Yesterday morning Russian Internet press reported that Yandex and Skype signed an agreement and will begin promoting each others’ services in Russia.
Skype will offer everyone who downloads their PC client to install a browser extension Yandex Bar. Yandex Bar, in exchange, will display Skype account balance and provide an easy way to top up Skype account via Yandex Money. This looks like a good way for Yandex to attract more users and possibly regain the market share that they lost to Google last year. In 2011 Skype showed 40% increase in Russian user base ending the year with 22,4 million registered accounts.
So what does Skype get in return? From what I read today it is very unclear: Skype will be promoted on Yandex sites and properties (which is of course a lot of traffic), but it is not specified how.
November 23, 2011: just before a series of SEO conferences and events across the Russian speaking space Yandex released yet another version of ranking formula. For now it only affects “commercially oriented queries” (read SERPs for e-commerce sites) in Moscow region, but seeing the past developments with Google I believe I can make some bold assumptions about where Yandex is heading.
Just a few weeks ago I wrote a post about non-importance of social signals in Yandex SEO. I also concluded my analysis with a thought that sooner or later Yandex will incorporate social into their algorithm, because everything points in that direction.
Last week Yandex made yet another move showing that they do not ignore the importance of presence in social media: they started to show links to social media profiles in page snippets:
Links to social profiles in snippets (Yandex)
I never really focused on writing about Meta tags for Yandex in this blog, mainly because it seemed just too obvious to me. Now, however, Yandex has implemented a change, which is totally worth mentioning!
Which Meta tags matter in Yandex SEO
We all know that Google and Bing do not pay attention to Meta keywords and Meta description tags, while Meta description is still very important for catching searcher’s attention in busy SERPs. Yandex however never, from what I know, made any public statements with regards to these tags.
Yandex.Direct is a PPC platform for advertizing on Yandex and their content network. Yandex hold 65% of contextual ads market in Russia, so if you want to enter this market, that’s probably where you will allocate a big chunk of your advertizing budget.
Yandex.Direct ads in Yandex search results