Up until now Yandex SEO penalties were often difficult to diagnose. A lot of times webmasters had to contact Yandex to find out what caused, for example, drop in traffic or sharp decline in number of indexed pages.
On Friday last week Yandex announced a new section in their new Yandex.Webmaster toolkit [at the moment in Russian only] that will notify webmasters and site owners about violations of Yandex SEO guidelines found on their web properties.
At the moment Yandex.Webmaster warns about the most common reasons for SEO penalties:
- Buying SEO links (recently introduced Minusinsk penalty)
- Selling SEO links
- Artificially inflating behavioral factors
- Thin affiliate pages
- Keyword stuffing
- Hidden text
For sites that do not violate any Yandex guidelines, the “Violations” section in Yandex.Webmaster will look like this:
If Yandex penalty is applied to a website, webmasters and site owners will get an explanation of the discovered violations as well as what kind of penalty these violations cause.
In the example below, example.com website was caught buying SEO links. As a result, its positions were lowered in organic search results.
The purpose of the button is to notify Yandex when all the violations have been fixed. Once pressed, the button becomes inactive for a month.
Yandex warns webmaster that the decision to press the button should not be taken lightly, but should be properly prepared and thought through. It is also important to know that pressing the “I fixed everything” button does not guarantee that the website will get out of the penalty faster.
According to the latest update from Yandex serarch team, Minusinsk penalty can be lifted within 2-4 months, given that all paid inbound links are removed. Yandex also confirmed multiple times that due to the specifics of Russian SEO, where most paid links are acquired automatically through link brokers, they believe that most webmasters are in control of their SEO links and hence there is no need (or plan for that matter) for creating a feature similar to Google’s disavow.
AGS penalty can be lifted even faster than Minusinsk, given that sold links are removed in a swift manner.
Getting rid of a penalty for artificially inflated behavioral factors is the most tricky process, which can take up to 8 months.