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PPC campaigns in Yandex Direct

So you are planning to launch a marketing PPC campaign in Russia or other nearby markets. You know Google is a possibility but, what about Yandex?

What is Yandex?                            04291430-photo-yandex-logo

Yandex (officially launched in 1997) is the most popular browser used in the Russian-speaker world. Yandex gain popularity rapidly and it became the largest search system in Russia. Currently, Yandex has 57% of the market share in Russia, 40% in Belarus, 30% in Ukraine and a small share in Kazakhstan and Turkey.
Overall, Yandex is the 4th largest Search engine in the world and it is widely used by Russian living abroad.

Why should I choose Yandex over Google?

There are many reasons that will make you want to choose Yandex over Google since both of them work in a completely different way. Yandex uses a technology called Crypta, Crypta is known for being a learning machine which takes into consideration the length of search queries, the presence of certain search terms and the activity period of the users. Crypta keeps updating and optimizing in order to show better and more relevant results to the Yandex users.

Another reason to choose Yandex is the cost. Cost per click in Yandex is in general lower than in Google. It is based on the cpc fluctuation and that in the Yandex market is currently higher than in Google. Still it all depends on the industry you want to advertise in so, we recommend you to check it out with the Budget forecast tool  and the Google Keyword Planner

How does Yandex Direct differ from Google Adwords?

The main reason for anybody to decide not to use Yandex is the lack of knowledge on the main difference between search engines and the reason behind those differences.

Match Types

Yandex match types were designed for the Russian language and that is why they are very different from what we know in Google. That is the case that our keywords from Google will not perform the same way in both platforms. There are studies shown the main differences on the search results when using both browsers. While searching information to write this post I stumble upon this one.

Ad format

In Yandex we can have ad titles up to 33 characters and ad copies up to 75, whereas in Google is 25 for the ad title and up to 35 characters for each of the two lines in the ad copy. Ad formats in Yandex are more adapted to the Russian language than Google.

Quality Score

Yandex quality score is divided mainly in 5 components. Keyword level, which is mostly the CTR. Domain level, the overall performance of your account. Account level, this one helps you get a higher quality score by applying the suggestions given. Productivity index, this one determines how relevant your keywords are to your ad copy. Quality coefficient, this one takes up to 400 parameters to calculate the score. Unfortunately, we are not able to see this score. For Google, as we already know, the quality score  takes into consideration our CTR, the quality of our landing page, the relevance between our ads and search terms, the geographic performance and our targeted devices. Overall, in both systems the calculation is different and so the performance of a same keyword may differ between search engines.

Ad position

It is just so much easy in Yandex. Yandex gives us a recommended CPC for each of the ad positions there are. Therefore, with Yandex we will always know which ad block we are going to be depending on what we bid. Our ads can appear either in the premium position (first block), guaranteed position (second ad block and still in the first page) and dynamic ad block (either in the first page after the second ad block or at the second page). This option of knowing exactly where our ads will appear is not available in Google.


Conversion Track

If we want to count conversion in Yandex we will need to install Metrica. Metrica is the equivalent to Google Analytics for the Russian Market. We highly encourage you to integrate Metrica into your system since this will enable you to count conversions from your different Yandex platforms (and also all your platforms) but also will give you insights of your users behaviour in a very user-friendly way. As for Google, you will have to insert the Adwords conversion code in your thank you page or you can import your conversions from Google Analytics.


Google Adwords sure is more user friendly for the english-speakers users but once we get to know Yandex direct, we will not think anything is missing. Yandex direct offers you with all the possibilities Google Adwords offers you and even go further when it comes to strategy options. As well, they both have a program where to work offline, Adwords Editor and Yandex Commander. Both work the same and are very useful to work in bulk and make massive changes.

As for the Russian users, how does Yandex differ from Google?

The main difference can be seen right in their homepage. Yandex portal is more filled with other kind of information whereas Google tends to be very minimal and clean. Russian users like to have all in once so they prefer to search on Yandex since it provides will all the information they need to start their day (currency, weather, traffic, latest news…)


To sum up. If you are targeting Russian-speakers users, you definitely should try Yandex. Even if you do not speak Russian, their team  will help you out to set up a campaign and will give you an introduction to their system. It has been proved that Yandex offers better results to the Russian users and that is why it has a very large majority of internet users choosing it.


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