Some weeks ago I wrote a post about faking user behavor in SERPs becoming a common practice in Russian SEO (and especially SEO for Yandex). Yandex warned that these practices will hurt rather than help, but apparently people did not listen.
Today I read on Vedomosti.ru (one of the major Russian newspapers) that Yandex penalized over 1000 websites for using scripts imitating user behavior in SERPs (being more specific, creating fake searches on ‘Yandex and inflating CTR for selected keywords), as well as website of SEO compnies offering the spammy services (specifically were mentioned the following agencies: RBS (РБС), Megaseo, Perfectseo, Userator, Megaindex). Spokesman of Yandex admittet that the tactics worked and helped the companies to increase their organic rankings on Yandex.
The SEO companies in question deny the fact of using software on their clients’ website and blame dishonest competitors. Yandex say they thought of this possibility and rulled it out after thorough analysis.
My main takeaways from this :
1. Maximizing your SERP CTR should be an important part of your Yandex SEO strategy.
2. Yandex can see seo-links as well as seo-clicks.
3. Still no real penalty for paid links!