How Yandex indexes sites
A site on search results page

Low-quality sites

What distinguishes a quality website from a low-quality site, from the Yandex point of view?

Yandex strives to find the answer to a user's query by providing information and links to information in the internet on the search results page. In creating and developing the search engine, we base decisions on our understanding of what users need and what kind of information is valuable.

Following the recommendations below will help your site be indexed and get better rankings, while using deceptive practices may result in your site being demoted or excluded from search results.

Basic principles

  • Create sites with original content or services. Advertising is not what users are looking for when they go to a site.

  • Think about your users, and not just about search engines. Would you have created the site, or a page or element on it, if search engines didn't exist? Do users visit your site or online store from sources other than search engines?

  • Only add links that are useful and interesting to your users. Don't link to something just because someone asked you to.

  • Think through the design carefully. It should help users see the main information that the site was created for.

  • Be honest. Attracting users with queries that your site doesn't adequately address is not the same as maintaining an audience. Think about what a user will get from visiting your site.

Examples of these principles

If this section doesn't cover some method for artificially influencing Yandex site rankings, it doesn't mean we approve of it. Use common sense and follow the principles described above.

We avoid indexing or giving high rankings to:

  • Sites that mislead users: when downloading a file (audio, video, torrent, and so on), another program is downloaded. Alternatively, a program is disguised as a popular app, and so on. An example of this type of violation are so-called wrappers.
  • Sites that publish SEO links on other sites.

  • Sites that copy or rewrite information from other resources instead of creating original content.

  • Pages and sites whose sole purpose is to redirect the user to another resource, either automatically (“redirect”) or voluntarily.

  • Auto-generated (meaningless) text.

  • Sites with directories (of articles, programs, businesses, and so on), if they are just content aggregators, don't create their own texts and descriptions, and don't provide a unique service.

  • Pages with invisible or poorly visible text or links.

  • Sites that return differing content to users and search engine robots (“cloaking”).

  • Sites that provide products or information using affiliate programs, but do not provide any value for the user.

  • Sites that use deceptive methods (for example, malware, CMS settings and server configurations that pose a risk to users, viruses in affiliate programs, and malicious mobile redirects), to redirect users to third-party resources or change the search results window to pages on other resources when clicking through from search engines.

  • Sites that attempt to influence the search engine by imitating user actions.

  • Sites whose primary purpose is to aggressively display advertising materials (including popups, popunders, and clickunders).

  • Sites containing lists of search queries (multiple repetitions and lists of keywords) intended solely for tricking search engines and manipulating their results, including the use of page elements that hide keywords by scrolling or other techniques.

  • Groups of sites belonging to the same owner or company that offer users the same products or services, created for the purpose of getting multiple positions in search results and accumulating traffic.

  • Unmoderated forums and bulletin boards that contain a large amount of link spam.

  • Sites that include external links exclusively for deceiving search engines and “inflating” relevancy, when these links are not actually the author's recommendation to visit a resource.

  • Sites or groups of sites that intensively link to each other (“link farms”).

  • Site pages with search results.

Various restrictions are applied according to these principles, including:

ViolationDescriptionPossible restrictions
DoorwayPages and sites whose primary purpose is to send users to another resource using a redirect or links.Excluding site pages from search
CloakingPages and sites that return differing content to users and search engine robots in order to manipulate ranking in search engines.Excluding site pages from search
Hidden textSite pages with invisible or barely visible text with keywords, for the purpose of manipulating ranking in search engines.Excluding site pages from search
Duplicate or useless contentSites that contain unoriginal, duplicated, or useless content, and sites created for selling links and earning money on advertising. Excluding site pages from search, demoting in search results
Affiliate program

Publishing information on site pages about products and services offered by other sites as part of an affiliate program.

Such sites usually don't have any value to the user, since they don't have their own original content and don't offer any additional service.

Excluding site pages from search, demoting in search results


Site pages with texts containing unnatural and excessive amounts of keywords in order to influence rankings in the search engine.

This may be disguised by using page elements that hide the keywords. For example, using scrolling or other techniques.

Excluding site pages from search, demoting in search results

Imitating user actionsImitation of user actions in order to influence the site ranking in search results. Excluding site pages from search, demoting in search results

Clickjacking is a deceptive technique that involves placing concealed elements on a site that the user may interact with unknowingly.

This technique is often used for getting users' personal data without their consent and performing actions in social networks in their name.

A typical example of clickjacking is creating invisible elements on a site that cover buttons, forms, videos, and so on. These invisible elements may also move to follow the cursor across the page.

Demoting in search results
Using SEO linksPublishing SEO links on other sites in order to promote your own site. Such links include, in particular, links that are bought through link exchanges and aggregators. Demoting in search results
Excessive advertising or shocking adsUsing annoying advertising methods that interfere with viewing the main site content (popup, popunder, clickunder), or ads with shocking content. Demoting in search results
Rate this article
Thank you for your feedback!