The Russian search engine Yandex recently translated its Yandex.Webmaster service to English. Originally a tool for Russian webmasters, Yandex.Webmaster is similar to other tools for webmasters offered by both Google and Bing.
Like its American counterparts, the service informs site owners which pages of their site have been indexed by Yandex and which search phrases were used to find their site. It also allows control over XML sitemap files and robots.txt files.
Yandex.Webmaster takes the service a bit further with more options for site owners. Reports are available to see if malicious code or malware is detected on a site. Many options are also available for allowing users to select region-specific URLs or hide specific URLs from various cities or regions.
Site owners can also customize the capitalization of their URL. For example, using the URL letter case tool, thomcraver.com will appear as ThomCraver.com in the Yandex search results.
While the tools are free, you must create an account with Yandex and validate yourself as the site's owner. Ownership verification can be confirmed by meta tag, uploading a text or HTML file to your server, or by creating a TXT entry to your domain's DNS.
If you already use another engine's webmaster tools, remember that the information a set of tools provides is specific to how that particular search engine views your site. It's not an aggregate on how all engines view your site.
Yandex controls nearly 65 percent of the search share in Russia. After their recent $1.3 Billion IPO and partnership with Rambler, they look poised to keep their share, holding Google and other competitors at bay. If breaking into the U.S. market is in their future, Yandex.Webmaster is a great way to jump-start their search share.
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