What Is Yandex?

Jake Sheridan
Dec 24, 2021

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You are not alone if you have never heard of Yandex.

As of now, Yandex looks to have little prospect of capturing global leadership – Google owns 92 percent of the global search engine market share, while Yandex has only 0.4 percent. Even while Yandex is gradually losing ground to Google, its local market share – up to 48 percent – is outstanding.

Russia is the world’s largest country, with a population of about 145 million people and more than 90 million active internet users. Digital marketing in Russia is similar to that in China in that it exists independently of the rest of the globe and follows its own set of laws.

If you want to target the Russian-speaking market, which is represented by people other than Russians, you should first understand how to play the game.

This article will delve into what Yandex is, what Yandex is used for, if Yandex.com is safe, and if Yandex is a good search engine.

Let’s dive in!

What Is Yandex?

Yandex N.V. is a worldwide internet corporation based in Moscow, Russia.

It is Russia’s largest technological firm, offering a wide range of goods and services.

They are most known for owning Russia’s largest search engine, but they are also active in many other aspects of technology and the internet. These include:

  • Music streaming
  • eCommerce
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Ride-hailing via Yandex.Taxi (in collaboration with Uber)
  • Self-driving cars
  • Maps via Yandex.Maps
  • App analytics
  • Data management
  • Online advertising
  • Email services via Yandex.Mail
  • Smart home technology
  • A voice assistant called Alice for Microsoft, IOS, and Android
  • A web browser called Yandex Browser
  • And many more…

Arkady Volozh (current CEO), Arkady Borkovsky, and Ilya Segalovich created Yandex in 1997. The name is a play on the term “Yet Another iNDEXer.”

The firm went public in 2011 and is currently listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker name YNDX.

Why Is Yandex Important?

Yandex’s market share figures have been pretty steady, if not rising, in recent years, and we are certain that Yandex will continue to be Russia’s top search engine. The search engine is also popular in a number of other countries, including Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Turkey, and its popularity is only increasing.

Here are the top five advantages Yandex has over Google, which will help Yandex maintain its market dominance for the foreseeable future:

1. Yandex is a portal

Yandex is Russia’s leading media destination, and for many Russians, Yandex.ru is where they start their day. In reality, Yandex is Russia’s largest media property. The number of monthly visitors is slightly over 54 million.

Yandex, like Google, provides free email, real-time traffic maps, music, movies, picture storage, and much more. Many of these similar qualities are seen in some of the products that Google has utilized to increase its global adoption by exposing consumers to the Google brand. Google was able to entice consumers away from inferior offerings such as Hotmail, Mapquest, and even Dropbox in favor of Google alternatives. Google will not have this option in Russia, as the Yandex versions are equivalent, if not better.

2. Yandex is also well-liked on Android

While Google can utilize its Android mobile operating system to increase mobile search since Google search is built-in Android, it is not as successful in Russia. In Russia, Android accounts for more than 70% of the mobile market; yet, Yandex retains a 52 percent share of the search market on these same Android smartphones.

3. Yandex is superior for searching in Russian.

Yandex was designed particularly for the Russian market and is better suited to dealing with Russian search issues. In general, Google is not nearly as good at interpreting user intent over spelling in non-English searches as it is in English, but it is much worse in Russian.

The Russian language, for example, is extensively inflected, with some words having up to 20 distinct ends. All Russian nouns have grammatical gender, and the gender of the noun influences the rest of the sentence’s words. Even the spelling of a person’s name might vary depending on gender.

For example, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife bears the surname “Putina” rather than “Putin.” While Google search only ranks pages that are related to the exact user query as it is typed, Yandex can interpret synonyms and user intent regardless of how the user spells it. As a result, for heavily infected search queries, Google provides a poorer search experience and does not provide a compelling reason for a user to utilize Google more frequently.

4. Yandex’s algorithm may be able to account for spam better

Outright link spam tactics are common in the Russian internet industry. There are several “ad” firms that operate only to sell links in order to boost search ranks. As a result, Yandex has declared that it would no longer employ links in its algorithms for commercial inquiries made in certain parts of the nation. Yandex will instead rely entirely on user experience and keyword ranking data. This initiative by Yandex is still in its early stages, but it may allow Yandex to produce higher-quality results than Google. The latter, although definitely filtering spam links, is most likely still crediting low-quality links.

5. Yandex is a Russian search engine.

While Russians have a preference for Russian goods, they also appear to enjoy international items. However, in the aftermath of the Snowden/NSA incident, Russians may prefer Yandex simply because they dislike Google.

Yandex FAQ

What’s Yandex used for?

Yandex is a technology firm recognized for its portfolio of services that include search engines, artificial intelligence, and analytics, all designed to assist consumers to traverse both the online and real worlds. Since its inception in 1997, Yandex has endeavored to provide its users with relevant and helpful search results, utilizing a range of high-tech algorithms to guarantee the results are worthwhile.

