Yandex leak and what does it mean for SEO?
Since 26.01.2023 the SEO circles at Twitter and LinkedIn are swarming with data about a leak of ranking factors from Yandex.ru. People are looking for them in relation to SEO in Google. The topic is a nowelty as I cannot remember any other leak of this scale, that would feed the SEO industry with information straight from the source, even if it is not Google, the urge to draw parallels is strong.
You probably heard about Yandex, it’s the 4th biggest search engine by market share worldwide. Yesterday proprietary source code of Yandex was leaked.— Alex Buraks (@alex_buraks) January 27, 2023
The most interesting part for SEO community is: the list of all 1922 ranking factors used in the search algorithm
Backlinks are here to stay.
If there is one thing that we can learn from the recent Yandex leak is that the basics are still the essential part of SEO.
I will not go into the different factors, as many people have already done it in great detail during those few days. I will provide a few remarks based on my observations.
Backlinks are still a thing - yeah, why wouldn't they be? Algorithms need constant stimulus to find and evaluate relevant information, and as the world becomes increasingly digitally dynamic, the freshness and relevancy of backlinks will still be a thing. Of course, the form of a backlink may differ, and I believe that for some queries, we will see a more significant emphasis on UGC backlinks and social media. In contrast, some queries will still benefit more from more traditional forms of backlinks.
Building backlinks is and will still be a vital element of your SEO strategy. Remember that it always requires the right approach for your scenario. The topic of backlinks intertwines with the overall brand strength that will be described later on.
Keep It Simple Stupid - a few words about the website
Keep it Simple Stupid - one of the best design principles out there. K.I.S.S is for me, something that is often overlooked. But how does it relate to the Yandex leak?
Well, you have to focus on the user and on solving their particular needs in an easy-to-digest manner.
Your website (at the very least) should be loading fast, have precise URL addresses, good uptime, and an overall stable host. Keeping away from SPAM is also a good idea 😈
You need to make the information available to the user as soon as possible (maintaining fast loading time and overall host stability); they should then be able to find it quickly (thanks to great UX, easy-to-read URL, and heading, and of course an easy to follow content structure).
People who tend to find the information they are looking for will provide different metrics for the search engines than users who dropped the website without finding the information they were looking for. Yandex and Google look at how users interact with websites that rank for a keyword and use this information to rank pages.
Focus on your marketing - SEO will come
When talking about overall marketing activities and how they affect SEO, many factors come to mind. The bigger the brand, the bigger the buzz, and the more incentive a search engine has to interact with a website. By focusing on building a solid brand and working on SEO, you are working on fantastic results. You have to switch from thinking that SEO is the solution for your business growth needs.
I am an SEO. What should I do?
You should at least have a look at those elements to be able to make conversation on SEO events ;-)
Jokes aside, if you are already working in a way that focuses on the user and quality, there is nothing more to do. Keep up the good work.