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SEO and Marketing in Russia: Feel the Difference

17 March 2016 Jane Kryukova
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Have you ever been to Russia (or seen movies about Russians)?

If yes, then you should know how different a Russian mentality is.

People here are harsh yet hospital, they are huge freebie-lovers yet hard-workers. These qualities apply to everything, from banquets to marketing.

Do you want to get the meat of Russians and Russian marketing? This post is for you.

Yes, we have Internet here

The ins and outs of Russian Internet users

If you want to do online business in Russia, then you should know the main peculiarities of Russian Internet users:

  • Criticism

Russian online surfers are extremely demanding. Just like all normal people, they love top-notch content and are always ready to say ‘thank you’.

But don’t you dare to make a typo or ugly screenshot. You’re going to have a really bad time.

People will start criticizing the hell out of you. They won’t tell you, ‘that’s ok, you did a great a job’. They will tear you apart and forget that you’ve spent your whole weekend to put this quality and FREE content up.

  • Poor knowledge of English

English skills of the majority of Russian users leave much to be desired. That’s why they don’t engage much with English content and websites.

  • Patriotism

Most Russians are very patriotic. Sometimes they may make fun of the Russian government, manufacturers, or the standard of living. Still, Russians love their country and don’t tolerate mockery. They love laughing at themselves but don’t let others do the same.

The ins and outs of Russian SEO

As you already know, Russians are different from you. Very different.

And so are Russian SEO techniques.

Guess which hat color is the most popular one among Russian SEOs

The thing is that when our Western colleagues had already turned to inbound and content marketing, Russian online promotion was all about link schemes, doorway pages, and keyword stuffing. The funniest part is that these techniques actually worked! They were magic bullets for SEOs, who could make your website rank no.1 for literally any keyword for as low as $100.

But then something happened – in 2010, thereabout.

Ranks started dropping. Yandex, the leading Russian search engine, grabbed SEOs by the throat and started inculcating white hat techniques based on fair and hard work.

More than 5 years have passed since that moment, but Russian SEOs are still trying to find wormholes. They are looking for ways to fool search engines and get to the top overnight, instead of working continuously on websites.

Fortunately, not all Russian SEOs and marketers are like that. We’ll get back to them later.

What you should know about SEO in Russia: basic concepts

  • Major search engines in Russia

Russians use two search engines – Yandex and Google. Yandex has been more popular for some time, but now they share all user search queries fifty-fifty. Pay attention to both search engines if you want to succeed.

  • SEO techniques

Non-Russian webmasters wear white hats and make websites for humans. In Russia, grey and black hats still prevail, and it’s not because Yandex can’t handle them – today, they are fighting manipulative techniques like their lives depend on it. The only reason is that Russian SEOs and marketers just haven’t rewired their brains for a new manner yet. It’s not easy when once you could get results overnight but how you have to work hard.

  • Penalties

As we mentioned above, both Yandex and Google are fighting hard with black hat techniques. This is where search algorithms roll in. Let’s compare Yandex’s penalties with Google’s ones, so you could understand them better:

Penguin = “Minusinsk”. These algorithms penalize websites for unnatural link profile.

Just like many of Yandex algorithms, Minusinsk was called after one of Russian cities

Panda = “AGS”. These algorithms fight thin content and keyword stuffing.

Google Mobile-Friendly = “Vladivostok”. These algorithms deal with non-mobile-friendly websites.

  • Payment systems

The most popular online payment systems in Russia are WebMoney, Yandex.Money, and Qiwi. PayPal, Payoneer, and AlertPay are less popular here.

Russian digital marketing agencies

Unfortunately, not all Russian SEO companies have embraced white hat techniques. Be careful when searching for a company. Make sure to find out how they are going to optimize your website and whether they’ll use any techniques that violate search engines’ quality guidelines’.

By the way, if you want to save time, we recommend you contacting our agency, because we are responsible for what we do, and we use only white hat SEO techniques.

Our agency was founded in 2007 and we’ve never bought a single link, both for us and our customers. We achieve results by working hard and creating top-notch content. Here you can see our Russian website and blog, which is, by the way, one of the most popular SEO and marketing blogs in Russia.

We were the first ones in Russia to bring the ‘content marketing’ term. Nowadays we have a reputation of the best content marketing agency in Russia. However, we are engaged not only in content marketing, but in other branches of digital marketing as well:

And so on.

So, if you’re doing business in Russia (or you’d like to promote it anywhere else!), contact us to get a free quote. You’ll get the best quality services from the acknowledged experts in this sphere.

Автор: Jane Kryukova
Marketer at Texterra. She writes awesome stuff for our blog, composes email newsletters, and is always searching for new tools and methods of site promotion. Jane believes that great content is one of the most powerful weapons of a marketer and successfully uses this idea in her practice. Find Jane on Facebook, where she loves to share interesting posts on online marketing.
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