New Yandex.Direct Keyword Tools: Keyword Productivity Index & Keyword Autoexpand

Yandex.Direct recently announced two new features to aid Yandex PPC specialists in creating and evaluating their keyword lists.  Last  month, Yandex announced the keyword productivity index that lists an index rank next to each keyword based on the success of the keywords. Keyword autoexpand, which will gradually be rolled out this week, automatically adds keywords to a campaign from a selection of similar categories to the advertiser’s campaign.

The following breakdown is everything Yandex advertisers need to know about the two new features to improve their keyword performance and expand their keyword lists:

Yandex.Direct Keyword Productivity Index

Yandex.Direct users will notice a new feature next to their keywords under the category “Productivity.”  Keywords receive a ranking from 0-10.  The following are the contributing factors to the ranking:

  • Relevancy of keyword to ad text
  • Correct use of Yandex operators (match types)
  • Search statistics for the keyword

keyword productivity2

Users will also notice that keywords with a productivity ranking of 3 or lower appear in red, while anything 4 or higher appears in blue.  When a Direct advertisers notices a red productivity index, it’s especially important to revise the keyword with the help of Yandex recommendations.

Users can click on a keyword productivity index (irregardless of a blue or red status) to receive helpful pointers for improving their keyword.  As seen above on the red 1.9 ranking, there are a few suggestions for the advertiser to adjust. The language can be a bit cumbersome but most users should be familiar with Yandex direct terms such as “keyword phrases,” that simply mean keywords.

Those who use Direct Commander, a great app for managing several ads, may also access and set up automatic updates for productivity indexes.

Yandex.Direct Keyword Autoexpand

Yandex.Direct users will notice autoexpand as a setting under their Yandex.Direct Advanced Campaign Settings.  Take note that this is a default feature that can be switched on and off.  The new tool uses statistical criteria to add keywords relevant to advertisers from the same or similar categories.  However, autoexpand only works when there is sufficient data for categories that drive a lot of traffic.  Industries or keywords that receive few impressions will not be included in autoexpand.

The following is the criteria that is taken into account when automatically expanding keywords:

  • Statistics from a user’s own keyword data
  • Statistics from other advertisers’ data in the same category
  • Statistics from Yandex.Metrica (Yandex’s free web analytics tool) on conversions and bounce rates

After analyzing the above data, autoexpand produces the following helpful actions for keywords:

  • Adds relevant synonyms and re-formulated phrases
  • Eliminates multiple meanings by using additional negative keywords
  • Takes into account different variants of model records

The feature only adds keywords that have otherwise proven to be efficient in other existing ads in the category. Yes, that makes for a really great list of new keywords and yes, it makes the competition a bit higher for advertisers.

Read the official Yandex.Direct help page for more specifics on the tool.


Hopefully Yandex.Direct users have already begun to take advantage of the productivity index to improve their CTR.  This new monitoring tool should help PPC specialists improve the quality of their keywords and therefore, the quality of their clicks from their targeted audience, and higher conversion rates.

As opposed to all Yandex.Direct users who can currently utilize the “relevant keyword phrases tool,” advertisers from major industries such as ecommerce, travel, and banking will benefit the most from the autoexpand keyword tool.  According to the Yandex.Direct team, this self-learning mechanism offers a solid list of relevant keywords that are considered “safer” due to the amount of statistical data in these major categories.  As more data is collected, the keywords will be even stronger.