Yandex Begins To Penalize Sites With Poor Reputations

Yandex continues to develop an approach where accounting for various signals regarding the activities of companies becomes part of the algorithm that determines the positions of the sites of these organizations in the search results.

Thus, users will turn to dubious companies less often, and those who work honestly will get more customers.

The algorithm can figure out which site or business is acting in bad faith. For example, he deliberately evades the provision of services already paid for by the client or performs them in an inappropriate manner. The algorithm relies on many factors, using a set of signals to make a decision when some data are double-checked by others. This makes it possible to eliminate errors and makes it useless to fake complaints about competitors or, for example, publish reviews about yourself on the network.

It is important to know: the new rules will not in any way affect organizations that had misfires in the service (for example, related to the human factor), but there was no plan to act so on purpose.

Yandex provided an example in their article announcing these changes:

Imagine that there is a cleaning company A that operates on a 100% prepayment basis. The client brought it in, but the specialists did not come to him and were not going to come. Will the impact of the algorithm on such a site be significant? Yes. Yandex will scan the flow of signals about Company A, assess their regularity, and come to the conclusion that this is an unscrupulous organization.

There is company B providing furniture assembly services. Specialists usually do everything efficiently and on time, but one day they were very late, and the client was not satisfied with the service. This will not affect the ranking of the site, because mistakes, force majeure, and misunderstandings with customers happen to everyone. There was no malice here.

What should a company do if its website has lost its position? The only way to change the attitude of the algorithm to the site is to change its attitude towards customers and start working in good faith. As signals accumulate, the algorithm will evaluate the changes, and the site will be able to improve its position in the search results.

Note that this year Yandex for the first time disclosed the number of investments in the search direction. According to Andrey Styskin, head of Yandex’s search, advertising and cloud services business group, the company has invested more than $ 1.5 billion in search development over five years. This amount is comparable to the company’s capital expenditures during this time.


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