What is Yandex?

Yandex is a Russian Internet company, and one of the largest Internet companies in Europe. Yandex operates the largest search engine in Russia, holding around 60% of market share of search, and 70% of all contextual advertising spend in Russia. Yandex is a public company traded on the NASDAQ.

Where is Yandex located?

The Yandex Headquarters are located in Moscow, Russia but the company has offices located all over the world. There are Yandex offices located in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland and many other countries where advertisers are interested in advertising in Russia.

What is Contextual Advertising?

On Yandex, contextual advertising is advertising specific to the user’s interest. There are two types of contextual advertising – there is Search Advertising, and Content Advertising. Search Advertising is displayed on the Yandex Search Engine results pages (SERP) and is relevant to the user’s search query. Content advertising is delivered on the web pages of those sites in the Yandex Advertising Network (YAN).

Do Russians Search differently?

Yes, of course Russians usually search in Russian so it’s important that ads are built to accommodate. Yandex offers increased character counts in the title and copy of ads to better suit the Russian language where typical word length is longer than English.

How big is the Russian Audience?

Russia is a massive country; it stretches eleven time zones and is populated by more than 143 million people. The Internet population in Russia is believed to be between 80 and 90 million, and it’s one of the fastest growing Internet populations in the world. Russia is home to the largest Internet population in Europe.

How does Yandex Network compare to Google Network?

On Google, your ads will appear on the Google SERP, Google Shopping, Maps, Groups, Images and Google partner sites like AOL. Google offers the ability to disable all search partners by de-selecting ‘include search partners’. The Yandex network is structured similarly; on Yandex, your ads will appear on the Yandex SERP, Maps, Market and Blogs, and partner sites like Mail.ru, but there isn’t the capability to disable exposure on all search partner sites. However, Yandex does allow you to manually select individual sites that you don’t wish to have your ads show on.


The Yandex Search Network is wide-reaching, so it’s important to be aware of where your sites perform well, and where they don’t.

How much does advertising on Yandex cost?

Yandex is a pay-per-click advertising platform, so you will only pay when someone clicks on your ad. The minimum bid is just $0.01. Since it is likely that multiple advertisers will be bidding on the same keyword, Yandex employs an auction to determine which ad is rendered. The competiveness of each auction combined with the desirability of the different advertising location will determine the cost per click.

Where will my ads show up?

Your ads will show across the Yandex Advertising Network. On the Yandex SERP, ads can be shown above the organic results, below the organic results and occasionally in the right rail of the SERP.

How do I know what keywords to use?

It is important to recognize that by default, Yandex.Direct ads are matched to the entire query. For example, if you’re bidding on the keyword phrase ‘buy a house’, your ad is eligible to be shown for the query ‘buy an inexpensive house’ but not for the query ‘inexpensive house’. The system takes all forms of the keyword into consideration so if the keyword is ‘ski’ the queries ‘ski’, ‘skiing’, ‘skied’ will all be applied.


You know your business better than anyone, so try to consider keywords that your clients will use to search for your business or products. Yandex also has a tool called Wordstat that can help in determining the competition and opportunity of certain keywords.

Is there a tool that shows me how much certain keywords will cost?

Yes. The Yandex Budget forecast will show you how much each keyword will cost to achieve the desired location.

Is there a tool for tracking performance?

Yandex provides several vehicles for tracking performance, the most robust of which is Yandex.Metrica. Metrica is a free tool that allows you to monitor your ad campaigns, and identify necessary areas for optimization.

Is there a way to manage large campaigns?

Yandex offers Direct Commander for large account management. In Commander, you can upload ad files, simultaneously edit multiple keywords and replace text and links in multiple ads.

Is there a way to protect my ads from fraudulent clicks?

Yandex uses both manual and automated multistep technologies to monitor the authenticity of clicks, and treats this governance with the attention and respect it deserves. However, if you feel like you may be the victim of fraudulent clicks, Yandex does have a technical support service that can be contacted. If fraudulent clicks have been identified, Yandex will refund the monies lost.

What are the steps for placing an ad

If planning on building your own ads the steps for doing so are as follows:

1. At https://direct.yandex.com/ select the ‘Login’ link in the top right corner of the page. If you already have an account, simply enter your credentials in the fields provided. If you are a new user, select the ‘Sign Up’ text link and register.


2.Select the ‘Submit your ad’ link. Here, you’ll have to identify your country. This country selection will determine your payment currency and taxing information and cannot be changed after initial selection.

