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How to Market Your Small Business (7 Easy Steps)

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How to Market Your Small Business (7 Easy Steps)

Do you want to start marketing your business but don’t know where to begin?

You’re not alone.

Small businesses make up over 90% of all businesses in the U.S., U.K., and Europe.

So if you’re struggling to get noticed or generate inquiries or sales from potential customers, this guide will show you how to market your small business effectively step by step.

Step 1. Start with a product-market fit

Marketing begins with the products or services you sell and who they’re for. Here are the key steps:

  1. Specify what problem your product or service solves for your target customers
  2. List the top features your product or service will include
  3. Turn those features into benefits
  4. Create a one-page document or landing page outlining your product/service to get initial feedback from a small group of customers

If you want to dive deeper, read our detailed guide to creating product-market fit.

Now, let’s take a look at a few product-fit examples from different industries.

Services

This construction company has three clearly defined services: installing siding, installing windows and doors, and interior remodeling on residential properties.

Service page example #1

Each service page explains the service benefits and process and contains case studies, customer reviews, and a call to action (to get in touch).

Products (e-commerce)

Companies that don’t sell services sell products such as clothing, printed products, vehicle accessories, etc.

For example, this company sells products to enable van owners to customize the top, sides, and internal sections of their work van.

Product page example #1

Software (or software as a service)

This company recently launched an app for creating email designs using predesigned email layouts and components.

It has summarized the features of the products, along with examples and directions for getting started, on its landing page.

Saas page example #1

Step 2. Create profitable prices

The next step to marketing your business is to consider and decide what to charge customers for your products or services so you make a profit.

For example, if you sell physical products, your pricing strategy may be to mark up the product’s manufacturing, shipping, and delivery costs to make a profit.

Ahrefs, a software product, is priced at $99, $199, $399, and $999 per month and is based on data costs, customer data usage, and the value it provides.

As an example of pricing services, a user experience (UX) design firm may charge more than a web design firm because its clients perceive greater value in UX design.

And finally, consider what competitors charge and what customers are willing to pay.

Action: In our template, write down the products, services, and prices you want to market.

Step 3. Set a monthly goal

The next step to marketing your business is to have a clear goal so that you can structure your marketing efforts.

The three main marketing goals are to get new customers, sell to existing ones, and keep customers using and paying for your products or services.

  1. Get new customers (Acquisition)
  2. Sell to your current customers (Upsell) 
  3. Keep existing customers (Retention)

1. Get new customers – Acquisition

If you’re starting in business or don’t sell to the same customers repeatedly, you’ll want to focus on getting new paying customers. That’s easier said than done, of course.

Getting new customers consists of four key steps as your customers go through your marketing funnel: You attract your target audience, show them your product as a solution to their problem, make them consider it, and give them a reason to buy.

The marketing funnel

Write down the number of new customers or the revenue you need each month.

2. Sell to your existing customers – Upsell

For more established businesses with a customer base, the goal may be to sell to their existing customers in addition to getting new ones.

For example, I pay Flywheel to host websites for clients. When I log in to my account, it promotes other services or add-ons to its existing customers.

Customer upsell example

List out any products or services you can provide for your current customers besides your main product or service.

3. Keep existing customers – Retention

Thirdly, if you have lots of customers, you’ll need to keep them happy or they’ll stop paying you. 

Many companies are so focused on getting new customers that they often forget current ones, i.e., love them and leave them.

Let’s say you have 1,000 customers paying you $50 a month; that’s $50,000 revenue a month.

But if you’re losing 5% of customers a month; that’s

  • 50 lost customers every month.
  • $2,500 lost revenue every month.

To learn more, here’s our guide to increasing your retention (in other words, decreasing customer churn).

Action: In our template, add your goal—or goals if you have more than one priority.

Step 4. Choose places to sell your products or services

Think about all the places where you can sell your products or services.

For example, SaaS businesses, such as Ahrefs, usually sell subscriptions on their websites only.

Whereas a fashion brand like Universal Works sells via its website, social channels, own stores, and partners online and off. 

