Yandex 2021 Algorithm Summary

You can read our 2019 summary here, and our 2020 summary here.

For the summary this year, we’re doing things slightly differently as due to the implementation of more machine learning within Yandex’s algorithms, there has been almost constant volatility that in previous years would have been a trigger for us (and also other webmasters) to assume an unconfirmed update had occurred… But then we’d just publish the calendar here.

2021 saw a lot of SERP volatility in Yandex.

So for this summary, we’re going to cover the most important changes and updates that have taken place during the year.


In 2021, Yandex released a significant update.

In order to forecast whether a user would receive the best potential answer to their inquiry on a given page, their ranking algorithms are equipped with neural networks and machine learning.

According to Yandex, YATI is the most significant large-scale revolution in the last decade. It is no longer necessary for their robots to pay attention to specific words and keywords; instead, they now evaluate the full text in its entirety.

This should ensure that the search engine results page (SERP) contains genuine, informative, and natural material.

YATI Optimization Techniques

Keep in mind that YATI only sorts the top results by 50% of their weight. These elements continue to play a significant influence in the ranking process:

  • the total number of pages on the resource (website)
  • the structure of the resource (website)
  • the quality and uniqueness of the material
  • the number of visitors (traffic), and the PF

Many specialists simply urge that people start working in 2022 in order to address behavioral aspects. Of course, without resorting to outright deception, the Russian search engine has been removing a big number of sites from its results since last year, before to the launch of YATI, due to the unnaturalness of their PageRank (PF).

You can read more about YATI here.

Y1 Algorithm

In June 2021 Yandex unveiled the Y1 algorithm update.

The Y1 algorithm also introduced the wording/concept of Поиск без поиска (Search, without search), which we know in the Western SEO world as Zero Click Search.

In the Y1 update, Yandex has shown examples of a number of sectors and topics this will affect – including:

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Weather
  • Tourist Attractions
  • TV/Movies/Entertainment
  • Sporting & Cultural events

Optimizing For Quick Replies

Getting a rapid response can help you convert more customers and raise awareness of your business. No single explanation can be given for how to accomplish this: algorithms choose content for a speedy response in response to a variety of criteria. To enhance your odds of being hit, do the following:

  • High-quality content must be available on the site.
  • The website must give a satisfactory response to a specific request: with accuracy, sincerity, and candor
  • Within the SERP interface, there has been a greater emphasis placed on business reviews.

You can read more about the Y1 algorithm update here.

Low-Quality Reputation Filter

This came into effect in November 2021 but was eluded to in June 2021 as part of the Y1 algorithm update.

In the Y1 announcement, it was revealed that user ratings of businesses would have an additional focus within SERPs:

For the purpose of assisting consumers in making decisions more quickly, Yandex’s algorithms now analyse reviews and display a summary rating.

When it comes to choosing businesses – particularly cafes and restaurants – customers are frequently influenced by online ratings. There can be hundreds or even thousands of these reviews in a given period of time.

When you search for a cafe or restaurant, the results will show you how visitors assess the establishment based on a variety of criteria, such as whether they like the meal, the service, or the music.

In June 2021, Yandex advised that you should:

  • Encourage visitors to leave reviews: they are very important when choosing a cafe or restaurant.
  • Analyze feedback and work on improvements.

The November 2021 update introduced a 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 new filter here, as well as how Webmasters are reacting to it 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