Now you can select the ‘Place an ad’ button and start creating your first Yandex ad!
-Name your campaign
-Choose the Start and End dates
-If desired, adjust the email address for which you want notifications to be sent to.
-Specify the time of day you wish your ads to be shown.
-Choose which regions you’d like your ads to be shown in.
-Choose your bidding strategy
-Turn on/off Autofocus. Autofocus is turned on by default, and is a function that automatically refines your keywords and phrases and disables keywords with poor performing CTR
-Turn on/off Autobudget. Autobudget is a functionality that prevents excess spend from being deducted to achieve the desired result. Meaning, you will only spend the minimum necessary to have your ad placed where you want it.


3. Composing your ad. The Ad requirements on Yandex are unique, and constructed for the Russian language. Ad titles can be up to 33 characters, the ad copy can be 75 characters and the URL can be 1024 characters. Exclamation marks are allowed, but can’t be excessive. Also, important to note that superlatives like ‘best’ can be used, but the claim must be validated by a third party on the landing page of the ad.


4. Choose the keywords for which you want to advertise on. When doing so, separate each keyword or phrase with a comma. Capitalization and word order isn’t important and only letters are acceptable (not including operators). Each keyword phrase cannot exceed seven words, and the total number of characters in all keywords cannot exceed 4096.


5. Set your bid. A CPC bid can be set for each keyword individually or for all keywords at the same time. Yandex provides a suggested bid value to achieve each position.

The 1st Place Premium means your ad will be displayed first in the Premium Ad Block above the organic results. The Premium Placement position above search results means your ad will be displayed in the Premium Ad Block. CPC for first position means your ad will be shown first in the Guaranteed Ad block, and Guarantee Position means your ad will appear within the Guaranteed Ad block.


6. Now you can either create additional ads by clicking the ‘Create an ad’ button, or send the ad to moderation. The moderation process on Yandex is a process in which ads are checked to ensure compliance with the platform requirements.


7. Once the moderator has signed off on your ads, you can now pay for your campaign by selecting the ‘Pay’ button on the bottom of the page. If you have multiple campaigns, you can enter the amount you wish to pay for each campaign from the ‘My Campaigns’ page.


Legal entities in the US can pay by either a bank transfer or Paypal. If paying by bank transfer, Yandex will generate an invoice for you to supply your bank with. If paying by Paypal, Yandex requires some business information prior to submitting payment.

What are the tips for making an effective campaign?

Of course, every campaign is unique, but there are tactics that should always be considered when pursuing an effective campaign. Such as:


-If CTR is low, try editing the ad copy. Including numbers often improves CTR.

-Take a peek at the performance of your keywords, and considering adding new ones.

-If applicable, add site links to your ads. Site links can have a dramatic impact on CTR.

-Use the Autobroker tool.

-Use the Autofocus tool.

What are the strategies I can choose from?

When building an ad, a strategy must be selected. Of course, the selection of the strategy should be a product of the goal of the campaign. Yandex offers several strategies, and divides them into two categories: Automated Strategies and Manual Strategies.


Automated Strategies
There are five automated strategies to choose from. Each will attempt to attract the traffic deemed most useful by the advertiser:
Average CPC – you determine the average amount you’d like to pay per click, and the system gets you the most possible clicks at that average cost. You can also specify High, Medium and Low priorities for certain keywords.


Average CPA – you determine the cost per action you’d like to pay. The ‘action’ is determined in Metrica and it is necessary to have Metrica installed. The system aims to get you the most ‘actions’ possible at that cost.


Weekly Budget Max CTR – You specify the amount you wish to spend for the week, and can specify maximum bid for all the keywords and provide priorities to certain keywords. This strategy provides the maximum number of visitors to the site for the budget provided. This is the most common selection.


Weekly Budget Max conversion rate – You specify the amount you wish to spend for the week, and can specify maximum bid for all the keywords and provide priorities to certain keywords. This strategy provides the maximum number of clicks on those keywords that result in the most conversions. It prioritizes the best performing keywords.


Weekly Click Package – You specify the number of clicks you desire and prioritize certain keywords if you wish. Simply, this strategy attracts the specified number of visitors to your site at the lowest possible cost.


There are two built-in protections to the automated strategies; the system will not spend more than 35% of the weekly budget in a single day, and the bid never exceeds 15 units or 10% of total budget.


Manual Strategies
Manual strategies require manual bid management by the advertiser, and there are three strategies to choose from.
Highest Available Position – you determine the CPC you’re willing to pay for each keyword and you can set a specific daily budget. Each ad will be displayed in the highest available position for the price specified.


Cheapest Position in Ad Block– you determine the CPC you’re willing to pay for each keyword, and can provide a daily budget. Ads are then displayed in the ad block selected for the lowest possible price.


Impressions Below the Search Results– you determine the CPC you’re willing to pay for each keyword and you can set a specific daily budget. You then select whether you want the Highest Position Available or Minimum Cost Ad Block Position. Ads will either be displayed in the highest position available for the CPC specified or ads will receive impressions for the lowest CPC possible.