Here are some of the main online and offline places to sell.

Online

  • Your website
  • Integrate your products on social media channels
  • Marketplaces
  • Partners

Offline

  • Physical stores
  • Telephone
  • In person

Action: Using our template, in the “Place” column, choose the places where customers can buy your products or services. 

Step 5. Promote your products or services

Here are some of the most common marketing channels you can use to promote your products.

1. Website

Your website is the home of your company, products, and services. Website traffic usually results from how well you promote your brand and products. In today’s world, pretty much everyone needs a website.

This fashion brand promotes up to 60% off current products on its homepage to make way for the next season’s products.

E-commerce homepage example

This web designer is getting over 80% of her 5,400 visits to her website from direct traffic, no doubt a direct result of her TikTok followers and video views.

TikTok videos

2. SEO and content marketing

SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of growing a website’s traffic from organic search results. If your target audience looks up information related to your products online, you should likely make SEO one of your marketing priorities. That’s the case for most businesses.

To market your business to search visitors, you need to do keyword research and create content and links. Here’s a high-level overview of what that involves:

  1. Enter a keyword related to your product or service into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to discover the questions people ask about your business and the keywords they use when searching online
  2. Create a content plan containing the keywords you’re going to target
  3. Use our content outline template to make writing and publishing content in your content plan easier
  4. Use these 15 tactics to get website backlinks, increasing your website rankings and traffic

For local business owners, head to the local SEO guide to learn more. E-commerce owners also need to apply specific e-commerce SEO techniques that are different from general best practices.

3. Email

There are two steps to marketing your business with email. First, you need to get subscribers onto your email list, and then you need to convert them into customers by sending emails.

Getting email subscribers

To get email subscribers, you can include a newsletter or content upgrade sign-up form using any number of email marketing solutions.

For example, this company has a newsletter subscription form at the foot of every page.

Newsletter subscription form example

I offer an incentive or content upgrade on some of my webpages in exchange for the reader’s email address.

Email content upgrade example

Convert customers by emailing them

Once you’ve built up a list of opted-in subscribers, then you can begin marketing to them.

In this case study, an e-commerce retailer earns 25% of its revenue by sending welcome, cart abandonment, win-back, and big spender email campaigns to its subscribers and customers.

Here’s an email marketing campaign where the company lists four services that can help subscribers; then it includes links to its sales or booking page.

Email to subscribers example

4. Paid search

Paid search or PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is where companies pay a fee each time someone clicks their adverts in the search results.

Paid search is an excellent option if you have marketing money to spend and you’re looking for immediate website traffic that can drive leads or sales.

For example, this report shows a company has derived over 46% of its revenue from paid search this year.

Google Analytics revenue per channel

Head over to our PPC marketing guide if you’re looking to start using paid search ads.

This fashion retailer is advertising with Facebook Ads.

Facebook Ads example

And it is also advertising with Google Ads.

Google Ads example

However, there are other types of advertising, including social media, print, direct mail, outdoor, and podcast advertising.

5. Partners, sponsorships, and affiliates

Many businesses use partners or affiliates to reach and promote their products and services to potential customers.

For example, you can sponsor the newsletters of people in your industry with over 10,000 email subscribers with ConvertKit’s new sponsorship network. Or you can follow our guide on finding and paying influencers to endorse your products or services.

ConvertKit sponsor network

If you sell products, Shopify has introduced a program called Shopify Collabs that enables creators to partner with your company, create content about your products, and earn commissions when their audience purchases.

Shopify Collabs

6. In-app marketing

In-app marketing is a type of marketing where adverts or messages appear within software and mobile apps.

Every time you log in to Ahrefs, we promote the latest features to existing customers.

Ahrefs dashboard notifications

You can use a solution like Beamer to add in-app notifications to your website or application. 

7. In-store marketing

In-store marketing is the practice of promoting products and services at retail stores. This can include advertising on store shelves, signage, displays, point-of-sale materials, etc.

This skateboarding retailer uses its shop window to promote a winter sale to people walking past the shop on the high street.

