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How To Promote Business Online In Russia

How To Promote Business Online In Russia

Quick facts about Russia

  • 143+ mln country population, 65+ mln. Internet users (only 45,4% penetration)
  • €8 bln. e-commerce annual turnover
  • 30% year over year growth of internet users
  • The association between overseas products and higher quality still holds from the times of the Soviet Union. All other things being equal, a consumer will choose a foreign product.

The most important traffic sources

Search marketplace

  • Yandex 53%, Google 36%, 9%, 2% – others (differs slightly across different Russian-speaking countries).

Top 5 Yandex algorithm specifics

  • Yandex has its own “Pagerank”, so-called “Theme Citation Index”.
  • Yandex is extremely content-sensitive. Small corrections strongly impact rankings.
  • Yandex uses behavioral factors heavily. Much more heavily than Google.
  • Yandex filters out paid links instead of penalizing a website they point to.
  • Yandex has a strong affiliate filter that distinguishes websites that belong to one owner.

Top 5 Google Russia specifics

  • Lower level of competitiveness in general
  • Less filters and algorithm updates
  • Much more links with aggressive link anchors because of widely spread links buying
  • Traditional links acquisition techniques works much worse due to commonly used cheap paid links.
  • There are very few websites in Google Local Search and it appears more rarely than in USA.

Top 3 Specifics

  • has its own algorithm
  • has its own well developed anti-spam filters, but it seems that they are a bit weaker than Yandex’s filters.
  • widely uses behavioral factors in its ranking system.

Pay per click & CPA marketplace

The most important pay per click & CPA traffic sources:


It allows advertising in search results and on Yandex Advertising Network. Yandex provides discounts for agencies, thus you can hire an agency for free.

The quality of the landing page and other factors outside of the CTR, have very little impact, in contrast to the Quality Score methodology employed by AdWords.

Google AdWords

Using Google AdWords contextual adverting aimed at Russian speakers has no significant differences to its English language version. Russian tends to use longer words than English, and as a result, the adverts need to be shorter. It is also important to pay attention to the correct usage of cases and endings.

A huge opportunity lays in local keywords i.e. “buy [product] in [city]”.


With 41+ mln. daily users Vkontakte is one of the most important Russian traffic sources. It allows you to run PPC campaigns and even target your ads on users’ position, like LinkedIn.


About 7,5 mln. Russian accounts, mostly geeks, early adopters and business audience.

Price Comparison Websites

Cheap yet quality traffic, an average click can cost you about $0,1-$0,2. The most popular Russian comparison sites are:


Teaser Networks

A bit yellowish traffic source, but sometimes it works well. The largest teaser networks are

  • (~9 mln. daily visitors)
  • (~2 mln. daily visitors)
  • (~0,4 mln. daily visitors)

CPA systems

CPA model is a brand new opportunity for Russian market. There are very few CPA systems available, among them are:


Display advertising

The largest Russian display advertising systems are:

  • (31 mln. reachable daily audience)
  • (27 mln. reachable daily audience)


Data credits:;lang=en


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Anna Korolekh (Moseva)

Deputy Chief Marketing Officer at PSD2HTML

Anna Korolekh (Moseva), Deputy Chief Marketing Officer at PSD2HTML, a full cycle website development company. Anna started her career in ... [Read full bio]

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