September 2020 Algorithm Update Summary

September 2020 was an interesting month in terms of rumoured updates to the Yandex search algorithm.

In this post, I’m going to summarize what we believe to have changed during the month based – based on the data from a number of 3rd party Yandex SERP monitoring tools, including our own data sets.

September High SERP Activity Dates

  • 3rd
  • 9th (larger update with Plato Shchukin response)
  • 13th
  • 15th
  • 18th
  • 20th
  • 22nd
  • 24th (ICS update)

September 9th – Large Update, Possibly AGS Related

Across multiple forums and tracking tools webmasters reported a substantial SERP update, which on the surface looks as though it is related to the AGS Filter.

At the time, Plato Shchukin was questioned about the issue, and the response was:

We are carrying out technical work to improve the performance of search algorithms and further expand our search base. This may lead to temporary changes in the number of pages in the search base. We are making sure that this update does not affect the traffic that the site receives from search.

Meaning this could either be a technical glitch, which a lot of webmasters are still reporting as not having changed, or an update as many believe it to be.

You can read more about this and our initial coverage of it here.

Fresh PF Sanctions

During the month of September, Yandex also notified webmasters of a fresh wave of PF sanctions.

You can read about this 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 and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of