News on Yandex: new BETA version of Yandex.Webmaster

Anastasia Kurmakaeva

Written by Anastasia Kurmakaeva

On November 20, 2015 the presentation of the new version of the Yandex.Webmaster tool took place at the fourth event on the occasion of the conference for Webmasters of the Russian company Yandex, simultaneously with the launch of the beta version of the tool itself. Among other related talks scheduled throughout the day, company representatives explained the new features introduced in the new Yandex.Webmaster. In this article we will summarize the new features that SEO consultants, Webmasters, and in general, any user who is dedicated or interested in this world. As we have already mentioned, this version is currently in the BETA phase, and will be integrated with the base tool as users become familiar with it, and as possible errors in the test version are corrected. In addition, it should be added that for the time being it will only be available in Russian.

Yandex.Webmaster BETA released with new functionalities
“Welcome the new Webmaster.”

We will now take a point-by-point look at the new features that have been added to the Yandex webmaster tool and how they can help us in our SEO campaigns.

Penalties for bad SEO practices by Yandex

Following the recent update of the algorithm under the name of Minusinsk in May 2015, the penalties section has been introduced in this new version. Here we will find notifications and warnings from Yandex.Webmaster about violations for which a website has been penalized, and what type of penalty has been applied. As of today, the new Yandex.Webmaster identifies and displays 7 main types of violations:

  • SEO links on other websites.
  • SEO links on your own website.
  • Use of deceptive techniques to attempt to influence search engine ranking through imitation of users’ actions.
  • Partner programs: offer of third-party products and services without own content that could be useful to the user.
  • Search engine optimized hidden text.
  • Keyword spamming in the content of a website to trick the search engine.
  • Content over-optimization.

To make it easier for users, a bright yellow “I’ve corrected everything” button has also been added to notify Yandex that we have corrected all violations and request that they reindex our site.

New functionality of Yandex.Webmaster:

Once pressed, the button will be deactivated for one month to prevent abuse, so be sure to correct all warnings before using it. On the other hand, remember that this functionality has no immediate effect on penalties, but only serves to send a notification to the system.

In the example above, has suffered a drop in its ranking in search results as a result of SEO link penalties.

Usability testing of a website in its mobile device version

Like Google, Yandex‘s new policy has made it mandatory to have a mobile version of your website, the adaptation of which will influence the positioning. Consequently, with the new Yandex.Webmaster you will be able to analyze the usability of your website in terms of its responsive design.

These are the parameters that Yandex will take into account during its verification:

  • Existence of the viewport meta-tag.
  • Vertical scroll of the interface.
  • Flash elements, Java applets, Silverlight plug-ins, etc., due to their incompatibility with mobile device browsers.

Technical diagnostics of a website with Yandex.Webmaster

Another new feature that will be of great use to many webmasters is the ability to perform a technical audit on 21 different issues, a number that will be expanded over time to incorporate new items. These technical problems are divided into four types:

  • Serious problems: violation of search engine rules, vulnerability, blocking of indexing in robots.txt, DNS errors, unavailability of a website’s home page.
  • Critical issues: domain name expiration, large number of internal links not working, slow server response.
  • Possible problems: missing Sitemap file, Sitemap not updated or with errors, errors in robots.txt, redirection of the home page to another website, duplicate content, missing titles and descriptions, among others.
  • Recommendations: regional settings, registration of the site in the Yandex directory, etc.

In addition, the indexing section has been expanded with points focused on website migration and regional configuration.

Yandex positioning statistics

New Yandex.Webmaster offers ranking statistics with first-hand dataThis new feature offers very interesting possibilities in the analysis of organic traffic associated with keyword positioning, and has the special advantage of having Yandex data “first hand”, without the need to resort to external tools. All data will be automatically updated on a regular basis, and will be displayed with only one day’s delay. This section allows us to monitor the positioning of our website for all the keywords with which it appears in the search results, and filter it according to our needs, for example:

  • Top 3, Top 10 or Top 50 positions in search results.
  • Groups (possibility of creating several groups depending on the type of keyword: semi-generic, long tail, compound, etc.).
  • Favorites (filtered by keywords in which we have special interest, in this list you can add up to 1,000 criteria).
  • Manually added keywords, where we can load up to 10,000 search criteria.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR).

The only drawback of this functionality is that for the moment Yandex developers are not considering adding the option of exporting all the data in an Excel file, nor the possibility of monitoring the positioning of the competition.

Undoubtedly, we can conclude that the Russian company Yandex has taken a big positive step with this new tool loaded with interesting possibilities for international positioning. However, we remind you that the stable version of Yandex.Webmaster is still available at its usual URL. Once the new version passes the BETA phase, it will be integrated with it to offer a more complete service for Webmasters.


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Anastasia Kurmakaeva
Anastasia Kurmakaeva
Former SEO consultant and translator at Human Level. She is a specialist in translation and SEO, with a special focus on the Yandex search engine. She is fluent in Russian, Spanish and English, being fully bilingual in the first two.

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