Introduced in February 2016, Vladivostok changed Yandex’s core algorithm and how websites and content cater for the mobile user and mobile experience.
Since November 2015 Yandex had been tagging websites within search results as mobile friendly, which was only around 18-percent of Russian websites. This was an early signal to alert webmasters that they needed to begin making mobile first, responsive or mobile versions of their websites.
When Vladivostok was released, websites not yet mobile friendly weren’t automatically relegated down the rankings in favour of those that were. They did begin to see ranking fluctuations however, depending on the device a user was using.
While mobile friendliness is only one of hundreds of ranking factors, it is a critical factor in user experience.
While there are a few areas of search marketing and SEO that are more important than mobile friendliness, all other ranking signals work together to offer the user a seamless experience.
When developing your website, we recommend your first step is to acquire a mobile template. This should be CSS based, which means it can be easily adapted to any size screen – from iPhone and iPad down to smartphone sized screens – without having to recode all of the content on the page.