Though Yandex’s tremendous success is due to its outstanding search engine performance, the organization’s objective is to let people experience the internet in an effective manner. Here are a handful of Yandex’s major core business products right now:

Speech Kit
Yandex is also a pioneer in the development of voice technology to improve the web experience for people with a wide range of requirements. Yandex delivers a variety of voice recognition technologies for companies in need of integrated solutions for their mobile apps by leveraging cloud services.

Cat Boost
Cat Boost, one of their most popular corporate offerings, is a highly technical algorithm used for predicting massive quantities of data in order for organizations to make more successful decisions throughout their company. Cat Boost may rate tasks and offer suggestions depending on the data supplied.

Map APIs
Yandex provides a wide range of map data. Map APIs enable programs, apps, and other applications to deliver precise location data for a wide range of purposes. Access to this map data is critical for many developers when creating a fully functional app or service. It is used by hundreds of enterprises all around the world. Their mapping data is the most inaccurate in the industry.

Database Administration – Click House
Yandex, in addition to its map API, provides data management tools for organizations that collect a big quantity of data. Customers may use Click House to swiftly collect, filter, and organize massive volumes of data in order to make better business decisions and maintain track of key KPIs.

Apps Metrica
From individual developers to huge companies, Yandex provides a suite of analytics software for analyzing app data and performance. This free analytics tool enables users to precisely analyze and understand their data metrics, which can then be utilized to improve a certain app, product, or service.

Yandex and Privacy
Yandex is an industry leader in terms of privacy commitment, while simultaneously running a lucrative contextual advertising company. The firm employs a number of privacy safeguards to guarantee that customers’ data is secure and only utilized to improve the end-user experience. As consumers want their data to be protected, they, like many other search engines throughout the world, continue to strengthen their commitment to privacy.

Is Yandex com safe?

The browser has a number of security features, including DNS spoofing prevention, DNSCrypt, and automatic HTTPS support on insecure networks.

Despite these capabilities, Yandex Browser raises many privacy issues. Users have stated that Yandex collects their search queries and sends them to the Yandex server for analysis.
It’s also worth noting that the browser is a closed source project, so users can’t view the source code and evaluate what the browser performs in the background.

According to some users, Yandex Browser has all the required rights to gather your data and submit it to authorities if necessary.

There have also been accusations that the browser is linked to the Russian government, so you should think hard before using it.

Is Yandex like Google?

While both Yandex and Google work as search engines, there are several major differences between the two:

  • Yandex prioritizes local SEO and regionality over Google. Yandex conducts geo-specific searches that only display web pages from a certain location. As a consequence, users in various areas will see different results for the same search query. While ranking local companies is easy, ranking a site nationwide is likely to be more difficult.
  • Yandex considers user behavior, such as stay duration, to be an important ranking element. Although Google considers this, it is a crucial component for ranking high on Yandex. Pages must be optimized for search intent in order to score well in Yandex results. Increasing stay durations also necessitates the creation of highly interesting and relevant information.
  • Backlinks are not as important a ranking factor on Yandex as they are on Google. While link building is still essential, it is primarily concerned with directing appropriate organic traffic to your site rather than demonstrating your site’s credibility or trustworthiness.
  • Ranking changes frequently take longer to emerge. Sites are often crawled at a slower rate than Google. When it comes to rating improvements and overall development, you’ll need to be a little more patient.
  • Yandex prioritizes fresh on-page content. On Yandex, adding relevant, comprehensive information is a critical strategy.
  • The age and the inception date of a domain are more important factors in ranking highly on Yandex. For your domain to rank highly, it often has to be older and have a large number of instances of recent excellent material.
  • Yandex offers fewer Webmaster tools than Google does.
  • Yandex takes offenses like keyword stuffing considerably more seriously.

Is Yandex owned by Google?

Yandex is a Russian company best known for its Yandex search engine. This is a search engine that began in Russian at yandex.ru and has now expanded to include a global English version at yandex.com.

Yandex N.V. is a Russian multinational business headquartered in the Netherlands that offers over 70 Internet-related goods and services, including transportation, search and information services, e-commerce, navigation, mobile apps, and online advertising.

The technology company is registered as a Dutch public limited company in Schiphol, the Netherlands, although the company founders and the majority of team members are based in Russia. It primarily targets Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States audiences, although it also has 18 commercial offices abroad.

With a market share of more than 42 percent, the business is Russia’s largest technological corporation and the second-largest search engine on the Internet in Russian. It also has the greatest market share of any search engine in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and it is the world’s fifth-largest search engine behind internet companies such as Google, Baidu, Bing, and Yahoo!

How do you do Yandex SEO?

If you wish to improve your site’s performance in Yandex, you should begin by submitting it to Yandex Webmaster Tools.

