SEO and SEM for Russian search engines

Geotargeting on Yandex – a new twist

Soon the new version of the latest Yandex search algorithm Arzamas 1.2 will be released. It is going to be even more geotargeted than already very much geotargeted Arzamas 1.1 =) Yes.. Russia is big and there are many geo entities to target… Last week Yandex opened a beta-version for testing, and that was a great fun!

The trick is Yandex geotargeting in Arzamas 1.2 is based not only on searcher’s location and website/ company region, but also on a type of keyword. Yandex divided all keywords into geo-dependent and geo-independent. It’s not hard to guess that regional SERPs will differ for geo-dependent keywords, while SERPs for geo-independent terms will be the same for the whole country.

Last week On there was a possibility to test keywords on geo-dependence. My client’s terms were all geo-independent. Ufff… Fewer headaches for me! But many SEOs noticed that the algorithm’s ability to classify keywords into those two categories is far from perfect.

For example, Vetra from one of the SEO forums shared this:
Geo-dependent: Nokia, Big Dipper
Geo-independent: Sony Ericsson, Small Dipper

Not much logic…

Big Yandex SEO guys also published their testing results. They say that about 30% of keywords became geo-dependent. Mostly they are transactional keywords. Navigational and informational queries stayed independent.

Looks like such words as “buy”, “find” or “order” automatically make a query geo-dependent, even if it is “buy webhosting” or “order website design”, which does not make much sense.

Mentioning a city or a country name also makes a key phrase geo-dependent, even if you search for proverbs like “All roads lead to Rome” or “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

Hopefully the algorithm will be improved before the release. Will keep posting about this. Very, very interesting summer for Russian search industry =)

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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