CTR Expectations For Yandex Organic Results

When working on an SEO campaign, clients asking for forecasts and projections is commonplace – and whilst we’re at the whims of the search engines and can’t make any guarantees, we all know as much as we’re willing to be honest with a client, there will be someone willing to be dishonest and make the promises that steal business.

To make these estimations, for forecasts, and to back-up campaign suggestions, we need data.

The CTR of paid ads on Yandex is anecdotally higher than the CTR of paid ads on Google, but this doesn’t appear to reduce the effectiveness of organic results with both Google and Yandex appearing to average a CTR of 16% across positions 1-3 (more information below).

Yandex CTR Estimations By Position

Due to the makeup of Yandex SERPs, the below data is focused on the classic organic result “rankings”, and rather than look at them as being verbatim, I use them for guidance when combining with monthly search volume, another interesting metric, to estimate traffic yield and demonstrate projections.

Position Non-Branded Queries Branded Queries
1 19% 38%
2 16% 24%
3 13% 15%
4 5% 10%
5 6% 3%
6 6% 2%
7 5% 2%
8 4% 1%
9 4% 1%
10 4% 1%

Also to note – neither page one totals add up to 100%, as some clicks do venture onto page two (positions 11+) – the same as with Google.

As you’d expect, a branded search query has a lot higher weighting to the higher positions.

With Yandex, you may notice that positions 5 and 6 have a higher average CTR than position 4. Having reviewed the data, this isn’t an anomaly, and given Google’s Paul Haahr was explained weird results and trends when they’ve analyzed this data – and similar is witnessed within Google’s observed CTR estimations.

Yandex v Google CTR Estimations By Position

For comparison with a search engine, a lot of us are potentially more familiar with, this is how the collected Yandex CTR data compares with estimated Google CTR data (from mobile devices) for March 2020:

Estimated Yandex organic CTR by position, versus estimated Google organic CTR by position

As you can see, beyond position four the CTR percentage drops considerably, and both search engines yield an average CTR of 16% across positions one to three.

Improving CTR In Yandex

To improve your CTR on Yandex and influence how your results appear in Yandex SERPs, you can:

  • Write engaging titles and descriptions
  • Make sure your favicon is accessible and good quality
  • Modify your sitelinks in Yandex Webmaster Tools
  • Alter capitalization in your “vanity domain” to make it more readable
  • Optimize for rich snippets

If you’re wanting to know whether or not CTR affects rankings in Yandex, here is the TLDR breakdown:

  • Does Yandex take into account CTR as a ranking factor? Yes.
  • Is it possible to influence this metric? Yes.
  • Is Yandex fully aware of these tactics, can identify them, and will subsequently penalize your site if caught manipulating the metric? Hell yeah.

You can read the full article on CTR being a Yandex ranking factor here.

Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at HreflangChecker.com and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of RussianSearchNews.com.