Does Yandex Read Cyrillic & Latin URLs As The Same Or Different?

Working with clients and helping them optimize for Yandex (and Russia), a common question I’m asked is around the difference between Latin and Cyrillic script URLs, and how Yandex interprets them or encodes them.

I’ve always had data to back-up the answer, but I decided to ask Yandex directly and get the answer from their search team.

The below answers were provided in January 2020, through Yandex’s International Communications team.

RSN: Is Yandex able to interpet that dantaylor.online/компьютер is the same as dantaylor.online/%d0%ba%d0%be%d0%bc%d0%bf%d1%8c%d1%8e%d1%82%d0%b5%d1%80? Or would it need to be encoded?

YANDEX: Cyrillic links are received to the base of the search robot at the address in the encoding corresponding to the encoding of the current site structure, therefore, Yandex search will perceive the link https://dantaylor.online/%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%BF%D1%8C % D1% 8E% D1% 82% D0% B5% D1% 80 / and https://dantaylor.online/computer/ as the same page and the link will participate in the search by the Cyrillic address, so you don’t need to worry about this.

RSN: Despite the difference in alphabet does Yandex see dantaylor.online/компьютер and dantaylor.online/компьютер and dantaylor.online/kompyuter as different URIs?

YANDEX: As for the pages https://dantaylor.online/computer/ and https://dantaylor.online/kompyuter/, they will really be perceived as different pages, because their addresses are different. If the same pages on the site are accessible in Latin and Cyrillic addresses, you can use the rel = “canonical” attribute to explain the search engine which URL addresses should participate in the search.

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.