Promotion sign on a large shop window

Action: In our template, add how you’re going to promote your products or services.

Step 6. Measure and review

In step #3, you set some goals. Now you want to see whether your marketing activities met these objectives.

Here are a few examples of goals and how to measure them.

Goal: Sell products

If you are selling products using Shopify, you can see where your visitors came from, the products people looked at, best-selling products, average order value, and the conversion rate from the Analytics reports.

In this example, 26 sales primarily came from search and direct traffic; to grow sales, perhaps the business owners can consider PPC advertising next month.

Shopify Analytics dashboard

Goal: Get customers with Google Ads

If you’re using Google Ads to get new customers, you should focus on your cost per conversion: the cost of someone buying your product or the cost per new inquiry.

Google Ads cost per conversion

You do this by setting up conversion tracking at the start of the campaign.

Set up conversion tracking with Google Ads

Goal: Sell to existing customers with email marketing

If you use email to market to existing customers, use Google Analytics to track visitors to your site and their activities, such as purchases or leads.

Look under Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels, and you will see the number of visitors, transactions, revenue, or leads that came from email.

Ask your web developer or designer to set this tracking up for you.

Google Analytics channel conversions

Step 7. Repeat what works

At the end of each month, review your marketing results and efforts, learn from any mistakes you’ve made, and repeat whatever worked for you in the past.

Slutgiltiga tankar

For those looking to grow their business, this marketing guide will help you get started on the right foot.

It showed you how to market your company (starting with your products), set prices, set goals, find where to target customers, and promote your products or services. There is also a template to keep you on track.

Har du frågor? Pinga mig på Twitter.



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Google Updates Structured Data Guidance To Clarify Supported Formats

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Google Updates Structured Data Guidance To Clarify Supported Formats

Google updated the structured data guidance to better emphasize that all three structured data formats are acceptable to Google and also explain why JSON-LD is is recommended.

The updated Search Central page that was updated is the Supported Formats section of the Introduction to structured data markup in Google Search webpage.

The most important changes were to add a new section title (Supported Formats), and to expand that section with an explanation of supported structured data formats.

Three Structured Data Formats

Google supports three structured data formats.

  1. JSON-LD
  2. Microdata
  3. RDFa

But only one of the above formats, JSON-LD, is recommended.

According to the documentation, the other two formats (Microdata and RDFa) are still fine to use. The update to the documentation explains why JSON-LD is recommended.

Google also made a minor change to a title of a preceding section to reflect that the section addresses structured data vocabulary

The original section title, Structured data format, is now Structured data vocabulary and format.

Google added a section title the section that offers guidance on Google’s preferred structured data format.

This is also the section with the most additional text added to it.

New Supported Formats Section Title

The updated content explains why Google prefers the JSON-LD structured data format, while confirming that the other two formats are acceptable.

Previously this section contained just two sentences:

“Google Search supports structured data in the following formats, unless documented otherwise:

Google recommends using JSON-LD for structured data whenever possible.”

The updated section now has the following content:

“Google Search supports structured data in the following formats, unless documented otherwise.

In general, we recommend using a format that’s easiest for you to implement and maintain (in most cases, that’s JSON-LD); all 3 formats are equally fine for Google, as long as the markup is valid and properly implemented per the feature’s documentation.

In general, Google recommends using JSON-LD for structured data if your site’s setup allows it, as it’s the easiest solution for website owners to implement and maintain at scale (in other words, less prone to user errors).”

Structured Data Formats

JSON-LD is arguably the easiest structured data format to implement, the easiest to scale, and the most straightforward to edit.

Most, if not all, WordPress SEO and structured data plugins output JSON-LD structured data.

Nevertheless, it’s a useful update to Google’s structured data guidance in order to make it clear that all three formats are still supported.

Google’s documentation on the change can be read here.

Featured image by Shutterstock/Olena Zaskochenko



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Ranking Factors & The Myths We Found

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Ranking Factors & The Myths We Found

Yandex is the search engine with the majority of market share in Russia and the fourth-largest search engine in the world.

