Using paid links to increase ranking (“Minusinsk”)

This violation means that the site increased it's search ranking using paid links, which were detected by the “Minusinsk”.

Note. The “Minusinsk” algorithm was launched in 2015 with the goal of lowering the ranking of sites using paid links to promote themselves. Using these links, the webmaster tries to unfairly influence their site's position in search results.

Links whose main function is to try to influence search engine ranking are considered paid links. In particular, links bought from link wholesalers and from aggregators are relegated to this category. These links are hosted on third-party sites without improving their quality or the user experience.

Yandex found this violation on my site. How can I fix it?

You will need to get rid of any paid links and delete them from donor sites. Restrictions will be lifted after our robots have processed the pages of such sites and tracked any changes made. This takes place automatically, so you don't even need to contact Support for restrictions to be lifted.

You can click I've fixed everything in the Security and violations section in Yandex.Webmaster if you want to alert the robot that you've made changes anyway.

The violation notification will disappear when the robot realizes that the links are gone and lifts your site's restrictions. Usually this takes one or more months.


You can click I've fixed everything for the same site again after one month. After this, to avoid misuse of this button, the waiting period will increase and may be up to three months. So we recommend clicking this button only when you are sure that your site doesn't have any more violations.

If several people have management rights to your site, a specific person should be delegated to re-send the site for checking at a particular time. None of the admins will be able to use the button again for a month.

I deleted all paid links. When will restrictions be lifted?

It takes one month or longer on average for this type of violation to be lifted. Restrictions will be lifted after our robots have processed any donor pages and noted that paid links were removed. Your site will be re-processed automatically in line with our planning policies. The time frame depends on many factors, such as the quality of the site that previously contained paid links. If there are a lot of links, then it may take several months to process your site.

How can I figure out what links lead to my site?

You can see information about links to your site in the External links section in Yandex.Webmaster. Information about links is only updated when the search engine database is updated. This means that if you removed paid links from your site, the robot should be aware of it after indexing the page where they used to be. After this, at least one search database update should take place.

If you need more information about how the External links section works, please submit your question in Links.

I can't get rid of all the links because some of them are not under my control. What should I do?

Delete all the paid links that you can. You could contact all popular link wholesalers requesting that your site be excluded from all projects, or contact the owners of sites containing paid links and request that they delete them.

The algorithm is set up so that restrictions are only lifted when a certain threshold is reached as far as removing paid links is concerned. When the robot re-processes a given number of donor pages and tracks paid link removal, the reference profile of your site will improve and restrictions will be lifted. The algorithm determines this threshold individually for every site.

I have never bought paid links. Where did they come from? Could my competitors have set me up?

If you paid for third-party SEO companies to promote your site or you have a staff website promotion specialist, then direct your questions to them. We factored in the possibility that competitors might unfairly try to gain an advantage using paid links when we designed “Minusinsk”. The algorithm does not count these types of manipulations.

Note. If third-parties handle your website promotion efforts, we recommend that you clearly state in your contract that they should not use paid links or other means to pseudo-optimize your site using your resources.

Won't my site's search position suffer if I remove all the paid links?

Past experience shows that sites where paid links were removed did not suffer a substantial loss of search traffic.

The violation notification is gone, but my website ranking is still low. What should I do?

If the notification disappears, it means that our algorithms decided to remove the restrictions from your site. It might take some time for these changes to show up in search. This usually happens after one or two updates of the search engine database, which takes about two weeks on average.

I clicked “I've fixed everything” a month ago, but the violation notification didn't disappear and the button is available again. Should I click it again?

It's worth clicking the button again if you deleted more paid links that lead to your site over the last month. If you didn't make additional changes, then it's pointless to click it again.

I can't click “I've fixed everything” because it's inactive. What should I do?

Any administrator whose management rights have been confirmed in Yandex.Webmaster can click the button. Check who has management rights to your site and figure out who clicked the button. You will be able to click it again in a month.

I deleted all the links that I could. A few months have elapsed, but, alas, no results. What should I do?

It's possible that the robot hasn't managed to re-process all the donor sites yet. Check to see if any paid links remain in cached pages. Make sure that you've deleted as many paid links as possible. We recommend contacting all SEO optimizers who handled your website promoting in the past and at present. In complicated situations, we recommend contacting popular link wholesalers or administrators of sites containing paid links to request that they be removed. You can also write to Support and we will try to answer your questions as quickly as possible.