In December 2013, Yandex, the largest search engine in Russia, announced they would drop links from their ranking algorithm for some verticals. That actually went through in March 2104 but it seems it was short lived. A year later, Yandex will be bringing back these links into their ranking algorithm.
The Russian Search Tips blog reports that starting in about a month, Yandex will bring back links as a ranking signal for all search verticals. The only difference is that Yandex will not only use links as a positive ranking factor but also look at them as a negative ranking factor, similar to how some of Google’s link algorithms work – like Penguin.
Initially, Yandex was overwhelmed by link manipulation in their algorithm, so they decided to try doing without them. This change will bring links back into their algorithm but also use web spam techniques to detect and punish link schemes.
This is expected to launch across the Yandex search index in May 2015.
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