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The Top 19 Tools For Managing Social Media Accounts

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The Top 19 Tools For Managing Social Media Accounts

Social media has become a massive part of brand marketing strategy. And managing multiple accounts can be pretty overwhelming.

How do you stay organized? What tools should you use to manage social media accounts?

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have evolved into a significant source of information for millions of people around the globe.

As such, they play a crucial role in shaping public opinion.

In addition, these platforms also provide businesses with powerful marketing opportunities to connect with and grow their audience.

Since scheduling posts and analyzing social media insights is now a must for any content strategy, it’s vital to equip yourself with the right tools.

So now, let’s break down the top tools for social media management:

MeetEdgar is fun and easy to use. You can pick topics like recipes, humor, or questions and schedule these types of subjects to publish on any day you want.

Screenshot from meetedgar.com, August 2022

If you ever get into a content lull with social media, which everybody does, MeetEdgar is an excellent solution.

MeetEdgar will add a bit more fun to your social media calendar. It only publishes content that Edgar thinks is worthy of engagement.

One of the best features of MeetEdgar is that once your favorite topics are defined and scheduled, Edgar ensures the content will never run out, so you don’t have to refill or pick new topics constantly. Instead, Edgar does it for you.

Once everything from a topic has been published, Edgar starts to reshare old content that people may have missed the first time around.

So, considering the limited amount of organic reach on social media, resharing content gives it another chance for engagement.

Pricing Tiers: Free trial, then $29.91 or $49.58 monthly.

Post Planner is one of my personal favorite social media content tools. To see what types of content are shared around a specific subject or person, search by:

  • Topic.
  • Trend.
  • Keyword.
  • Hashtag.
  • Facebook.
  • Twitter handle.

Search their recommended feeds based on industry and interests and explore new content ideas.

The tool will also give each piece of content a performance engagement ranking. Based on Post Planner’s custom algorithms, this ranking helps determine whether a post is worth sharing.

Post Planner can determine such ratings by reviewing past performance and predicting future engagement specific to your audience. You also get a scheduling calendar with Post Planner. And it has numerous pricing tiers for any budget.

Pricing Tiers: $6, $19, $39, $79, or $349 monthly, with a discount when paid yearly.

Agorapulse has numerous products, such as kits for social media publishing, social media inbox management, and social media monitoring.

Agorapulse webpageScreenshot from agorapulse.com, August 2022

In addition, it has options for multiple levels of integration and tools to help a brand manage and analyze its social media accounts.

Pricing Tiers: Initial free account, then $79 or $199 monthly. It also offers custom packages at the enterprise level and a free trial.

Sprout Social is one of the best social media management tools. More than 30,000 companies, like Glassdoor and Shopify, trust Sprout for:

  • Social media scheduling.
  • Engagement reports.
  • Analytics.
  • Brand monitoring.

Whether you’re a small business focusing on a few social media networks, an agency managing multiple brands, or an enterprise company needing it all, Sprout Social will help you save time and accomplish your daily social media tactics.

Pricing Tiers: Free 30-day trial, and then it’s on to a monthly plan of $99, $169, or $279.

Hootsuite allows you to connect, monitor, and schedule posts for numerous social networks. This tool is fantastic and offers an array of social media features.

This platform can integrate over 150 apps into your social media strategy.

In addition, the platform is available in six languages if you have an international team and following.

Pricing Tiers: 30-day free trial, then $49 or $179 monthly. If you’d like enterprise management, you’ll need to request a demo to grant access to Hootsuite’s custom solutions.

Sensible understands the ever-changing world of social media and aims to stay on top of trends and insights to help brands thrive.

Sendible webpageScreenshot from sendible.com, August 2022

It also recognizes the importance of authentic storytelling and offers opportunities to optimize your profiles across multiple platforms. It is also a Meta business partner.

In addition, Sendible highlights its customer service.

Pricing Tiers: Free 14-day trial, then $29, $89, $199, $399 monthly. You can save by paying yearly.

When it comes to social media tools for Pinterest, there aren’t a lot of options. But there is Tailwind.

Tailwind provides data for both Pinterest and Instagram, the two image-based social media networks.

Once you have the tool, you’ll be able to track when someone pins an image from your website or engages with an Instagram post.

In addition, it lets you generate hashtag data, monitor brand mentions across the two social sites, and more.

You can start a free trial to see if this social media measurement tool is right for your Pinterest and Instagram accounts.

Pricing Tiers: $9.99, $19.99, and $39.99 monthly. It also offers a free version so you can test its tools.

