Seznam search engine optimization: An Interview with Seznam’s Search Division Director

As we all recognize, Google isn’t always the simplest search engine being used by customers around the world and faces opposition in select nations from the likes of Yandex and Baidu.

There is but another search engine competing with Google – one which, for the maximum component, loads of search engine marketing experts in no way encounter because it’s confined to the Czech market, Seznam.

Seznam turned into founded in 1996 by Ivo Lukačovič, and reached a top round 2010 whilst it was anticipated that the then populace of the Czech Republic (10.Five-million) were journeying the hunt engine month-to-month, if now not extra often. However, because 2010, Google has gained more dominance in the marketplace and is now the dominant player.

Unlike in other markets, Seznam and its numerous products nonetheless hold a full-size market share (more or less 30% of the hunt market and processing 15-million queries a day).

Optimizing for the engine nevertheless calls for attention whilst getting into Czechia.

For any seek engine competing against Google, being able to apprehend how you approach the conflict may be useful (as an SEO) on your very own important thinking and idea procedures.

To benefit insight into Seznam’s technique, I’ve been lucky to ask Tomáš Pergler, Seznam’s Search Division Director a few questions about Seznam’s method to fashionable day seek and the way their seek engine processes modern-day JavaScript powered web sites.

A lot of external resources attribute Seznam an eleven% market proportion of the Czech search engine market, down from an approximate 30% in January 2010. Where does Seznam region itself in the marketplace in terms of proportion? Dusan Janovsky has formerly quoted 25%, is that this nevertheless correct?
Tomáš Pergler (TP): It is difficult to mention, as Google does now not put up its numbers inside the Czech Republic. - CzechCrunch


We guess that we’ve something around 30% proportion on desktops but we lose on cell devices. It could be very hard for us to compete Google as its programs are preinstalled in all Android gadgets.

At the beginning of this year, advertising and marketing employer Evisions published its case observe about how its clients use Google and Seznam. It is best in Czech however I am certain you’ll be capable of recognizing the graphs.

When we (as SEO professionals) communicate approximately optimizing website we tend to attention on 3 core regions, those being inbound links, technical, and content. Without gifting away the secrets and techniques to Seznam’s algorithm, may want to you enlighten us on how Seznam attributes those elements and establishes its ranking system?
TP: At a few stages of abstraction, we smash the trouble of relevance and ranking down into 3 essential dimensions: Accuracy, Usefulness, and Quality.

Accuracy offers with what the consumer question is set, what the report or internet site is about and the way properly they correspond with each other.
Usefulness way how beneficial the given end result might be for maximum customers. Some outcomes may be accurate however useless – out of stock merchandise, outdated news, lacking body textual content and so forth.
Quality deals with usability, navigation, facts shape, and credibility. Some effects can be accurate and beneficial but low best.
Basically, we classify each document or question-record in all three dimensions independently.

Accuracy and usability are question-record based totally so that they need to be evaluated in query time.

Quality may be evaluated properly after the document is downloaded because it’s a file-based type simplest.

Each classifier utilizes specific features:

Link graph capabilities are critical for usefulness and excellent.
Body text size is one of the functions essential for usefulness. In maximum cases, empty body text is useless.
HTTPS has a few important for great.
User feedback capabilities are sturdy for predicting first-class.
Dictionary-based features are sturdy for usefulness and satisfactory.
Results visible within the SERP are purported to be accurate and beneficial already, so we rank them in particular according to quality.

Backlinks have ordinary importance for us. Each size makes use of them in a one of a kind manner. When predicting accuracy, we want to find out what the web page or web page is about.

Backlinks keep the records about how the web page is remembered by way of users. The records from anchor text on a particularly visited web page is precious, due to the fact numerous people use it for navigation.

That’s why we need one-way links for navigational queries. However, extra back-links don’t suggest more accuracy.

Usefulness is an exceptional undertaking completely. The link graph capabilities are robust here, which is why hyperlinks work in search engine optimization. But it should now not be pretty much extra back-links = higher scores.

Historically, we’ve used a few mechanisms to expect which hyperlinks are right or natural and that are awful, however, it’s a completely complex task and there is probably better ways.

Direct and indirect links from rather credible websites can undoubtedly affect the quality score of the goal. Highly credible web sites don’t often promote backlinks; hence they offer accept as true with, which propagates through the hyperlink graph.

