Yandex.Direct geotagreting has always been a lot less sophisticated in comparison to Google AdWords. While AdWords provides possibilities to target locations as precise as a radius around specific city or even metro area or a ZIP code, in Yandex.Direct we can only target people living in a specific region and/or in main large cities in Russia.
Until now Yandex.Direct did not officially support targeting based on search intent, however their machine learning technology MatrixNet took care of that to some extent.
I summarized the available geotargeting options of both AdWords and Yandex.Direct in one of my earlier posts:
The newest Russian search engine Sputnik was launched in spring 2014 by state-owned telecommunication company Rostelecom. According to the creators of the search engines, Sputnik’s search algorithm is oriented towards providing users with “social rather than commercial services”, like finding medicines in the nearby pharmacy or times available in local movie theatres. Sputnik is Rostelecom’s attempt to keep up with the growing Internet usage in Russia as well as to uncover potential for new revenue streams.
The search engine did not make any sizeable monetization efforts until last week, when Sputnik became a part of Yandex Advertising Network (YAN).
Russian Internet audience has been growing very rapidly for the last decade. In 2014 Russian online population reached 80 million users, and increased by another 4 million during 2015, reports Gfk [in Russian] in their recent research.
Internet penetration in Russia also became higher during 2015. Now 70.4% of people of 16+ age are Internet users.
The Russian Institute of Modern Media MOMRI conducted a nationwide survey the goal of which was to understand the attitudes of Russian consumers towards advertising, reports Vedomosti [in Russian].
One of the main findings of the survey was that 40% of the population living in cities with more than 100 000 inhabitants generally trust advertising and promotional messages.
6% of respondents said that they do not mind and sometimes even like advertising.
In the end of November last year Yandex started marking mobile-friendly pages with “mobile version” label in mobile search results of all Yandex search properties. They also openly confirmed our suspicions that this was the first step towards making mobile-friendliness a ranking factor in the nearest future. And today is the day! Yandex just announced [in Russian] in their corporate blog that they are rolling out a new ranking formula that takes into account mobile-friendliness of a page when delivering search results on mobile devices.
As always, the new algorithm is named after a Russian city – this time Vladivostok, the capital of Russia’s Far East, where Yandex see the biggest share of mobile Internet users comparing to other regions in Russia.