On January 27, 2023, it suffered what is arguably one of the largest data leaks that a modern tech company has endured in many years – but is the second leak in less than a decade.

In 2015, a former Yandex employee attempted to sell Yandex’s search engine code on the black market for around $30,000.

The initial leak in January this year revealed 1,922 ranking factors, of which more than 64% were listed as unused or deprecated (superseded and best avoided).

This leak was just the file labeled kernel, but as the SEO community and I delved deeper, more files were found that combined contain approximately 17,800 ranking factors.

When it comes to practicing SEO for Yandex, the guide I wrote two years ago, for the most part, still applies.

Yandex, like Google, has always been public with its algorithm updates and changes, and in recent years, how it has adopted machine learning.

Notable updates from the past two-three years include:

  • Vega (which doubled the size of the index).
  • Mimicry (penalizing fake websites impersonating brands).
  • Y1 update (introducing YATI).
  • Y2 update (late 2022).
  • Adoption of IndexNow.
  • A fresh rollout and assumed update of the PF filter.

On a personal note, this data leak is like a second Christmas.

Since January 2020, I’ve run an SEO news website as a hobby dedicated to covering Yandex SEO and search news in Russia with 600+ articles, so this is probably the peak event of the hobby site.

I’ve also spoken twice at the Optimization conference – the largest SEO conference in Russia.

This is also a good test to see how closely Yandex’s public statements match the codebase secrets.

In 2019, working with Yandex’s PR team, I was able to interview engineers in their Search team and ask a number of questions sourced from the wider Western SEO community.

You can read the interview with the Yandex Search team here.

Whilst Yandex is primarily known for its presence in Russia, the search engine also has a presence in Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Georgia.

The data leak was believed to be politically motivated and the actions of a rogue employee, and contains a number of code fragments from Yandex’s monolithic repository, Arcadia.

Within the 44GB of leaked data, there’s information relating to a number of Yandex products including Search, Maps, Mail, Metrika, Disc, and Cloud.

What Yandex Has Had To Say

As I write this post (January 31st, 2023), Yandex has publicly stated that:

the contents of the archive (leaked code base) correspond to the outdated version of the repository – it differs from the current version used by our services

And:

It is important to note that the published code fragments also contain test algorithms that were used only within Yandex to verify the correct operation of the services.

So, how much of this code base is actively used is questionable.

Yandex has also revealed that during its investigation and audit, it found a number of errors that violate its own internal principles, so it is likely that portions of this leaked code (that are in current use) may be changing in the near future.

Factor Classification

Yandex classifies its ranking factors into three categories.

This has been outlined in Yandex’s public documentation for some time, but I feel is worth including here, as it better helps us understand the ranking factor leak.

  • Static factors – Factors that are related directly to the website (e.g. inbound backlinks, inbound internal links, headers, and ads ratio).
  • Dynamic factors – Factors that are related to both the website and the search query (e.g. text relevance, keyword inclusions, TF*IDF).
  • User search-related factors – Factors relating to the user query (e.g. where is the user located, query language, and intent modifiers).

The ranking factors in the document are tagged to match the corresponding category, with TG_STATIC and TG_DYNAMIC, and then TG_QUERY_ONLY, TG_QUERY, TG_USER_SEARCH, and TG_USER_SEARCH_ONLY.

Yandex Leak Learnings So Far

From the data thus far, below are some of the affirmations and learnings we’ve been able to make.

There is so much data in this leak, it is very likely that we will be finding new things and making new connections in the next few weeks.

These include:

  • PageRank (a form of).
  • At some point Yandex utilized TF*IDF.
  • Yandex still uses meta keywords, which are also highlighted in its documentation.
  • Yandex has specific factors for medical, legal, and financial topics (YMYL).
  • It also uses a form of page quality scoring, but this is known (ICS score).
  • Links from high-authority websites have an impact on rankings.
  • There’s nothing new to suggest Yandex can crawl JavaScript yet outside of already publicly documented processes.
  • Server errors and excessive 4xx errors can impact ranking.
  • The time of day is taken into consideration as a ranking factor.

