ICS, or IKS, is a Site Quality Index metric and has been established to proxy as a quantiative coefficient of how relevant and beneficial a website is for users.
ICS replaced TCI (Thematic Citation Index).
TCI, or TIC depending on translation, was calculated with backlinks being the primary factor, on the premise that the more good links going to a website was/is an indicator of it being a better website. ICS on the other hand is more robust, and a comprehensive indicator taking into account a number of user factors to determine relevance in such a way the algorithm can compare websites.
How ICS Is Calculated
As well as links, with consideration to how many of the links may be encouraged by SEOS, ICS also takes into account the estimated demand of a website/brand by users – taking into account not only Yandex Search data, but also data from Metrica, Zen, and Maps.
The data points taken into account are:
- The estimated audience “volume” for the brand/website
- How well the website satisfies user queries (TTR, User Metrics)
- Quality marks
- Yandex’s version of EAT
Like the old Google dance, ICS is updated monthly and data suggests it’s around the 22nd or 23rd.
If Yandex detects violations on the site or identifies attempts to influence the calculation, Yandex can reset the site quality index at any time. You can also run into cannibalisation issues with subdomains and mirrors.