SEO and SEM for Russian search engines

Using LiveInternet click distribution model for traffic estimation

How much traffic can we potentially get if we rank #1 for this keyword? How much our traffic will increase if we go from position X to position Y for that keyword? Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Whether a keyword is good, whether it is worth focusing on..

When working with Google all we have is Google search volumes, which are often far far away from the real numbers, and the old AOL click distribution model. When it comes to Russian search engines (Yandex, Google, Mail.ru, Rambler), more reliable statistics is available. First of all, Yandex shows actual search volumes for keywords on a monthly basis (only broad match though). Second, there is this fabulous click distribution model I am going to write about.

I heard about this method of estimating Yandex keyword traffic at the Optimization.ru conference in November 2009, but never got to use it until now. I was very impressed, because the results were quite close to the reality.

The traffic estimation method is based on statistics, provided by Liveinternet.ru. Liveinternet.ru is a web counter, which happens to be installed on around 70% of Russian websites. While individual stats are hidden, you can see how many clicks all sites with Liveinternet counter installed receive for a certain keyword on aggregated level. The stats are daily, hence the fluctuations are quite big from day to day, but taking an average values will give you good insights.

Liveinternet counter icon

Liveinternet counter icon. Usually located in a footer.

One important thing to know: if you are coming from IP outside Russia, you will be automatically redirected to the English page of Liveinternet, which does not have the same features as the Russian one. If you want to use Liveinternet for traffic estimation, switch to the  Russian version (in the top right corner). The Russian interface will look like this:

Liveinternet Russian interface

Russian version of Liveinternet.ru start page

This is not all. Liveinternet also made public their click distribution model. The distribution shows percentages of clicks in total Liveinternet traffic, which websites receive depending on position is SERP. Please note, that the percentages are not CTR from the SERPs and not related to Yandex search volumes in any way.

The Liveinternet distribution looks as follows:

  • Position 1 – 12-25%
  • Position 2 – 8-20%
  • Position 3 – 6-16%
  • Position 4 – 5-12%
  • Position 5 – 4-12%
  • Position 6 – 4-10%
  • Position 7 – 3-8%
  • Position 8 – 3-6%
  • Position 9 – 2-5%
  • Position 10 – 1-4%


Example of traffic estimation based on Liveinternet data and click distribution model

Keyword:  дешевые джинсы (cheap jeans). Liveinternet returns the following graphs:

Liveinternet click statistics

Liveinternet daily click statistics and break down by search engine

Liveinternet statistics shows that “cheap jeans” receives 150 clicks per day on average -> 4500 clicks per month on average. This includes all search engines traffic, ant the traffic is broken down  search engine, which is quite interesting as well.

According to the model, if a website ranks nr 1 for “cheap jeans”, it will receive up to 1125 clicks per month for this keyword. Funny enough, googlers seems to search for cheap jeans more that Yandex users :)

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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