The role link relevancy plays as a key ranking factor

The most recent Yandex algorithm leaks have led to some great findings amongst the search marketing community into what ranking factors the largest search engine in Russia considers. What caught our eye at Journey Further was the discussion of link relevancy in the Yandex report – we never turn down the opportunity to bang the relevancy drum! We decided to take a deeper dive into the algorithm to see what role link relevancy plays as a ranking factor for Yandex, and how heavily it’s weighed in a page’s rank. 


Contextual relevance

Yandex values links that are contextual – this means the linking website’s content is related to the linked-to website’s content. For example, a link from a fashion site to a clothing brand would be considered highly relevant. 


Linking website authority

Yandex also considers the quality and reputation of the linking website. Links from websites with high-quality content and a positive reputation carry more weight in terms of link relevancy, as they come from a site considered to be an authority in its field. Whereas websites with a history of spam, low-quality content, or other negative factors may have less impact on the destination website’s ranking.


Anchor text

The anchor text used for the link is also a factor which impacts relevancy. Relevant and descriptive anchor text indicates the relevance of the destination website to the linking website as well as the search query. There are specific elements of the Yandex algorithm that look at links containing the same terms as the search query, as well as awarding extra points for containing those terms in the same order as they were searched. 


Link diversity

Link diversity is a factor that refers to the variety of linking domains pointing to your website. Yandex favours sites with a diverse range of relevant linking domains as this indicates the website is attracting links from a wide range of sources, which is seen as a positive sign of credibility and authority.


Link language and location

The location of the link as well as the language of the content on the linking page is also a factor that impacts link relevancy on a regional level. Links that are written in the same language and region as the search query carry more weight than non-local links in other languages.   


Link age

The age of a link also has an impact on relevancy. Yandex considers age as a factor and calculates a score by taking the average age of links and dividing them by seven. According to the code, three years is viewed as the accepted value, with both older and younger links not carrying the same weight. 


It’s great to see the Yandex algorithm confirms and backs up our views on the importance of link relevancy and the key role it plays as a search ranking factor. This means it’s as important as always to focus on link relevancy when monitoring your websites link profile to ensure you’re following the best practices and getting the most out of the links you build.