The Russian search engine Yandex offers the tool Yandex.Webmaster, which is similar to the Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools. If Russia is an important target country for your business and you are optimizing your website for Yandex, you should use Yandex.Webmaster. It gives you control and provides important information about the indexing of your website in Yandex.
Verification of Your Website
First of all you need to verify your website in Yandex. This includes the following steps:
- Create an account: In order to use Yandex.Webmaster, you need to create a Yandex account. If you are already advertising in Yandex with Yandex.Direct, you can use this account.
- Add your website: In your account, click on “Add site” to add your website. You need to add every subdomain separately. Websites that use the HTTPS protocol need to be added including “https://” (you do not have to add “http://”).
- Verify your website: Now you need to verify that you are the owner of this website. You can choose between five different verification methods.
Relevant Reports and Featuers
After adding your website to Yandex.Webmaster, you can use the following reports and features:
When you click on your website under “My sites”, you will find an overview about the indexing status, like for example the number of pages of your website in the Yandex index and the number of backlinks.
Under the menu “Check URL” you can access information about specific pages of your website. This report will tell you if the page is indexed in Yandex, its HTTP status code, the date of the last crawl and the number of backlinks and internal links.
This report contains information about the indexing of your website:
- Site structure: Here you can see how Yandex perceives the structure of your website. This report shows all subfolders that include more than ten pages, if they contain at least 1% of all pages of your website.
- Pages on search: Here you will find a list of all pages of your website that are included in the Yandex index.
- Links to website: In this report you will see all backlinks and internal links of your website.
- Excluded pages: Here you will find all pages of your website that are excluded from the Yandex index. The following are reasons for exclusions: Broken links, exclusions with the robots.txt file or the noindex metatag and pages with the canonical tag. In addition, this report contains a list of all broken links.
Under this menu there are an analysis tool for the robots.txt file and the sections to upload your sitemaps (Sitemap files). Under “Main mirror” you define your preference if the URLs should be indexed with or without www.
This report is similar to the Search Analytics report in the Google Search Console and shows the search queries for which your website was displayed in Yandex.
Here you can define the geographic targeting of your website. You can only define one geographic target. You can also specify that your website does not have a specific geographic target.
Appearance in search results
In this section you will find two features about how your website appears in the Yandex search results:
- SERP links: This report shows which site links are displayed in Yandex search together with your website.
- URL letter case: Here you define how you would like your URL to appear in the search results (upper and lowercase writing).
As you can see, Yandex provides some important reports and features to control and monitor the indexing of your website. However, Yandex.Webmaster is less comprehensive than the webmaster tools from Google and Bing. In order to optimize your website for Yandex, you should use additional SEO tools as well.
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