Yandex offers a free analytics solution similar to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

You may use this to publish your sitemap to Yandex, monitor your performance, view crawling problems, and so forth.

Having said that, optimizing for Yandex is quite comparable to optimize for other search engines. You may optimize for the following Yandex SEO ranking factors:

  • Keywords: Just like with other search engines, you should include keywords in your titles and text.
  • Mobile usability: It is critical that your site operates properly and looks well on mobile devices.
  • Geo-targeting: The search results in Yandex may change significantly based on the searcher’s location.
  • Yandex, like Google, can penalize sites that use obtrusive and/or deceptive popups.
    Search intent: Just like Google, your material must satisfy the intent of the person conducting the search.
  • Content quality: It is critical to have high-quality content that answers people’s search queries.
  • On-page SEO: Improve your title tags, descriptions, URLs, internal links, and other elements.
  • Yandex still uses the meta keywords tag for ranking reasons, which is surprising (Google ignores it).
  • Site speed: Yandex ranks sites that load quickly higher.
  • Crawlability: It is critical that your site is not obstructing robots and is not buried behind a noindex tag.
  • Links: Inbound links have a role in ranking. For some sorts of inquiries, links may be less significant in Yandex than in Google. This is due to a big problem with link spam in Russia, which prompted them to discount links as a ranking factor for specific commercial inquiries.

Is Yandex a good search engine?

In general, if you are strong at SEO for Google, SEO for Yandex will not be a problem for you. However, it is always best to know what you are working with before you begin, so here is what distinguishes Yandex from Google:

1. Yandex is a big fan of geo-targeting

Yandex is a region-specific search engine, which means that users do not need to identify places connected to their query in search. For example, if a user from St. Petersburg searches for “birthday cakes” on Yandex, the search engine will show results that are relevant to the user’s present location. In the instance of Google, if a user wants to get a birthday cake in St. Petersburg, they must mention the location while putting in their query, which will look something like “birthday cake st Petersburg.”

2. Yandex expects you to be patient

Unlike Google, which crawls and indexes anything new that is published to the Web on a daily or even monthly basis, Yandex does so a couple of times per day or even a couple of times per month, depending on the type of material. This is neither good nor bad; it is simply one of Yandex’s quirks, which implies that your material will take some time to yield fruit.

3. Yandex is concerned about user behavior

Yandex is more concerned with consumers’ perceptions of a certain website than Google is. A website that can capture and retain user attention, engage and encourage users to participate, will be appreciated and ranked higher. If someone connects to a website with high engagement rates, which implies the link gets clicked, the link will be valuable regardless of how authoritative the website is.

4. Yandex is fluent in Russian

Yandex and Russians both have a strong affinity for the “high and mighty” (as they say in Russia) Russian language, thus utilizing solely English to sell to a Russian-speaking audience is pointless. Yandex indexes websites with Russian content more effectively than those with only English content.

5. Yandex prioritizes older websites

Yandex considers domain age when determining the credibility of a website. Older domains are seen as more trustworthy and, as a result, as deserving of a better rating than newly established websites. As a result, winning a spot in the sun for a newbie on Yandex will be difficult.

6. Yandex is more stringent when it comes to content and technological errors

Yandex values fresh, distinctive, and useful material just as much as Google does, but it takes content manipulations like duplication and over-optimization more seriously and can impose harsher penalties for rule violations.

In terms of technical errors, Yandex may punish you for things you may not have considered faults, such as incorrect code. So, if you don’t want to lose better-ranking places due to your own inattention, you have no choice but to double-check virtually everything on your website using Yandex.

How does Yandex search work?

Yandex operates in the same manner as any other search engine. There is a search bar where the user enters their search term, clicks enter, and a slew of results appear.

Depending on the search word, a list of similar web pages will emerge, along with some photos and videos.

While it functions similarly to most other popular search engines, there are certain important distinctions that set Yandex apart from its competitors.

Don’t forget: check out the other definitions (over 200) in our growing SEO glossary.


Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of Yandex.

In short, although Yandex’s market share increased in recent years while competitors Rambler and Mail.ru struggled, Google’s market share in Russian search actually decreased somewhat. Because of market factors that do not exist outside of Russia, Yandex is expected to continue to expand at the expense of Google.

With the high stakes and advantages that will result from the ongoing expansion of the web in Russia, we can expect Google to battle on (if they are not legislated out). It will be fascinating to observe what kind of investments and acquisitions Google will make in order to become the leading search engine in Russia.

Even while the two giants – Yandex and Google – are very different, they do have one thing in common: they both despise black hat SEO. Both search engines despise being duped by optimization professionals who favor unfair games, but Yandex is tougher if the tactics are revealed.

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

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Written by Jake Sheridan on December 24, 2021

Founder of Sheets for Marketers, I nerd out on automating parts of my work using Google Sheets. At Loganix I build products, and content marketing. There’s nothing like a well deserved drink after a busy day spreadsheeting.