, quite varied, including a translation tool (Yandex Translate), another for geolocation (Yandex Maps), web messaging (Yandex Mail), taxis (Yandex Taxi) or a smartphone (Yandex Phone).

Rather reliable and efficient, this Russian search engine is a good tool, easy to use, which, unlike Google, is more focused on the user experience. Thus, it is an interesting alternative to its famous American competitor, although it does not offer new services. Moreover, it was number 1 in Russia for a long time… before being dethroned by Google.

Now he is in second place. Little known to the general public in France, it is nevertheless the 4th most used search engine in the world. Google is #1, Bing #2, and Yahoo #3. The leak of the source code of some of its services was, therefore, able to escape Internet users, but not SEO specialists who were able (finally) to access the secrets of this Russian search engine.

Following this revelation, the reaction of Yandex was not long in coming. The multinational said it had not been hacked. An internal investigation has therefore been opened to find out “the reasons for the dissemination of source code fragments to the public,” but it sees “no threat to user data or platform performance.” As for the author of this leak, he is rumored to be a former company employee. But no information has been confirmed on this subject. So the mystery remains.

Also Read: Advertising On Google How And Why Use Google Ads?

1,922 Yandex Algorithm Ranking Factors Revealed

As we reported earlier, this leak revealed the criteria used by the Russian search engine’s algorithm to position websites in the SERPs. And their number is quite substantial since it is 1,922. Presented as a list, these elements are numbered, described, and associated with internal documents and their authors. Due to their quantity, it isn’t easy to describe them all. On the other hand, some – including PageRank, which Google also uses – have attracted more attention from SEO experts. One of them, Alex Buraks, has listed them and made them available to other specialists. Here are a few.

Backlink Factors

Unsurprisingly, backlinks (or inbound links) are as important to Yandex as they are to Google. The Russian search engine’s algorithm also uses filters to distinguish good backlinks from bad ones. Similarly, to position a site in its SERPs, it refers to the age of these links and analyzes their relevance according to the subject of a page.

We also learned that the backlinks published on the home pages are considered better quality than those from a site’s internal pages. The algorithm also considers the links’ anchors and favors those integrating all the search keywords (and when they are in order, it’s even better). As for the origin of the backlinks, they have more impact if they come from sites appearing in the top 100 of PageRank.

Criteria Related To The Traffic Of A Site

To rank a site in the SERPs, Yandex’s algorithm looks, among other things, at the percentages of organic traffic and direct traffic in all incoming traffic, as well as the numbers of unique visitors and queries directly relating to the website or website. URL of a site page.

Factors Referring To The Content Of A Page

In SEO, content is an important ranking criterion for a site. Thus, it is hardly surprising to discover that, for Yandex, quality content improves the ranking of the whole site. The ranking is, on a given search, the position occupied by a site in the SERPs. It also pays attention to the age of content, its update date, and the number of advertisements on a page (the more there are, the more they hinder the Internet user from reading his consultation of a page).

Criteria Related To URLs

For the Russian search engine algorithm, the numbers in the URL of a page affect its positioning in the SERPs, as well as the number of trailing slashes (slashes). On the other hand, the high availability (or High Availability) of URLs is well considered, which improves the user experience of Internet users and the presence of keywords (3 at most). Factors related to the behavior of Internet users The Yandex algorithm uses various criteria relating to user behavior to rank pages in the SERPs.

These include click-through rate (CTR), time spent on a page, bounce rate, number of visitors who return to the same page in the same month, and the number of times a page is marked as a favorite. All the criteria we have just mentioned are, therefore, (or have been since several of them are now obsolete) used by the Yandex search engine algorithm to determine the position of a site in the SERPs.

What Can We Learn In SEO From These Revelations?

For SEO professionals, this data leak represents an opportunity that was not expected. Certainly, all the criteria are no longer relevant, but they offer an overview of how a search engine works. And in natural referencing, this is not a minor detail. Indeed, the engines indicate the updates of their algorithms and the good practices to position a site well in the SERPs; conversely, they are very discreet for their specific classification criteria.

In that case, we can guess their criteria by referring to their recommendations and by analyzing the methods of their algorithms, but this remains speculation. Similarly, while it is interesting to know more about Yandex’s ranking factors, it should be remembered that they only concern this Russian search engine, which is little used in India.

One can imagine that Google is based on similar criteria, but nothing guarantees it since no leak has occurred at the American web giant. And let’s not forget that they are constantly evolving. Nevertheless, while disclosing these 1,922 ranking factors won’t revolutionize how we work, it provides us with a general insight into how a search engine works. And it’s always good to take.

Also Read: Google BERT: What Is It, And How Does It Work?

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