The day has come when I can start writing articles ala “SEO is Dead” about Yandex SEO. Today at IBC Russia comference Alexander Sadovskiy, Head of Web Search at Yandex, announced that in the beginning of 2014 they will roll out a new ranking algorithm that does not takes links into considerations.
Just as most of the previous scary changes, the new Yandex algorithm will affect commercial search queries. The reason is that there is too much link spam in commercial verticals, explain Sadovsky. There are fewer “SEO links” in informational sites’ link profiles, and since the links are mostly natural, it is fine to use them as a ranking signal, and Yandex will continue doing so.
Not a secret that the majority of Russia e-commerce purchases are still paid by cash upon delivery, but the adoption of online payment methods is increasing together with increasing savviness of Russian online shoppers.
According to a recent research done by OMi Russia, the growth in adoption of online payments comes mainly from credit cards and Internet banking, while second largest category of payment methods — electronic currencies (e.g. Yandex.Money, WebMoney, PayPal and similar.) — has remained popular among the shoppers, but did not increase its share comparing to other options.
Yesterday Yandex announced [in Russian] a significant transformation of Yandex.Market (Google Shopping analog) – shopping cart and checkout functionality right from the product listings.
The service has been very popular among Russian online shoppers and was used as a price comparison engine. The listings from Yandex.Market were also integrated with Yandex.Direct and could show up from time to time on the right hand side of search results (when there were ads on the right hand side, that is).
Cross-border e-commerce is a very hot trend in the Russian market today. People shop online more and more, and buying goods from abroad is not uncommon – for various reasons.
Russian e-commerce in 2013
According to the latest report from Data Insight, a Russian market research company and a source of invaluable data about Russian Internet industry, Russian e-commerce turnover in H1 2013 was at 160 billion Russian rubles (approx. 3,6 billion Euro / 5 billion US dollars), which is 29% growth comparing to the same period last year.
28 million people in Russia shop online today.
By far the largest category is consumer electronics. Clothes and sports-related products are growing very fast.
Yandex AGS penalty, ironically named after aRussian grenade launcher, was first introduced back in 2009. From the beginning, the penalty was aimed against low quality sites, and mainly affected those that were created for selling links through Russian link brokers and otherwise did not carry any value for the user.
AGS had two versions in its history: AGS-17 (September 2009) and AGS-30 (December 2009). This year, on the 1st of November, Russian SEO community noticed a lot of changes in Yandex search results, which initiated a lot of discussions in forums and blogs. Many suspected it, but today Yandex officially confirmed [in Russian] that they released the new version of AGS — AGS-40.