Buffer is a famous social media tool. You can share content and schedule posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google Plus with one easy click.

Buffer allows you to stagger content throughout the day so that your social media feeds are consistently updated. Plus, you can schedule ahead of time, which is handy.

Also, you can use Pablo Image Creator to create custom graphics. And you can review analytics about engagement and reach of your posts.

If you own or work for a registered nonprofit organization, you must look into Buffer. It offers all registered nonprofit organizations a 50% discount (on what is already competitive pricing).

Pricing Tiers: Free, $6, $12, or $120 monthly. It also offers yearly discounts and a 14-day free trial.

Crowdfire is a super cool app. It’s designed to help drive traffic to your website and landing pages while increasing social engagement.

Crowdfire webpageScreenshot from crowdfireapp.com, August 2022

Crowdfire will make recommendations designed to help improve your social media strategy. Here’s how:

  • Crowdfire connects to your social networks and begins to get to know your brand.
  • Then, Crowdfire takes you through a few quick daily tasks that are personalized to your goals.
  • Finally, it begins to create and find content that your audience will love and posts for you once you give it the thumbs up.

Pricing Tiers: Free or $9.99, $49.99, or $99.99 monthly.

MavSocial is for brands with multiple locations. This platform helps you consolidate management all in one place while offering tools to take your brand to the next level.

You can manage publishing, engagement, reviews, and advertising for your locations at MavSocial. It also uses two-step verification and AI Image Recognition tools to secure the platform.

Pricing Tiers: 14-day free trial and then $78, $199, and $499 monthly.

Later helps brands get full coverage through auto-publishing, hashtag suggestions, and insights for the best times to post.

Later webpageScreenshot from later.com, August 2022

It also has options for brands to add Linkin.bio so customers can quickly check out your website.

Pricing Tiers: $18, $40, and $80 monthly. It also has a free plan; you can save by paying yearly.

Manage multiple Twitter profiles? This is the perfect Twitter tool for you!

The dashboard may remind you of Hootsuite, but it’s different and customized just for your Twitter needs. TweetDeck:

  • Organizes your Twitter account by building collections, filing lists, searches, activity, and more.
  • Tracks topics, events, and hashtags to help brand monitor and stay in the know of trending conversations.
  • Manages multiple Twitter accounts and lets you tweet, monitor, and follow from one dashboard. In addition, TweetDeck completely removes the hassle of logging in and out.

SOCi is another excellent scheduling tool for social media. However, it offers something slightly different than the normal Hootsuite and Sprout Social plans.

If Post Planner and Sprout Social combined, the result would be named SOCi.

One of the best parts of SOCi is the Content Center. This is where SOCi scores the social web with its unique algorithms to tell you what social content is engaging and what’s not.

SOCi then provides a numerical score and recommendations to you on what to post, similar to Post Planner.

In addition to content ideas and scheduling, it also socially provides review and reputation management, lead generation, reporting, and more.

Pricing Tiers: Unfortunately, SOCi doesn’t offer pricing details to the public. You’ll have to schedule a demo and discuss your exact needs to get a custom quote.

I’m a bit biased here as I work for the company, but Semrush is one of those one-stop-shop tools that recently improved its social portion.

Semrush webpageScreenshot from semrush.com, August 2022

Its emphasis is on keyword research and SEO. Still, the tool has over 55 features for content marketers, link builders, social media marketers, and every digital marketing role.

In addition, Semrush has numerous SEO, content, social media, competitive research tools, and an agency growth kit.

Pricing Tiers: $119.95, $229.95.95, or $449 monthly. Discounted rates are available for yearly plans.

Ecommerce businesses and Instagram users will love Foursixty. This tool is designed just for retailers who want to share user-generated content from Instagram on their websites to help increase sales and monitor their brand.

The idea behind Foursixty is to showcase a company’s products by featuring Instagram posts that users share and tag about the company.

The product display from Instagram can be customized and displayed across shopping pages, email newsletters, and just about anywhere you can embed code.

Seeing these Instagram posts help encourage shoppers to add additional items to their cart and follow along on Instagram.

Aside from the UGC angle and sales increase, Foursixty also lets you schedule Instagram posts from the platform.

Pricing Tiers: There’s a 21-day free trial, and then $50, $300, or $500 monthly.

This is a tool every social media manager should have.

Regardless of what scheduling tool you use, this is a tool you’ll want to log into daily to access everything you need to know about your social profiles.

With Emplifi, you get real-time insights for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

In addition, you can track engagement, share reports, and see social advertisement results on one platform.