Below, I’ve expanded on some other affirmations and learnings from the leak.

Where possible, I’ve also tied these leaked ranking factors to the algorithm updates and announcements that relate to them, or where we were told about them being impactful.

MatrixNet

MatrixNet is mentioned in a few of the ranking factors and was announced in 2009, and then superseded in 2017 by Catboost, which was rolled out across the Yandex product sphere.

This further adds validity to comments directly from Yandex, and one of the factor authors DenPlusPlus (Den Raskovalov), that this is, in fact, an outdated code repository.

MatrixNet was originally introduced as a new, core algorithm that took into consideration thousands of ranking factors and assigned weights based on the user location, the actual search query, and perceived search intent.

It is typically seen as an early version of Google’s RankBrain, when they are indeed two very different systems. MatrixNet was launched six years before RankBrain was announced.

MatrixNet has also been built upon, which isn’t surprising, given it is now 14 years old.

In 2016, Yandex introduced the Palekh algorithm that used deep neural networks to better match documents (webpages) and queries, even if they didn’t contain the right “levels” of common keywords, but satisfied the user intents.

Palekh was capable of processing 150 pages at a time, and in 2017 was updated with the Korolyov update, which took into account more depth of page content, and could work off 200,000 pages at once.

URL & Page-Level Factors

From the leak, we have learned that Yandex takes into consideration URL construction, specifically:

  • The presence of numbers in the URL.
  • The number of trailing slashes in the URL (and if they are excessive).
  • The number of capital letters in the URL is a factor.
Screenshot from author, January 2023

The age of a page (document age) and the last updated date are also important, and this makes sense.

As well as document age and last update, a number of factors in the data relate to freshness – particularly for news-related queries.

Yandex formerly used timestamps, specifically not for ranking purposes but “reordering” purposes, but this is now classified as unused.

Also in the deprecated column are the use of keywords in the URL. Yandex has previously measured that three keywords from the search query in the URL would be an “optimal” result.

Internal Links & Crawl Depth

Whilst Google has gone on the record to say that for its purposes, crawl depth isn’t explicitly a ranking factor, Yandex appears to have an active piece of code that dictates that URLs that are reachable from the homepage have a “higher” level of importance.

Yandex factorsScreenshot from author, January 2023

This mirrors John Mueller’s 2018 statement that Google gives “a little more weight” to pages found more than one click from the homepage.

The ranking factors also highlight a specific token weighting for webpages that are “orphans” within the website linking structure.

Clicks & CTR

In 2011, Yandex released a blog post talking about how the search engine uses clicks as part of its rankings and also addresses the desires of the SEO pros to manipulate the metric for ranking gain.

Specific click factors in the leak look at things like:

  • The ratio of the number of clicks on the URL, relative to all clicks on the search.
  • The same as above, but broken down by region.
  • How often do users click on the URL for the search?

Manipulating Clicks

Manipulating user behavior, specifically “click-jacking”, is a known tactic within Yandex.

Yandex has a filter, known as the PF filter, that actively seeks out and penalizes websites that engage in this activity using scripts that monitor IP similarities and then the “user actions” of those clicks – and the impact can be significant.

The below screenshot shows the impact on organic sessions (сессии) after being penalized for imitating user clicks.

Image Source: Russian Search NewsImage from Russian Search News, January 2023

User Behavior

The user behavior takeaways from the leak are some of the more interesting findings.

User behavior manipulation is a common SEO violation that Yandex has been combating for years. At the 2020 Optimization conference, then Head of Yandex Webmaster Tools Mikhail Slevinsky said the company is making good progress in detecting and penalizing this type of behavior.

Yandex penalizes user behavior manipulation with the same PF filter used to combat CTR manipulation.

Dwell Time

102 of the ranking factors contain the tag TG_USERFEAT_SEARCH_DWELL_TIME, and reference the device, user duration, and average page dwell time.

All but 39 of these factors are deprecated.

Yandex factorsScreenshot from author, January 2023

Bing first used the term Dwell time in a 2011 blog, and in recent years Google has made it clear that it doesn’t use dwell time (or similar user interaction signals) as ranking factors.

