International SEO in 2020: 4 Key Takeaways

Enjoying its 18th 12 months as a convention, Optimization 2020 is arguably the most important digital advertising and marketing convention in Russia.

For essentially the most half, the convention goes below the radar in the Western world.

Going digital this 12 months for the primary time since its inception, the convention performs host to a few of the finest Russian entrepreneurs sharing their insights and experiences, in addition to representatives from Google and Yandex.

This 12 months, I additionally spoke on the convention, alongside different “Western” SEO professionals Kevin Indig and Barry Schwartz.

The talks targeted each on optimizing for Google in addition to Yandex, with quite a few distinctive takes and insights coming from a few of the main Russian SEO professionals.

In this text, I’m going to summarize 5 of the important thing takeaways from the convention, together with insights from:


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  • A digital roundtable that includes quite a few main Russian SEO professionals.
  • Key members of the Yandex Search product groups.

1. Ranking Factors: Yandex vs. Google

As a part of the trendy SEO analysis observe, Mikhail Volovich and Olga Yudina, each of Ashmanov & Partners, gave a presentation on the analysis they’ve compiled analyzing the rating elements for each Yandex and Google, and highlighting their variations.

The key takeaways from their presentation are:

  • The rating elements recognized in 2019 remained related to 2020.
  • The impact of hyperlinks inside Yandex seems to have lessened, whereas it has remained the identical inside Google.
  • Perceived web site (and enterprise) high quality has grow to be a a lot stronger issue in each Google and Yandex.
  • On cellular, site speed appears to be more important to Google than Yandex, however in Yandex the variety of Turbo pages has elevated significantly (exterior of the highest 3 outcomes).

They additionally predict, based mostly on noticed information that:

  • Both Google and Yandex will add extra weight to establishing web site high quality (Google’s E-A-T and Yandex’s IKS).
  • (*4*) will see a rise in each AMP and Turbo pages.

2. Manipulating User Behavior Factors

While we debate whether or not or not the variety of clicks that outcomes obtain in search outcomes impacts rating efficiency in Google, we all know in Yandex it is a issue taken into consideration by the algorithm.


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Yandex screens this, and do penalize site owners trying to cheat the algorithm in this manner.

The PF filter – and its equity – has been lengthy mentioned by SEO professionals in the boards because the tactic may also be used as a weapon in opposition to opponents who then fall below the penalty.

During the Optimization 2020 roundtable, this matter got here up and was addressed by Mikhail Slevinsky, the top of Yandex Webmaster instruments.

He mentioned that they’re seeing good progress in their efforts to fight the sort of manipulation.

Yandex’s Elena Pershina additionally added that in surveys carried out by the search engine, increasingly enterprise house owners have gotten conscious of the dangers of utilizing such manipulative ways.

3. The Dominance of Aggregators in SERPs

Another key speaking level throughout the digital roundtable was that of the dominance of aggregator web sites inside Yandex search outcomes.

Much like Amazon can dominate sure search outcomes in the U.Ok., Russia has its personal aggregators like Ozon and Wildberries.

Roundtable members posed the query to the Yandex representatives if that is seen as a difficulty, and what their tackle this was.

In response, Slevinsky gave an preliminary reply of:

“Any offline retailer the place I purchase items is actually a market. And as a person, it’s extra handy for me to purchase meat, fish and fruits in one retailer than to journey to completely different factors. Online is like offline. In my opinion, the scenario right here is harmonious, and small companies can positively get their viewers.”

Slevinsky and Pershina continued that the issue is that smaller companies are probably not doing sufficient to establish a USP or differentiation issue between themselves and different companies (each small and huge).

And that if there isn’t any differentiation for the person, then the search engine may even not see sufficient distinction to discern a outstanding rating place.

They did, nevertheless, present that if sufficient customers present examples of the place that is unfavorable for customers, then they’re open to seeing it as an issue for customers if one exists.


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4. What Makes a Quality Website

In a chat by Elena Pershina, head of B2B Marketing for Non-Advertising companies at Yandex, the search engine gave some perception into how site owners can set up a “high quality” web site.

Pershina started her speak by noting that the web site and enterprise, to Yandex, have grow to be separate entities over the previous couple of years.

The web site is extra of a proxy for the enterprise as a complete and never a sole illustration

And that for good rating positions inside Yandex you not solely want a very good web site that’s “optimized for SEO”, but in addition a enterprise that’s producing the precise alerts for the search engine.

We can draw similarities right here with Google, that the enterprise itself wants each fame and EAT.

In 2018, Yandex utilized a quantitative, external-facing metric often known as the ICS to site owners to point an internet site’s high quality.

Over the previous two years, this metric has been refined to grow to be a trusted metric that some Russian SEO professionals consider is up to date on an virtually month-to-month foundation.


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The ICS rating is mixed with different measures of enterprise/web site high quality such because the CLI (Customer Loyalty Index) in Yandex.Directory.

“We thought for a very long time give a sign to the enterprise that one thing is fallacious with customer support. The person discovered it as soon as, made a name and by no means returns. To observe such moments, to know how typically the person needs to seek for you, we made a buyer loyalty index.”

The CLI permits the enterprise to tackle suggestions from customers, and enhance, in addition to permitting Yandex to actively document person sentiment and satisfaction to the related services and products.

Pershina additionally confirmed that Yandex is working tougher to higher perceive user-generated content and opinions in relation to a enterprise.

And to higher determine rip-off companies or simply actually dangerous potential buyer experiences.

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