But this social media tool does more than measure analytics. You can generate reports to compare the performance on social media profiles or industries, which means you can track your competitors and the industry’s social performance.

What an incredible opportunity to one-up your social competitors!

Pricing Tiers: You can request a free trial or book a demo to uncover options for pricing.

Need to know how your Twitter or Facebook account measures up?

Brandwatch webpageScreenshot from brandwatch.com, August 2022

Brandwatch offers everything you need to know about performance and engagement for multiple social platforms.

Pricing Tiers: Book a meeting här to get information on pricing.

Finding it difficult to find people to collab with? BuzzSumo is the perfect place to connect with the right influencers for your brand.

BuzzSumo can help you:

  • Find influencers.
  • Assess the best ones per platform.
  • Manage notifications for when they post.
  • Consolidate and download analytics.

Another bonus? You can search for key influencers by topic and start following them directly inside BuzzSumo.

Once you have followed a few key influencers, you can see what content and topics they share most often and the domains they share.

See what’s happening here? You can follow and see influencer and competitor data within the tool.

Pricing Tiers: Free 30-day trial, then $99, $179, or $299 monthly. You can also have them bill annually at a discount.

Bitly is a must. Not every tool allows you to shorten your ugly URLs, but Bit.ly does, and it has done so for over 30 billion links so far.

With multiple social media networks, you will want a unique tracking parameter on each URL, not one that the social media users will see.

Bit.ly allows you to shorten, customize, and track URLs, making lengthy coded URLs into neat, pretty little URLs.

Pricing Tiers: Free initial account and then $8, $29, or $199 monthly. It also offers custom plans and a yearly discount.

Final Thoughts

Social media has become an integral part of modern communication. And if you want to use it effectively, you need the right tools.

Many apps and services can help you manage and analyze your accounts.

Now, it’s time to take a deeper look into the platforms I’ve mentioned so you can alleviate some of the heavier aspects of social media management.

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Featured Image: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock



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SEO

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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SEO

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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SEO

Bing förnyar krypsystemet för att förbättra effektiviteten

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Bing Revamps Crawl System To Enhance Efficiency

According to a recent study by Bing, most websites have XML sitemaps, with the “lastmod” tag being the most critical component of these sitemaps.

The “lastmod” tag indicates the last time the webpages linked by the sitemap were modified and is used by search engines to determine how often to crawl a site and which pages to index.

However, the study also revealed that a significant number of “lastmod” values in XML sitemaps were set incorrectly, with the most prevalent issue being identical dates on all sitemaps.

Upon consulting with web admins, Microsoft discovered that the dates were set to the date of sitemap generation rather than content modification.

To address this issue, Bing is revamping its crawl scheduling stack to better utilize the information provided by the “lastmod” tag in sitemaps.

This will improve crawl efficiency by reducing unnecessary crawling of unchanged content and prioritizing recently updated content.

The improvements have already begun on a limited scale and are expected to roll out by June fully.

Additionally, Microsoft has updated sitemap.org for improved clarity by adding the following line:

“Note that the date must be set to the date the linked page was last modified, not when the sitemap is generated.”

How To Use The Lastmod Tag Correctly

To correctly set the “lastmod” tag in a sitemap, you should include it in the <url> tag for each page in the sitemap.

The date should be in W3C Datetime format, with the most commonly used formats being YYYY-MM-DD or YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssTZD.

The date should reflect the last time the page was modified and should be updated regularly to ensure that search engines understand the relevance and frequency of updates.

Here’s an example code snippet:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>

<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″>

   <url>

      <loc>http://www.example.com/</loc>

      <lastmod>2023-01-23</lastmod>      

   </url>

Google’s Advice: Use Lastmod Tag After Significant Changes Only

Google’s crawlers also utilize the “lastmod” tag, and the suggestions on using it by both major search engines are similar.

Google Search Advocate John Mueller recently discussed the lastmod tag in the January edition of Google’s office-hours Q&A sessions.

It’s worth noting that Google recommends only using the “lastmod” tag for substantial modifications, which was not mentioned in Microsoft’s blog post.

Changing the date in the lastmod tag after minor edits can be viewed as an attempt to manipulate search snippets.

In Summary

Microsoft’s recent study and efforts to improve the utilization of the “lastmod” tag in sitemaps will result in more efficient and effective webpage crawling.

Publishers are encouraged to regularly update their sitemaps and lastmod tags to ensure that their pages are correctly indexed and easily accessible by search engines.


Featured Image: mundissima/Shutterstock

Source: Microsoft



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