Yandex, known as the biggest search engine in Russia, has a hold of approximately 57.00% of Russian internet users who turn to the search engine for all of their queries and wonders.

  • In Ukraine, 33% of the population use Yandex.
  • In Belarus, 45% of the population use Yandex.
  • In Kazakhstan, 25% of the population use Yandex.

The platform itself may not have a big stake in what Google has to offer and the popularity of the search engine, however for those companies that want to primarily reach the Russian public and those bordering, Yandex may be a good option for your focus when it comes to SEO campaigns.

How does Yandex SEO differ from Google?

For the most part, when optimising your website for Yandex, you’ll want to follow the usual best practice of ensuring your website has a good loading speed, is appropriately structured and contains the appropriate keywords. We recommend you:

  • Ensure you focus on quality content on your site. Duplicate and low-quality content is penalised.
  • Generate backlinks that are relevant to your niche.
  • Ensure your website loads quickly on both mobile and desktop devices.
    Despite this, Yandex has it’s own set of rules and algorithms that don’t distinctly align with Google:

Region SEO is more Important

The biggest difference between Yandex SEO and Google SEO is that Yandex search differ greatly depending on the city the user is in.

Now, Google offers varied searches based on local queries, but Yandex takes it a step further. For example, a user in Moscow who searches for ‘Water bottles for sale’ in their Russian equivalent language, would see a completely different search from someone who searches for ‘Water bottles for sale’ in Saint Petersburg.

Therefore, it’s really important from a Yandex SEO perspective, that you understand what region you’re looking to target and focus your content towards that region.

Getting Indexed takes Longer

Google is really on the trigger when it comes to indexing content, and you can usually expect content to be indexed within 4-5 days depending on how new your site is.

For Yandex, however, you can expect the search engine to take a little longer to find your new pages and index them. Therefore, speeding up the process through submitting sitemaps as part of Yandex’s webmaster is crucial.

Meta Keywords do Matter!

Whilst Google removed the spotlight on Meta Keywords and their impact on page indexing, Yandex oes support meta keyword tags and it’s recommended you use them if you’re looking for your site to get indexed and ranked appropriately.

Yandex places a lot of importance on meta keyword tags, so it’s essential to include relevant keywords in this tag for each page on your website. This will help Yandex understand the content of your pages and index them accurately.

Keywords in Domain Names

Yandex also looks at the keywords used in domain names when determining the relevance of a website to a particular search query. Including relevant keywords in your domain name can help improve your site’s ranking on Yandex.

Keyword Density

Yandex places a high emphasis on keyword density, meaning the number of times a keyword appears on a page compared to the total number of words on that page. It’s important to include relevant keywords throughout your content, but be careful not to overdo it. Keyword stuffing can lead to penalties from Yandex and negatively impact your SEO efforts.

Content Length

Yandex prefers longer content compared to Google. While Google tends to prioritize concise and to-the-point content, Yandex rewards websites that provide comprehensive and detailed information. Aim to create high-quality, in-depth content that thoroughly answers users’ questions and provides valuable information.

Social Signals

Yandex takes social signals into account when ranking websites. Social signals include likes, shares, and comments on social media platforms. Building a strong social media presence and encouraging users to engage with your content can positively influence your Yandex SEO.

Mobile Optimization

While mobile optimization is crucial for both Google and Yandex, Yandex has specific guidelines for mobile-friendly websites. Ensuring that your site is optimized for mobile users, including responsive design and fast loading times, is vital for ranking well on Yandex.

Yandex SEO Tools

Yandex offers a suite of SEO tools that can help you optimize your site specifically for this search engine. Yandex.Webmaster, Yandex.Metrica, and other tools provide insights into your site’s performance, user behavior, and more. Leveraging these tools can give you a competitive edge in the Russian market and neighboring countries.

Yandex Advertising

For businesses looking to expand their reach in the regions where Yandex is popular, Yandex.Direct, the platform’s advertising service, offers targeted advertising options. This can complement your organic SEO efforts and help you reach a broader audience.

Compliance with Local Regulations

Understanding and complying with local regulations, including data protection laws in Russia and neighboring countries, is essential when optimizing for Yandex. Non-compliance can lead to penalties and negatively affect your site’s ranking.


Yandex is a significant player in the search engine market in Russia and several other countries. While there are similarities between Yandex SEO and Google SEO, understanding the unique aspects of Yandex’s algorithms and preferences is crucial for businesses looking to target these specific markets.

By focusing on region-specific SEO, optimizing for mobile, utilizing Yandex’s SEO tools, and adhering to local regulations, businesses can effectively reach their target audience through Yandex. The emphasis on meta keywords, keyword density, content length, and social signals provides additional opportunities to tailor your SEO strategy to Yandex’s unique requirements.

Whether you’re a local business looking to expand your reach in Russia or an international company aiming to tap into new markets, Yandex offers a valuable platform for connecting with potential customers. By understanding and leveraging the specific characteristics of Yandex SEO, you can create a robust and effective strategy that drives traffic, increases visibility, and ultimately, boosts sales in these regions.