When dealing with accuracy, a content material itself is the maximum without difficulty to be had a source of records. It essentially tells us what the web page is about.

A web page title and an advanced body textual content extraction are vital. We use BM25-like scoring capabilities and we awareness on Czech.

How capable is Seznam in phrases of processing JavaScript websites?
TP: We have been experimenting with webpage rendering for a while now – several years ago every snippet in the SERP contained a web page thumbnail (it become only a “layout” characteristic).

Nowadays we use webpage rendering for better knowledge of the content and layout of the website.

Currently, it’s far nevertheless achieved just on low extent of crawls, generally for news articles. From a rendered web page we can extract its major textual content, fundamental image or article release date very as it should be.

In the future, we need to increase and balance the ratio of rendered crawling site visitors to the intake of the crawl budget of the crawler.

Now, an average rendered crawl of 1 website consumes tens of GET requests in comparison to at least one GET request for now not rendered move slowly.

We use the cutting-edge solid chrome model (presently seventy three.X) for web page rendering this means that that our crawler gets the equal effects as a actual user does.

How big of a element is mobile usability in Seznam’s rating determinations?
TP: Our actual first-rate classifier currently doesn’t distinguish between computer and cellular, however we’re getting ready a brand new nice rating.

Our raters will charge the exceptional without delay on their cell phones. Based in this type of information, we’ll probably locate some new features. We’re making plans to comprise them into our ranking version till the stop of Q3/2019.

How often does Seznam replace its rating criteria/algorithms?
TP: Last 12 months we rebuilt our foremost relevance version completely. Once. Then there had been some minor tweaks via the yr.

Our group has grown up and this yr we need to move faster.

How does Seznam cope with an international internet site (i.E., one with more than one language variations, Czech protected)?
TP: The seek engine crawler SeznamBot is focused on the pages that our users can in all likelihood look for. That method it digs the internet for pages in Czech language within the first vicinity.

SeznamBot additionally crawls other pages to permit the search engine to reply “global” queries – for example: navigation to international web sites, international businesses, programming, films, social, and so forth. So it additionally crawls global net.

If a few website is serving content in a couple of languages on the equal URLs, the crawler gets only one language model – preferably Czech.

If the language variations are on hand via special urls, then SeznamBot might also move slowly several language versions of the pages – as an example the same content material at Wikipedia in Czech, Slovak, and English.

Does SeznamBot face any issues with crawling non-Czech websites?
TP: Unfortunately, we experience severe get entry to problems whilst crawling international web. Increasing wide variety of web sites tends to dam all visitors except for GoogleBot.

For instance, we’ve communicated with ProjectHoneyPot.Org lately to whitelist our crawler’s IPs, due to the fact SeznamBot is a wellknown seek engine crawler and blocking off it doesn’t bring any advantage.

It might be extraordinary if this article could assist encourage webmasters to allow SeznamBot to their websites, so it is able to bring some visits from customers in the Czech Republic.

Or at the least to reveal them, that it is beneficial to have a technical touch within the feedback phase of the robots.Txt record on their net.

Moving faraway from look for a moment, how famous are Seznam’s other belongings (such as Novinky, Sreality, Mapy)?
TP: Seznam.Cz has a reach on ninety five% of the Czech Internet populace. More than 3.5 million human beings go to our domestic web page every day and within two years we controlled to get nearly one million visitors a day on SeznamZpravy.Cz (our very own news carrier).

Some highlights from our wider merchandise encompass:

Email.Cz – The e mail service facilitates 71.5 million emails daily.
Firmy.Cz – Firmy is a established catalog of agencies with contact records and opinions, listing more than 670,000 corporations.
Kupi.Cz – An online cut price/coupon-code directory, with more than 10,000 discounts and 300 advertising flyers each day.
Mapy.Cz – A maps issuer, at some point of the tourist season this will attain up to 1-million customers every day.
Novinky.Cz – The most famous on-line Czech information website, with 57% of the web information reading market proportion.
Sport.Cz – The most visited sports website inside the Czech Republic, with greater than 1,600 articles and 160 online streams every day.
Stream.Cz – An on-line TV streaming provider, with more than 35-million views consistent with month.


I have been working in the field of SEO and content marketing since 2014. I have worked with over 500 clients and more than 100 websites. I started blogging in 2012 and have now made my first steps into the world of freelancing. In my spare time, I like to read, cook or listen to music.