Webmasters React To “Good Faith” October Algorithm Change

In October 2021, Yandex introduced a new algorithm/algorithmic filter to change the weight (and rankings) of websites that are deemed to have low reputation in the eyes of the consumer.

Yandex’s new algorithmic filter “for low-quality business” is the start in the Search Engine’s fight against fraudulent sites, scammers, dishonest affiliates, and other low-quality “dubious” sites.

You can read more about this in our coverage of the update here.

Now, almost two months on – Webmasters are reacting to the changes they are seeing, and reporting some of the performance impacts they are witnessing from the algorithm’s rollout.

The interpretation of the algorithm’s rollout

There is some debate in the forums as to how manual or automated the checks are. Some forum users believe it is semi-automatic, whilst others believe that Toloka workers are being utilized (not for the first time) for manual checks.

mmb wrote:

In semi-automatic, I would say.

This was followed up by leonid1161:

Like, the algo finds a lot of negativity on the network and is then passed on to the tolokers for checking?

I share a similar view as leonid1161, that the algorithm will identify potential edge cases, and pass these onto the manual reviewers for batch processing, and clarification.

Leonid1161 also commented in response to another user’s experience that:

… once again confirms that this filter is manual and is installed after checks with tolokers.

Which makes sense, especially if the algorithm is using Machine Learning, so supervised learning in the early stages will help improve accuracy longer term.

Well, how do you imagine it? It means that the algorithm is so smart that it even knows how I relate to customers, it knows that I deliver orders quickly, it knows that I give gifts and discounts, but how I will not fill in the category page enough, I will write some title incorrectly and that’s all, the algorithm cannot understand what the page is about and it cannot rank it in an average city, whether it lacks relevance, there is little optimization, links, PF or some other thing altogether.

Reported impacts

The impact of the algorithm filter has also had mixed reports, with some webmasters reporting website performance decreases, and others not overly noticing anything despite a number of competitors having a number of visible negative reviews.

Mahmoud Abbas wrote:

One service site went to zero altogether. It is not even searched by name (although, by the way, the card rating is shown in the block on the right), but the pages are all in the index. No notifications, no letters, nothing. I’m too lazy, tomorrow I’ll try to write to the Platons.

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.