Unlocking SEO Secrets: Leveraging the Yandex Hack for Improved Google Search Rankings

[ Updated April 25, 2024 ]

The Yandex Hack refers to the incident on January 25, 2023, when the source code of Russia’s search engine, Yandex, was leaked online. As Yandex and Google share similarities in how they process technical elements of a website, the leaked information revealed 1,922 ranking factors used by Yandex in its algorithm, which can potentially be beneficial for gaining traffic from Google.

The ranking factors include link-related factors, content relevance, host reliability, and end-user behaviour signals. Some unusual factors were also found, such as PageRank and query-document relevance. The leak offers valuable insights into how search engines like Google work and will likely impact the SEO industry in the coming months. Although Yandex is not Google, this data leak is significant and can help inform SEO strategies.

Our team analysed the document and distilled some key takeaways:

Traffic: The amount of traffic a website receives can impact its ranking, but 100% of traffic from search engines can be a negative factor.

Returning visitors: The number of visitors who return to a website in the same month can be a positive sign for ranking.

CTR (Click-Through Rate): CTR is a significant ranking factor, as it reflects how many users are clicking on a website’s search results.

Backlinks: Backlinks can impact a website’s ranking and the anchor text used on backlinks can also be a ranking factor.

Social media presence: Verified social accounts can impact a website’s ranking.

Website content: The overall quality of a website’s content is considered, and thin or unhelpful content can negatively affect the ranking of good content.

Content age: The age of a website’s content can be a factor in its ranking, as search engines may have difficulty determining the age of an article. – Insights articles have a date

Maps embedding: Including maps on a website can impact its ranking.

Crawl errors: Reducing crawl errors, such as 400 and 500 errors, can help improve a website’s ranking.

Orphan pages: Pages without links to other pages on the website are considered “orphan pages” and may not rank well.

Wikipedia links: Having links to Wikipedia articles can impact a website’s ranking.

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