Say NO to SEO links!

April, 24, 2015
Author: Bogdan Nechaev & Anastasia Susha Category: SEO in Russia, Link building, Yandex

Last year, Yandex (the largest search engine in Russia) scared everybody that it will no longer use links in its ranking algorithm as a key factor. However, no one took it seriously and continued buying links. As a result, there were no changes in commercial queries in Moscow region. During the last year, a couple of large retail websites were affected by Yandex filters because of technical spam (such as duplicate pages) and black-hat SEO.

In mid-April 2015, Yandex announced a new approach to ranking. What is an object of Yandex anger this time? Right now SEO links are under Yandex control. SEO links are meant to increase weight of landing pages and improve website placement in Yandex search results. As a result, any unnatural links are considered to be SEO links. Logically, if a link is placed with any other reason, it is no longer meant to be SEO, for example, a link that refers to a website for potential customers to click and visit it. Foreign websites have already had similar experience with Google Panda.

In fact, it is impossible to exclude links completely from ranking algorithms in search results (Yandex exaggerates a little bit). Anyway, links are important to improve search engine ranking.  By SEO links Yandex means only low-quality SEO links that manipulate search results.

There is also a point of view in SEO community that such breaking news is just a part of public relations seo strategy for Yandex that aims to increase market share. Although there is a grain of truth in this message, as Yandex should show that its algorithm grows and develops.  With mass media and bold statements, this goal is easy to reach, though all these might be just rumors.

Three possible ways of evolution:

1. First of all, technical expertise will become the king. Websites should undergo comprehensive on-site optimization and eliminate all technical problems;

2. Special emphasis should be laid on content marketing (search and analysis of search queries, content management, optimization of landing pages and articles for search engines);

3. Cooperation with specialized information publishers and media.

Our Link Building Tips

For all the mentioned above reasons we are not going to refuse completely from russian link building. As a part of our donor selection policy, we are going to look for “user-centric” websites with high-quality and natural traffic. The capacity of these resources is not big in the link exchange market, but it will be a mistake to leave a website without any external links at all. The reason is that algorithm has not yet entered into full force, and competitors will improve their website ranking using link building.

We apply a special system for donor selection criteria. We look for online donors that do not sell links actively. As a result, search engines are less likely to treat these donors as a source of SEO links. We use the following criteria for donor websites selection: trust, spam (we check ourselves unnatural links, as exchange websites do not provide us with this information), age, web archive and an index volume.

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