What is Yandex TCI and what is it for?

Anastasia Kurmakaeva

Written by Anastasia Kurmakaeva

The Yandex TCI or Thematic Citation Index (in Russian: тИЦ, Тематический индекс цитирирования) is a citation index similar to the defunct Google PageRank. The big difference between the two is that the TCI continues to be updated on a regular basis having received its most recent update in June 2016, as well as being a fairly reliable indicator of a website’s reputation..

In this article we will explore how it works, what criteria Yandex uses to calculate it, and its relevance for SEO positioning and popularity, among other interesting data.

How does TCI work and what is it for?

The Yandex TCI is used to determine the authority of a website based on the quality natural links it receives. The quality constitutes the real weight of the link and is determined from the analysis of multiple factors reflected in an algorithm specially developed for this purpose. The number of links obtained also influences the score, since the total weight of all links is what will ultimately establish the TCI and authority of a website according to Yandex.

Topical match, the authority of the linking site and the total “weight” of all links achieved are the most important factors for Yandex TCI.

The purpose of this metric is simple, but necessary: if someone has a website and wants to enjoy greater relevance in his area, he has to offer quality content to his visitors. It affects both the portal that provides the links and the one that receives them. In other words, the portal that provides the links is responsible for ensuring that they will lead its users to valuable content (because otherwise it would gain fewer TCI points, or even lose them), while it is in the interest of the linked portal to offer this valuable content, since in this way it also gains in credibility, both in terms of the user who sees it, and for Yandex.

Criteria for TCI calculation

Evidently, the thematic match between the two resources plays a very important role for Yandex when determining whether a link is of quality, and the weight it constitutes in the authority of a site. It makes no sense for, say, an ophthalmology clinic to link articles offered by a history journal. As much thematic authority as both could have thanks to a very complete and specific content, there are no ties that bind them to each other.

Therefore, we come to the conclusion that when looking for websites where we would like to be linked, or to which we could provide a link, we have to connect with our common sense and draw a well thought out strategy if we want to get a better reputation.

On the other hand, another very important aspect taken into account by the Yandex algorithm is the authority of the site that gives us the link, since it is transferred and adds points if the link obtained is of quality.

Where can I see and how do I know if the TCI of my portal is high or low?

One of the ways that exist to find out the TCI of a portal of our property is by installing a button that will show this information. To do this we only have to insert the following lines in the HTML code of the website where we want to see the status of the TCI value. We will replace “http://www.midominio.com/” with the URL of our own website:

<a href="http://yandex.ru/cy?base=0&amp;host=http://www.midominio.com/"><img src="http://www.yandex.ru/cycounter?http://www.midominio.com/" width="88" height="31" alt="Tci-Yandex" border="0" /></a>

There is no set maximum figure that can be achieved with TCI. All websites listed in the Yandex directory, Yandex.Catalog, mark their TCI value in their snippet, like this:

ICT values in Yandex.Catalog of VKontakte and Instagram.

We see how the TCI value of VKontakte is considerably higher than that of Instagram, as VKontakte continues to be the most popular and widely used social network in Russia.

In order to get an idea of the level at which our thematic area is moving, the easiest way is to review the figures of our competitors. Then we can compare them with our own current values, and see what we can aspire to.

Another way to view the TCI of other websites is to install the Yandex Elements extension.

How often is it updated?

Yandex updates the TCI with an average frequency of 2 times per month, in order to provide updated data to users and website owners. The TCI is not a fixed number and is subject to the different fluctuations that may occur in the portals over time.

Why is ICT so important?

Undoubtedly, TCI is a considerably objective indicator of a website’s authority. This is a piece of information that helps us to get a general idea of how reliable the website we are going to visit is. If we want users to show confidence in our own portal, it is in our interest to take care of this value, as long as positioning ourselves in Yandex is an important part of our strategy.


  •  | 
  • Last modified on
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.

What do you think? Leave a comment

Just in case, your email will not be shown ;)

Related Posts