YMYL

YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) is a concept well-known within Google and is not a new concept to Yandex.

Within the data leak, there are specific ranking factors for medical, legal, and financial content that exist – but this was notably revealed in 2019 at the Yandex Webmaster conference when it announced the Proxima Search Quality Metric.

Metrika Data Usage

Six of the ranking factors relate to the usage of Metrika data for the purposes of ranking. However, one of them is tagged as deprecated:

  • The number of similar visitors from the YandexBar (YaBar/Ябар).
  • The average time spent on URLs from those same similar visitors.
  • The “core audience” of pages on which there is a Metrika counter [deprecated].
  • The average time a user spends on a host when accessed externally (from another non-search site) from a specific URL.
  • Average ‘depth’ (number of hits within the host) of a user’s stay on the host when accessed externally (from another non-search site) from a particular URL.
  • Whether or not the domain has Metrika installed.

In Metrika, user data is handled differently.

Unlike Google Analytics, there are a number of reports focused on user “loyalty” combining site engagement metrics with return frequency, duration between visits, and source of the visit.

For example, I can see a report in one click to see a breakdown of individual site visitors:

MetrikaScreenshot from Metrika, January 2023

Metrika also comes “out of the box” with heatmap tools and user session recording, and in recent years the Metrika team has made good progress in being able to identify and filter bot traffic.

With Google Analytics, there is an argument that Google doesn’t use UA/GA4 data for ranking purposes because of how easy it is to modify or break the tracking code – but with Metrika counters, they are a lot more linear, and a lot of the reports are unchangeable in terms of how the data is collected.

Impact Of Traffic On Rankings

Following on from looking at Metrika data as a ranking factor; These factors effectively confirm that direct traffic and paid traffic (buying ads via Yandex Direct) can impact organic search performance:

  • Share of direct visits among all incoming traffic.
  • Green traffic share (aka direct visits) – Desktop.
  • Green traffic share (aka direct visits) – Mobile.
  • Search traffic – transitions from search engines to the site.
  • Share of visits to the site not by links (set by hand or from bookmarks).
  • The number of unique visitors.
  • Share of traffic from search engines.

News Factors

There are a number of factors relating to “News”, including two that mention Yandex.News directly.

Yandex.News was an equivalent of Google News, but was sold to the Russian social network VKontakte in August 2022, along with another Yandex product “Zen”.

So, it’s not clear if these factors related to a product no longer owned or operated by Yandex, or to how news websites are ranked in “regular” search.

Backlink Importance

Yandex has similar algorithms to combat link manipulation as Google – and has since the Nepot filter in 2005.

From reviewing the backlink ranking factors and some of the specifics in the descriptions, we can assume that the best practices for building links for Yandex SEO would be to:

  • Build links with a more natural frequency and varying amounts.
  • Build links with branded anchor texts as well as use commercial keywords.
  • If buying links, avoid buying links from websites that have mixed topics.

Below is a list of link-related factors that can be considered affirmations of best practices:

  • The age of the backlink is a factor.
  • Link relevance based on topics.
  • Backlinks built from homepages carry more weight than internal pages.
  • Links from the top 100 websites by PageRank (PR) can impact rankings.
  • Link relevance based on the quality of each link.
  • Link relevance, taking into account the quality of each link, and the topic of each link.
  • Link relevance, taking into account the non-commercial nature of each link.
  • Percentage of inbound links with query words.
  • Percentage of query words in links (up to a synonym).
  • The links contain all the words of the query (up to a synonym).
  • Dispersion of the number of query words in links.

However, there are some link-related factors that are additional considerations when planning, monitoring, and analyzing backlinks:

  • The ratio of “good” versus “bad” backlinks to a website.
  • The frequency of links to the site.
  • The number of incoming SEO trash links between hosts.

The data leak also revealed that the link spam calculator has around 80 active factors that are taken into consideration, with a number of deprecated factors.

This creates the question as to how well Yandex is able to recognize negative SEO attacks, given it looks at the ratio of good versus bad links, and how it determines what a bad link is.

