The “Minusinsk” algorithm
The “Minusinsk” algorithm detects sites that use SEO links for search engine optimization. It restricts the ranking of such sites for a period from one month to several months. Thus, using SEO links may lead to significant loss of search engine traffic.
Studies show that sites that stop using SEO links do not experience any significant loss of traffic from Yandex Search.
What are SEO links?
An SEO link is a link created to influence the search algorithms. Site owners often buy links from special services (link exchanges or aggregators) in order to publish SEO links on intermediary sites. This is why they are called “paid” or “sold”.
SEO links are an attempt to deceive the search engine by artificially increasing a site's credibility. They don't improve the quality of the site or send a positive signal for ranking. This is why Yandex considers SEO links to be spam links.
How to tell if your site's ranking was restricted by “Minusinsk”
A good indicator that your site is under the Minusinsk restriction is a sharp drop in traffic and the site's position in Yandex Search results for the majority of queries (on average, a drop in 20 points).
You can check whether any ranking restrictions have been applied to the site in the Security and violations section of Yandex.Webmaster. We also recommend reviewing the frequently asked questions about “Minusinsk”.
How to remove the “Minusinsk” restrictions
To remove the restriction, you need to completely eliminate SEO links. When the robot re-indexes the source pages and detects that the corresponding content has disappeared, the restriction will be lifted automatically. You don't need to notify the Support service that you have removed the links.
Timeframe for removing the “Minusinsk” restrictions
The ranking restriction usually lasts from one to several months. The timeframe depends on how quickly SEO links are removed and the source pages that had the links are re-indexed.
If your site's promotion is handled by contractors, we recommend that you clearly state in your contract that they should not use paid links or other pseudo optimization strategies.