Yandex 2019 Algorithm Updates Summary

Based on third-party monitoring of keyword datasets across a number of categories, and regions, within Yandex, we can ascertain a volatility score – similar to the SERP volatility trackers that are used for Google.

Broken down, the primary categories of keywords and SERPs being monitored are:

  • Automotive
  • Legal services
  • Electronic and household appliances
  • Real estate
  • Industrial and commercial equipment
  • Home furnishing
  • Insurance
  • Home improvement, building materials, and tools
  • Human logistics (Car rental, etc)
  • Online gaming
  • Travel and tourism
  • Beauty and health
  • Financial
  • Clothes and accessories

The Most Likely Algorithm Update Days In 2019

Based on tracking these categories, keyword sets, and SERP changes – the days with the highest level of volatility in 2019 when an algorithm update was most likely were:

January

  • 15th
  • 17th
  • 18th
  • 22nd

January saw four “above average” spikes in the middle of the month, amidst what otherwise was a relatively uneventful period.

February

  • 1st (potentially)
  • 7th

Aside from the two high spikes at the start of the month, there was also increased activity from the 23rd through to the 28th, leading to a spike on March 1st.

March

  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 26th

It’s worth noting that activity was above average post-March 26th, but subsiding downward from the spike.

April

  • 9th

April was a relatively active month for Yandex algorithm updates, with the 9th being a standout spike amongst the changes.

May

  • 22nd
  • 28th

The spikes on May 22nd and 28th were highlights from the month, but smaller in terms of SERP volatility spikes seen in previous months. All in all, May was a relatively quiet month for algorithm changes in comparison to the prior quarter.

June

  • 4th

June 4th saw one of the biggest volatility spikes of the year, with all verticals being affected.

Following the June 4th update, some activity registered between June 18th and 21st, but the month was quieter and less volatile than May.

July

July was a quiet month, with nothing registering outside of the daily algorithmic humdrum.

August

August, much like July, was quiet. There were two small spikes on August 30th and 31st.

On August 30th, the more volatile categories were Real Estate and Home Furnishings, and on August 31st the more volatile categories were Financial, and Human Logistics (car rentals, etc).

September

  • 17th
  • 23rd
  • 26th

The first half of September was relatively quiet, much like August, however, the second half of the month saw increased volatility with larger spikes coming on the 17th, 23rd and 26th with all categories showing varying levels of increased activity.

October

  • 1st
  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th
  • 6th

The start of October saw high levels of volatility across all categories, with Real Estate, Health and Beauty, and Clothes and Accessories seeing the most sustained levels of increased activity.

November

  • 2nd

November second saw the months’ only increased activity spike, with the core categories showing increased volatility being Health and Beauty (in the Moscow region and Almaty region), Web Related Services (in Saint Petersburg), and Human Logistics (in the Kyiv region).

December

December has been a relatively quiet month with no major spikes, despite the announcement of the Vega update, so it could be assumed that any major changes arising from the implementation and fallout of Vega will either come in the new year – or could potentially have come during the October volatility.

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.