Yandex Catalog, also known as YaCa, is a collection of links, each supplied with a short description, categorized by topics and geolocation, similar to Yahoo Catalog or DMOZ.
Yandex Catalog was created in back in 2000, and since then went through several new editions and releases. YaCa is a popular web resource in Russia and boasts 3 million page views per day.
Each website listed in Yandex Catalog had to go through a manual moderation process. The rules are quite strict as Yandex has an ambition to keep the collection on a high level. The basic requirements for being accepted are:
- unique content
- contact information
- high quality and not over-SEO’d content
- all content should be relevant to website’s vertical (i.e. no paid article placements with irrelevant topics)
- no obviously sold links
- good usability and design
The order of sites in a particular category is defined by sites’ thematic index of quotation (TIC) – Yandex’s analog of Google’s page rank.
How to get listed in Yandex Catalog
There are two ways to get listed in Yandex Catalog – free and paid.
Free registration [in Russian] can take up to 3 months, as all submitted sites are going through manual moderation, and the line is very long. The moderators review sites in detail and only accept a site that they could personally recommend. If a website is rejected by moderators, there will be no notification about it or explanation of the reasons why it was rejected.
Paid registration [in Russian] is a much more efficient way to get into Yandex Catalog. It only takes 3 days and the moderators will sent a notification once the application was approved or rejected, although they do not always explain why. The price for paid registration is 12 500 Russian rubles, VAT excluded (approx. 325 US dollars + 15% VAT). It is a one time fee that covers a lifelong listing.
For multilingual websites it is very important to keep in mind that the only types of sites that are structured in one of the following ways can be submitted to Yandex Catalog:
For site with language branches separated into folders (site.com/ru) submission can be problematic. This kind of sites can only be accepted into the Catalog if it fulfills both of the following conditions: 1) site.com is already listed in Yandex Catalog AND 2) if site.com/ru vertical differs from main URL (e.g. site.com is about auto and site.com/ru is about health and beauty).
Benefits of Yandex Catalog listing for Yandex SEO
Listing in Yandex Catalog can positively affect both traffic and SEO. Sites with higher TIC that rank high in YaCa categories can receive significant amount of visits from the Catalog.
For Yandex SEO YaCa listing is one of the minor ranking factors, and generally is a good and trustworthy link. Russian webmasters and SEOs also notice that TIC and other metrics start increasing faster, and the SEO work gives better results once a website has been accepted by Yandex Catalog.