At the time of writing, Yandex has a 44 percent search market share in Russia than Google’s 53 percent, making this one of Google’s most competitive battlegrounds.
Yandex, on the other hand, is something more than a search engine. It has evolved into a consumer technology business over the past two decades. Yandex is also expanding into personal and corporate banking, as well as food distribution.
As a result, I’ll equate Yandex’s search product (and items directly related to website performance) to Google Search for this post.
However, there are some significant variations in how Yandex approaches various systems, as well as the standards you might have as a result.
SEO Differences between Yandex & Google
Let’s look at some of the major differences between Google and Yandex in strategic SEO marketing.
1. ) Java Script
Yandex is employing artificial intelligence to help anticipate user queries and pre-fetch and pre-load related search results pages to minimise user friction when using the app.
2.) Turbo vs. AMP
Yandex has Turbo, while Google has AMP. The response from Russia’s SEO culture to the need for Turbo is similar, with voices from both sides making compelling arguments for their use.
They have, however, developed in recent years to support more customisation, advertisements, and ecommerce capabilities (with multiple payment options). Turbo pages also help create a recognisable site “quality icon” on search results pages — more on that in a moment.
3.) Site Region Targeting
Yandex, like Google, has algorithms and considerations for local search requests or geo-dependent queries, as Yandex calls them. Given Russia’s population, this is critical for customer satisfaction.
Certain website forms can use a “regional binding” environment inside Yandex Webmaster Tools to support Yandex display them in the right SERP geo-locations and ensure their target user base views them. According to Yandex, general article/content websites with no regional emphasis are not required to have a regional binding.
4.) Active URL Monitoring
The ability to continuously track up to 100 URLs on your site is a very helpful feature of Yandex Webmaster Tools. You can select which URLs you want to watch, and this function updates automatically.
It will display the present page state, the version of the page shown in results (cached vs. last crawled), and the date that the page was last indexed. You will decide whether the modified content is re-indexed and then served to consumers using crawl stat reporting (available in Yandex WMT).
5.) Quality Mark Badges
For the future Page Speed experience upgrade, Google has checked displaying icons in the SERPs. Although this is a recent feature for Google, Yandex has been using icons in search results for quite some time.
Yandex has a total of 16 icons that it can use to view site content metrics. Any of these, such as the Turbo page badge, can be obtained by technological configurations.
6.) Special Content May Result In Block Breakdown
Yandex, like Google, provides a range of exclusive content result blocks and snippets that can be used to enhance search results pages.
Unlike Google, Yandex Webmaster Tools allows you to check your qualifications for three different unique result forms as well as eleven different snippet result types. This shows you where unique conditions are stopping you from being qualified.
7. ) Behavioural Factors
Though there is some controversy over how (and to what extent) Google uses user experience cues in its algorithms, Yandex’s position is much more black-and-white.
User signals are taken into account by Yandex.
User signals and SERP CTRs may be used to determine:
- SQI (Site Consistency Index) positioning, which contributes to the award of quality mark badges.
- The placement of results on search engine result pages.
Yandex has put in place controls to detect any gaming or cheating in consumer experience measurements as a result. SEO marketing experts will use Metrica’s software to help understand customer satisfaction.
8.) ICS Score
A Yandex ICS score is a way of assessing a website’s consistency. It considers considerations such as the number of visitors, time spent on the site, and ad clicks.
These are paired with human-completed surveys about the content’s authenticity and readability to achieve a final ranking.
When you look for something in Russia, the top results are graded from one to one hundred based on how valuable they are to Yandex users and other factors. A website’s rating will be reduced if it falls below a certain threshold.
9.) User Retention
Although GA4 introduces improved cohort analysis and consumer retention rates, Metrica has had this for a while. You will easily see a breakdown of users in Metrica based on session and goal completions.
This level of data is especially useful for creating personas and designing content based on user journeys. It’s also helpful in dispelling any preconceived notions of how people can communicate with the website.
10.) Heat maps
The opportunity to monitor consumer heatmaps is another excellent feature in Yandex Metrica that sets it apart from Google Analytics.
Since this functionality is paired with analytics, you can compare individual segments directly on the heat map (e.g., organic user vs. social users). Alter the date ranges and have session conditions (e.g., 30 seconds or more, 2+ pages viewed). The built-in toolbar also shows you which metrics are above-the-fold and which are below-the-fold.
Finally, another big difference between Google and Yandex is how they engage with their SEO marketing communities.
John Mueller, Daniel Waisberg, Martin Splitt, and Gary Illyes are on hand at Google to answer random questions and provide guidance and insight into webmaster issues. On the other hand, Yandex does not have a person or group of people to whom queries can be led.
Instead, they have a technical support operation unit, each of which goes by the pseudonym Plato Schukin.
Yandex is the way to go if you want to meet a Russian-speaking audience. If you can see, there are a few quirks to be aware of, but the optimisation rules seem to be fundamental.
Companies who want to extend their international reach can customise their content for search engines other than Google, especially in countries where other platforms are more prevalent.
You’ll do better in other countries if you value quality content and a positive user interface.