SEO and SEM for Russian search engines

What to do if your site got assigned to a wrong region in Yandex?

In the end of last year Russian SEO society was shaken and excited at the same time by a sudden change or ranking algorithm from Arzamas to Snezhinsk. Snezhinsk came with over 1000 ranking factors and ad a result better spam detection, better dupe content filters and better geo-targeting.

Right now local results are available for 1250 cities in Russia. This basically means that it is easier (or should I say more possible?) for local businesses to rank in their regions for geo-dependent keywords.  Great! Or.. wait!

What do you do if your site got assigned to a wrong region? What to do if you want to rank in several regions? Or if you don’t want to have any regional ties at all? Here are the answers.

Since a couple of weeks there is an interface for managing your website’s regional settings in Yandex Webmaster tools. Go to additional info -> Region in the left navigation menu.

Change of regional settings in Yandex webmaster tools

If you want to change your region, put in a new one (as shown above). You will also need to provide a proof (a URL where relevant info can be found) that your site really belong to this region. It can be, for example, a Contact Us page with a visiting address.

If you do not want to have any regional ties, just tell Yandex so (as shown on the picture above).

If you would like to be assigned to several regions, it gets more complicated. This can be only done if your site is listed in Yandex catalogue (YaCa). In that case you can select up to 7 relevant regions. To be listed in YaCa is not easy however. It is quite similar to DMOZ (i.e. every site needs to be approved manually and not all applicants get in) with the only difference that YaCa also allows paid listings (still the site needs match certain parameters though).

Anna Oshkalo

Anna is a blogger and online marketing consultant specializing in SEO and SEM for Russian search engines. To see more of Anna's posts, follow her on Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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