Yandex Algorithm: Was 2020 More Volatile Than 2019?

2020 was an interesting year for a number of reasons, however, one question we always ask is:

Was Yandex more active with updates last year than the year before?

TLDR Answer: No, 2019 had more significant volatility spikes than 2020.

In 2019 there were 128 days which registered significant volatility of search results, versus 113 in 2020.

That being said, the first half 0f 2020 was a lot more volatile than the first half of 2019, correlating with the forced user behaviour changes of the Covid pandemic, and then as the year progressed (and especially in the last quarter), the number of volatile days reduced greatly – actually making the final three months of the year the quietest quarter for noticeable SERP volatility in the last 10 years.

The below table shows the number of days each month that witnessed high levels of SERP volatility across Yandex.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2019 14 10 13 11 9 10 5 11 13 11 10 11
2020 13 12 13 14 10 11 12 13 8 3 3 1

As mentioned, the decline in the past quarter is noticeable.

This is also noticeable when viewing the data on a graph:

Potential updates in Yandex 2019 (blue) versus Yandex 2020 (red).

Using a polynomial trend line, the drop off towards the end of the year is noticeable.

If we were to include ICS score updates within the data, nothing changes as the updates have been one a month since November 2018.


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