Yet Another Update: Mega Yandex News Update Q2 2015

Several exciting things have been happening since the last Russian Search Marketing update on Yandex news.  From Yandex’s updated search algorithm Minusinsk to new Yandex.Direct mobile ads, there are a handful of notable changes in the Yandex SEO and Yandex SEM categories that you should learn.

The SEO news is followed by updates on Yandex.Direct, Yandex display advertising, Yandex.Metrica, Yandex.Market, and Yandex browser.

Yandex Returns Links to Ranking Algorithm for Commercial Queries in Moscow Region:

Minusinsk, the newest Yandex search algorithm, was established to return links back to Moscow region commercial queries and create negative penalties for paid links in all verticals, regions, and website. A website is penalized based on the absolute amount of paid links and the percentage of inbound links.  Natural links therefore carry less weight but can act as a balance to the amount of paid links.

On May 15, 2015 Yandex rolled out the first round of penalties against 488 websites that were previously notified by Yandex.Webmaster to clean up their paid links.  Selected websites were demoted in the Yandex SERP by approximately 20 positions. The

minusinsk metrica IV

New Yandex.Webmaster in Beta Testing:

Yandex.Webmaster is testing out some new 5 features that include:

  • Updated indexing that organizes all important data in one graph
  • Ability to add new parameters and track the specific index of a page by the specified parameters
  • New convenient report download in a single document
  • Updated information on quick links will come before it is updated in search so they can be edited. Quick links can also simply be hidden.
  • Updated “Security” warnings now include: viruses, cloaking, doorway pages, wrappers, XSS vulnerabilities, search engine spam

new Webmaster 2015

New Yandex.Direct Keyword Tools:

Yandex announced the keyword productivity index that lists an index rank next to each keyword based on the success of the keywords. PPC specialists receive suggestions for improving the keyword by clicking on the index.

keyword productivity2

The default Keyword autoexpand automatically adds keywords to a campaign from a selection of similar categories to the advertiser’s campaign.  The tool uses statistical criteria to add keywords relevant to advertisers from the same or similar categories.

Yandex.Direct Mobile Ads:

Yandex.Direct advertisers now have the option to create mobile specific ads and adjust their impression bid ratio to appropriately serve ads mobile and regular ads.

yandex direct mobile ads

New Yandex.Direct Automatic Bidding Strategy:

Yandex.Direct advertisers have a new automatic bidding strategy “Average return on investment.” Advertisers can adjust their settings so the strategy aims to get a certain amount of conversions during the week and bring the average ROI closest to the amount set.

Average return on investment

Automatic Ad Campaign Archiving in Yandex.Direct:

Ad campaigns will automatically be archived after an ad is stopped for 30 days. Ads will be archived after 30 days without payment.

direct archived ads

Ad Titles Extended for Search Ads:

Ad titles will not automatically include the first sentence of an ad’s text or the website address.  This is expected to increase clickability by 2.5-5%.  Advertisers can disable this default setting.


New Yandex.Radio Audio Display Ads:

Yandex.Radio, a new personalized music streaming service, monetized by ads created a new display advertising option for those marketing in Russia.  After 4-5 music tracks or 10 or so minutes of listening, either an audio display ad (like on Pandora or Spotify) or a radio ad will play.

yandex radio mobile

Yandex Horizontal Banners for YAN Advertising:

Yandex advertisers can now select an interactive horizontal banner layout for ads showing on YAN (Yandex Advertising Network).  Tests indicate that the horiztonal banners have the potential to increase CTR by 20%.

yandex horiztonal display ads

 New Banner Formats for Yandex.Maps and Yandex.Traffic:

Advertisers can now place banner ads above the fold on the right side of the screen in Yandex.Maps and Yandex.Traffic.  The two available formats are 300X300 pixels or 300×250 pixels.

maps and traffic banner ads

Metrica 2.0 Comes out of Beta:

Yandex.Metrica, a free web analytics tool, currently allows for users to view data in both the previous version and Metrica 2.0, a newer beta version with an updated interface and analytics capabilities.  Soon Metrica 2.0 will come out of beta and completely replace the current version.  Metrica 2.0 has different way of handling and registering a website’s data but users will have an option to review data prior to Summer 2013 by selecting a tab for “record of the previous version.”

metrica out of beta 2015

Yandex.Market Discounts:

Yandex.Market organizes discounts in new discount page and flags the sale items with a green label.  The discount page is organized by category and popular goods on sale.

Yandex.Market discounts

Yandex Browser Protects Users’ Privacy:

Yandex recently announced a beta version of Yandex browser.  The main feature of the new browser is the high privacy level that means users’ stats or browsing data is not sent to Yandex.

Yandex browser 2015