Yandex is not new to the world of Internet, especially to the world of search engines and search engine optimizers (SEOs). It is a Russian multinational corporation (with headquarters in Moscow) offering over 70 services in total, predominantly internet related services and products. The company started its search engine for Russian users in the year 1997, and has been the largest Russian search engine ever since.
Yandex is the fifth largest search engine in the world after Google, Baidu, Bing and Yahoo. One of its greatest advantages for Russian users is that it is able to recognize Russian inflection in search queries.
On 17 Dec 2019, Yandex announced its latest search algorithm update â€“ the VEGA update.
As per the companyâ€™s announcement,
â€œThe Vega update brings 1,500 improvements to Yandex Search that help our 50 million daily search users in Russia find the best solutions to their queries.â€
But, there are basically 4 major improvements to the searches that you need to know. Letâ€™s discuss those 4 improvements in detail.
Improvement #1: Doubled the Size of the Search Index
â€œOur search index is now twice as large thanks to a clever method for grouping similar web pages into clusters.â€Â
Yandex doubled the size of their search index to make sure Yandex Search has become smarter and bigger. With Vega, they are able to search across more of the web now. With the help of their clustering technology that includes neural networks in their search algorithms, Yandex groups topically similar web pages into clusters.
As soon as a user enters a search query, it is then searched among the most relevant cluster of web pages, instead of their entire index. This is how their search can now handle twice as large as their index without affecting the speed of the searches.
Since their search algorithms are able to find rare web pages for the clusters along with highly visited websites, they are now able to better connect their users with results for infrequent search queries.
This is a really interesting way of handling the large amount of search queries without slowing the speed.
Improvement #2: Higher Quality Search Results at Lightning Speed
Thanks to their pre-rendering technology, Yandex Search is able to predict the search queries and select relevant results as the users are typing the queries on their android mobile devices.
Website owners can make use of the Turbo technology to create Turbo-powered fast loading versions of their regular websites. Turbo-powered sites are light and can load nearly 15 times faster than the full websites.
These lightweight Turbo sites are ideal for users to get relevant information and solutions to their queries fast regardless of slow connections. Turbo pages load faster than Mobile sites, which is an excellent alternative for content providers as well.
Improvement #3: Addition of Human Element to the Search
Just like Google uses quality Raters to rate their new algorithm changes, Yandex uses Assessors who assess the web results.
Figure out the right and the best keywords
They have been using a crowd sourcing platform, known as Yandex.Toloka, through which the assessors complete the tasks using the search result evaluation guidelines. The assessors supply relevant information for specific queries, which are then evaluated by expert assessors, which are specialists in their respective fields.
The expert assessors use over a hundred criteria to evaluate the tasks performed by the assessors, and provide their evaluations to the deep learning neural networks of the search engine.
The machine learning algorithms with the addition of human element are able to find the most relevant information for the search queries. The human touch makes sure that the information is verified and accurate. And, those relevant pieces of information rank higher in search results.
According to Yandex,
â€œThe professionals (aka expert assessors) appraising the assessors range from IT administrators for data queries to hydrologists for searches relating to rivers.â€
This ensures that the search results shown on search results pages are the most relevant results for the user queries.
Improvement #4: Introduction of New Q&A Service, Yandex.Q.
The 4th significant improvement Vega update has brought is the Yandex.Q service.
Yandex wrote in their Vega Update announcement blog post,
â€œWeâ€™re also connecting people with answers to their searches from qualified experts, through our new question-and-answer service, Yandex.Q,â€
Yandex.Q is the Q&A service by Yandex that combines their Yandex.Experts tool (introduced with the Andromeda update in 2018) with content from the popular Russian Q&A service TheQuestion, which Yandex acquired in 2019.
The Yandex.Q service helps users find the best expert responses or answers from experts for the questions they ask the Yandex.ru search field. Those expert answers or responses appear on the top of the results pages.
The Vega update with its significant improvements tells why Yandex is the smartest, quickest and simply the best search engine for Russian internet users.
About Other Search Engines
While there is no news about any update in the ranking algorithms from other global search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, we can expect something rolling out in the beginning of 2020.
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