A negative SEO attack is also likely to be a short burst (high frequency) link event in which a site will unwittingly gain a high number of poor quality, non-topical, and potentially over-optimized links.

Yandex uses machine learning models to identify Private Blog Networks (PBNs) and paid links, and it makes the same assumption between link velocity and the time period they are acquired.

Typically, paid-for links are generated over a longer period of time, and these patterns (including link origin site analysis) are what the Minusinsk update (2015) was introduced to combat.

Yandex Penalties

There are two ranking factors, both deprecated, named SpamKarma and Pessimization.

Pessimization refers to reducing PageRank to zero and aligns with the expectations of severe Yandex penalties.

SpamKarma also aligns with assumptions made around Yandex penalizing hosts and individuals, as well as individual domains.

Onpage Advertising

There are a number of factors relating to advertising on the page, some of them deprecated (like the screenshot example below).

Yandex factorsScreenshot from author, January 2023

It’s not known from the description exactly what the thought process with this factor was, but it could be assumed that a high ratio of adverts to visible screen was a negative factor – much like how Google takes umbrage if adverts obfuscate the page’s main content, or are obtrusive.

Tying this back to known Yandex mechanisms, the Proxima update also took into consideration the ratio of useful and advertising content on a page.

Can We Apply Any Yandex Learnings To Google?

Yandex and Google are disparate search engines, with a number of differences, despite the tens of engineers who have worked for both companies.

Because of this fight for talent, we can infer that some of these master builders and engineers will have built things in a similar fashion (though not direct copies), and applied learnings from previous iterations of their builds with their new employers.

What Russian SEO Pros Are Saying About The Leak

Much like the Western world, SEO professionals in Russia have been having their say on the leak across the various Runet forums.

The reaction in these forums has been different to SEO Twitter and Mastodon, with a focus more on Yandex’s filters, and other Yandex products that are optimized as part of wider Yandex optimization campaigns.

It is also worth noting that a number of conclusions and findings from the data match what the Western SEO world is also finding.

Common themes in the Russian search forums:

  • Webmasters asking for insights into recent filters, such as Mimicry and the updated PF filter.
  • The age and relevance of some of the factors, due to author names no longer being at Yandex, and mentions of long-retired Yandex products.
  • The main interesting learnings are around the use of Metrika data, and information relating to the Crawler & Indexer.
  • A number of factors outline the usage of DSSM, which in theory was superseded by the release of Palekh in 2016. This was a search algorithm utilizing machine learning, announced by Yandex in 2016.
  • A debate around ICS scoring in Yandex, and whether or not Yandex may provide more traffic to a site and influence its own factors by doing so.

The leaked factors, particularly around how Yandex evaluates site quality, have also come under scrutiny.

There is a long-standing sentiment in the Russian SEO community that Yandex oftentimes favors its own products and services in search results ahead of other websites, and webmasters are asking questions like:

Why does it bother going to all this trouble, when it just nails its services to the top of the page anyway?

In loosely translated documents, these are referred to as the Sorcerers or Yandex Sorcerers. In Google, we’d call these search engine results pages (SERPs) features – like Google Hotels, etc.

In October 2022, Kassir (a Russian ticket portal) claimed ₽328m compensation from Yandex due to lost revenue, caused by the “discriminatory conditions” in which Yandex Sorcerers took the customer base away from the private company.

This is off the back of a 2020 class action in which multiple companies raised a case with the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) for anticompetitive promotion of its own services.

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Featured Image: FGC/Shutterstock



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Google uppdaterar Search Console Video Indexing Report

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Google Updates Search Console Video Indexing Report

Google’s updated Search Console Video indexing report now includes daily video impressions and a sitemap filter feature.

  • Google has updated the Search Console Video indexing report to provide more comprehensive insights into video performance in search results.
  • The updated report includes daily video impressions, which are grouped by page, and a new sitemap filter feature to focus on the most important video pages.
  • These updates are part of Google’s ongoing efforts to help website owners and content creators understand and improve the visibility of their videos in search results.



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