Yandex Leak: Top Search Ranking Factors List

02.02.23

Like any other data leak, Yandex is in a very tough spot. What happened is that a former employee allegedly leaked a Yandex source code repository, part of which contained more than 1,900 factors used by the search engines for ranking websites in search results.

Although obviously, Yandex is not Google, it is the first time in modern times to have a sneak peek at the inner mechanisms and ranking factors of a significant and powerful search engine.

Yandex Source Code Online Leaked. Here is What We Learned

At least as of July 2022, this leak has revealed the Yandex 1,922 leaked ranking factors used in its search algorithm. The Yandex hack is probably the most interesting and promising breakout event to have happened in SEO in years.

The internet and SEO communities did not have to wait long for the use of such valuable data, as it is not every day that we are given the opportunity to see how a search engine works. They even went so far as to create a Yandex Search Ranking Factor Explorer

Digipeak offers you a list of interesting Yandex search factors optimized for all kinds of: Technical SEO, Content Optimization, social media practices, EEAT, and much more!
The Yandex leak would be translated from Russian to multiple languages. We also provide below a list of resources from people who amazingly analyzed the Yandex leaked search ranking factors, as well as an English version of Yandex source code, with descriptions attached. All you need to do is click on the link mentioned above, and type “Description: ” after you press Ctrl + F. Enjoy the rest of reading this source code and the factors summarized down below: 

Selected 22 Yandex Search Engine Ranking Factors: 

  1. The age of links is a ranking factor. 
  • Our Advice: (Don’t get rid of old links, redirect)
  1. Traffic and % of organic traffic are ranking factors.
  2. Numbers in URLs are bad for rankings. 
  • Our Advice: Maybe not for Listed queries and checklists, Google may rank them differently.
  1. A lot of slashes in URLs are bad for ranking. 
  • Our Advice: The integrity of an URL is key. Less Nesting = Better URL
  1. Hard Pessimization equal PageRank=0. 
  • Our Advice: (It is a technical term that is the opposite of optimization. Messy and low-quality coded pages may rank lower.)
  1. Host reliability is a ranking factor. 
  • Our Advice: (Always check on your servers and hosts, and do your homework before choosing a host.)
  1. There is a separate ranking factor for Wikipedia, Traffic from Wikipedia is a ranking factor.
  2. The average domain position across all queries is a ranking factor. 
  • Our Advice: (Harmonious EEAT across the domain’s web pages might be good.)
  1. Crawl depth is a ranking factor. 
  • Our Advice: Keep your important pages closer to the main page.
    • Top pages: 1 click from the main page. 
    • Important pages: less than 3 clicks.
  1. Ranking factor for orphan pages. 
  • Our Advice: You can easily find them via Screaming Frog or other crawlers.
  1. Backlinks from main pages are more important than those from internal pages.
  2. The number of search queries on your site/url is a ranking factor. 
  • Our Advice: The more, the better!
  1. If your URL would be the last for the search session (users will find what they need). Positive impact on rankings. 
  • Our Advice:  EEAT is key and alive!
  1. Bookmarks ranking factor. 
  • Our Advice: The more users add to bookmark a url, the more factor value it has.
  1. Special ranking factors for short social media videos (tiktok, shorts, reels).
  2. Maps on a webpage (for example Google Maps) are a ranking factor. 
  • Our Advice: If you have a physical address, always include a live map.
  1. Keywords in URL are a ranking factor. 
  • Our Advice: 1 to 2 Keywords are optimal, avoid overstuffing them !
  1. Negative ranking for broken embedded videos on the page. 
  • Our Advice: Always do audits for broken links and broken embedded elements.
  1. If your backlinks’ anchors contain words from the keywords, it’s good for SEO.
  2. The quality rank of texts on the domain is a ranking factor. 
  • Our Advice: Pages with low-quality content affect the entire domain.
  1. The amount of advertisements on a page is a ranking factor. 
  • Our Advice: Less = better.
  1. Long documents. 
  • Our Advice: (the longer the document, the greater the value of the factor).

How Yandex Leak Piqued Our Interest at Digipeak

As a dynamic digital marketing agency with a professional team, we always aim to optimize our knowledge and perception of our practices, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like the Yandex leak would put most SEO professionals at a considerable advantage.

However, as mentioned earlier, Yandex is not Google, and the lessons learned from the leak shouldn’t be applied randomly without thought and strategy first. Make sure to always consult our SEO moderators for actionable insights for your marketing efforts.

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Asem Mansour
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