yandex_logo_en-svgThe largest Russian search engine, Yandex, has been reported to be penalizing hundreds of web sites several days ago, on September 8th.  The reason?  Because they have been participating in selling links to artificially inflate rankings in the search engine.

It was reported by the Russian Search Tips blog, all baased on what was found in a Yandex webmaster post.  The link penalty is called AGS, and it will “negatively affect organic rankings of the websites caught selling SEO links,” said Anna Oshkalo.

Because of how the penalty works, it doesn’t matter what size the site is, or even if the brand itself is a well-known one or not.  There are some big sites that have been affected by this penalty, and in total, there are several hundred sites that have been penalized by the AGS.

Specifically, the penalty has been targeting only link sellers, and not the ones buying them.  The penalty also set the Yandex TIC score to zero for sites who sold links.  The Yandex TIC score is similar to Google’s PageRank.

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