SEO and SEM for Russian search engines

Analyze your Yandex SEO competitors with SpyWords

For a while I’ve been wondering, and I guess some of you did too, if there is a good competitive intelligence tool for Yandex? Recently I found one, which works well, and I would like to share my findings with you. The tool is called SpyWords.

I used it a lot in the last couple of month, and since it did a good job and saved a lot of time for me, I thought I give them a credit and review them on my blog.


To start with, SpyWords is very similar (but simpler) to SEMRush, which is a well-known competitive intelligence tool for Google and Bing.

Basically, SpyWords has three main features that can be used for various purposes. The interface is very straightforward, and although the tool does not have as many reporting options as SEMRush, it can provide useful insights into verticals, SEO and SEM competitors, and be a great help in researching keywords.


Competitive intelligence for Yandex and Google

This feature gives an overview of a specific competitor in Yandex (paid and organic) or Google (paid and organic) as well as competitiveness of a specific keyword in Yandex and Google.

Entering keyword in the search field will give you the following information:

PPC (Yandex Direct & Google AdWords)

– Number of impressions for the keyword in Yandex and Google

– Average CPC for the keyword in Yandex and Google

– Number of advertisers bidding on the keyword in Yandex and Google

– Names of the competitors bidding on the keywords and their text ads

– Other relevant keywords that are purchased on Yandex and Google together with the keyword, their search volumes, competitiveness and average CPC

SEO (Yandex and Google)

– Top 50 domains competing for the keyword in organic search, their ranking URLs and snippets

– Total number of organic keywords each competitor ranks top 50


Analyzing one specific competitor is even more interesting. Entering a specific domain in the search field will provide you with the following insights:

PPC (Yandex Direct & Google AdWords)

– Number of keywords the competitor is buying in Yandex and Google AdWords

– Average position of competitor’s ads in Yandex Direct and Google AdWords

– Approximate daily budget in Yandex Direct and Google AdWords

– Approximate daily traffic from Yandex Direct and Google AdWords

– Keywords purchased by the competitor on Yandex and Google, ad texts, average positions, monthly impressions, competitiveness and average CPC

– All competitor’s ads in Yandex Direct and AdWords, landing page URLs and number of keywords assigned to each ad (especially relevant for Yandex direct)

– Main competitors of the analyzed domain in paid search

SEO (Yandex and Google)

– All keywords the competitor ranks for in Google and Yandex, position for each keyword, average monthly impressions, ranking URLs and snippets

– Main competitors of the analyzed domain in organic search (based on the amount of common keywords they rank for)


Domain comparison

This feature compares organic and paid search for up to 3 domains. Let’s say, for instance, we are working for, and trying to evaluate our competitor Entering both domains into the search fields gives a snapshot comparison table that displays the following metrics for both domains:

– Numbers of keywords in paid search

– Average position in paid search

– Number of keywords in organic search

– Approximate daily SEM budget

– Number of paid visits per day

– Number of organic visits per day


The amount of keywords on paid and organic search can be also visualized as diagrams:


You can find out they keywords and have / don’t have in common by clicking on the corresponding part of the diagram.


Keyword research

The last tab, the keyword tool, is mainly good for expanding ad groups and finding PPC keyword ideas with lower competition or lower CPC. Entering a keyword into the search box in the keyword tool tab will give the following information:

– Keyword suggestions

– Search volumes in Yandex and Google

– CPC for each keyword suggestions in Yandex and Google

– Numbers of competitors for each keyword suggestion in Yandex and Google

Based on the input from this tab, it is very easy to optimize the cost of PPC campaigns on AdWords and Yandex.Direct or simply find some gems to add to your keyword portfolio:


Overall, I really love SpyWords. Even though it does not have that many fancy features and reporting options, in most cases it provides you with sufficient information for making decisions. There are, of course, some highlights and lowlights, like with any tool.


– Price. The service only costs 1000 RUB (approx. 33 USD) per month.

– Very simple and intuitive interface.

– Quite reliable data.

– Saves a lot of time when analyzing verticals, competitors, or looking for keyword ideas.


– Interface is only in Russian.

– Difficult to purchase the tool from outside CIS due to limited payment options.

– When trying to open export files, the Cyrillic texts sometimes appears scrambled due to encoding issues.

Bonus tips

1. If you do not have any of the Russian e-currencies accounts or a credit card issued in CIS or any of these random countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Egypt, Macedonia, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Philippines, or Montenegro, the most straightforward way to pay to purchase the tool is Yandex.Money. This payment system allows opening accounts from any part of the world.

2. If the content appears scrambled when opening the .csv export files, upload it to Google Drive and open it as a Google spreadsheet. Google is able to interpret Cyrillic symbols correctly.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with SpyWords in any way. I think the service is great and helpful for Russian SEO work, hence this post.

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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