RBC investigation: how officials outsmarted Yandex

Officials no longer demand Yandex to register as a media, perhaps because they have learned to interact with the robot search engine.
Origin source

As has found out RBC, several hundred government agencies and newspapers of Moscow in the middle of the year to connect their sites to "Yandex. News "and work in unison.

As a result, not even the most resonant news - for example, the opening of a kindergarten Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, get an audience of about 50 million people. Successful experience can be applied to the federal level, they are afraid of the Internet community.

news Troopers

Since the summer, the news on the front page of "Yandex" more often could be seen messages associated with the Moscow government activities - many of which were difficult to be attributed to the resonant events of the day (see the FAQ "Sobyanin on the home page of" Yandex ".). Most of the news is generated sites of regional newspapers, the prefectural administrations and councils, sometimes they were picked up by the federal media. Analysis of the "Base media and official sources of data" "Yandex" (which contains a list of all resources that are indexed by the search engine robot) showed that from May to August in this database appeared more than 200 sites in Moscow.

Most of those withAitova started work only in 2014: for example, the site of the regional newspaper "Sviblovo", according to the Whois service (owned, dedicated domain registration company RU-Center), established on 13 June, and the newspaper "Teply Stan" - 29 April. There are more "old" sites: for example, online versions of newspapers "Orekhovo-Borisovo Yuzhnoye" and "Nagatino Gardeners" appeared in 2013, but "Yandex" they just joined this summer. Sami newspapers in paper form have existed for years - for example, "Orekhovo-Borisovo Yuzhnoye" received media license, according Roskomnazdora, back in 2009, "Sviblovo" - in 2003, "Teply Stan" - in 1994.

The representative of the RU-Center claims not to have noticed the influx of wanting to get a special domain for the local newspaper or a state institution.

Almost at the same time dozens of urban sites write about the same event - for example, participation in the forum Sobyanin "Culture. Looking into the Future "on October 15 with different headlines and added" texture. " These news stories form - as "Yandex" called news clips about the same event. For example, in pamkah story "Sergei Sobyanin opened the international forum" Culture. Looking to the future "in the search engine home page of the site turned out to be a message of the Basmanny district council.

Working in unison, not accidental, the source told RBC among regional newspaper publishers, and a source close to the "Yandex". According to them, the officials of the government of Moscow tested a new technology vzimodeystviya with the search engine.

"On the creation of sites for" Yandex "has been given a week", - says the manager of one of the companies that publish regional and district Moscow newspaper. He knows about the creation of 135 such sites or news feeds on the already existing resource, serving files for newspapers. Directly Moscow government has not spent a dime, he says; however, local newspapers are often financed from the budget: "In a paper released in the month an average of 60 thousand rubles.. - These funds are insufficient to create websites and maintain them. Each site took 20 thousand. Rub., Not counting staff salaries. " Himself manager participated in the launch of several dozen such sites in May, news feeds them leadonly six people, each of them receives about 35 thousand. rub. per month. "All this is a burden," - he concludes.

Interviewees RBC chief editors and newspaper owners have confirmed that in May launched sites for the regional press, and then connect them to the "Yandex". Co-owner and chief editor of the united editorial board of "Creative Information and Publishing Center" (publishes newspapers in the North-Western Administrative District of Moscow) Tamara Shorin said that in May, her company has set up 10 sites of the newspapers for news content they meet five people. In the spring of 17 sites that existed as a regional newspaper archives in the Northeastern District, there were news feeds, confirmed the deputy chief editor of LLC "United revision Star Boulevard" Irina Ilyina. Another 40 Internet resources opened Ltd. "TV Falcon 21" (publisher of newspapers in almost all districts of Moscow, as stated on the website), co-owner Yevgeny admitted Shaggy company. None of them confirmed that the Moscow authorities to execute the order.

competent ConsulAntes

"We thought that after the elections [in the Moscow City Duma, held on September 14] at least reduce the rate of [works], but they only grow", - said the source in one of the publishing companies. He provided a copy of the RBC regulations, according to which the rewriting and publishing Send news was given 2.5 hours before, and now - 40 minutes. News, he says, sends OJSC "Moscow Information Technology" (MIT): "On average, with the MIT-mail we receive news in the 2-3 day - mainly on the activities of the mayor Sobyanin. News should be rewritten so that they hit the "Yandex". And a few people sit and rewrite the same news for several tens of sites. "

The site of MIT says that the company was established February 24, 2004 by the Moscow government decree №97-PP "for the purpose of information support of large urban projects." MIT CEO Alexander Shelukhin on request RBC did not answer.

Department of Information Technology September 22 the capital reported that Sobyanin and CEO "Yandex" Arkady Volozh "approved adygeShade of measures to be implemented in 2014-2015 in cooperation with the Government of Moscow, Russia's largest Internet company. " In the same communication, with reference to Sobyanin noted that the parties' will to develop cooperation in the field of information about the most important events in the city ":" To this end, a search aggregator "Yandex. News "will be connected approximately 200 information tapes Moscow authorities".

In late September, the group "Anonymous International" circulated on the Internet the content of its correspondence between the opened allegedly by members of MIT and presumably the deputy mayor of Moscow on issues of regional security and Information Policy Alexander Gorbenko. From the correspondence it implies that the official results were sent a weekly media monitoring, as well as recommendations and reports for the withdrawal of positive messages for the city authorities in the top "Yandex. News. " For example, in a letter dated 30 May contained a stepwise algorithm for the inclusion of sites in the search engine "Yandex system. News "and the presentation of the preliminary results againescheniya information materials in 33 federal and municipal resources, 348 the government of Moscow and 138 sites of district and regional newspapers.

Confirm the authenticity of this correspondence from a representative of the city government failed: Gorbenko and the head of the Mayor and the Moscow government press service Gulnara Penkova did not respond to phone calls RBC.

MIT CEO Alexander Shelukhin declined to comment on the phone and on the written request of RBC did not answer.

"Yandex" - not the media

Officials are trying to get access to "Yandex" the audience for several years. As told earlier the interlocutors RBC, people of the Russian presidential administration came into office searcher summer of 2008, shortly after the war in South Ossetia. Then the first deputy head of the AP Vladislav Surkov and the deputy chief of department of internal policy of President Konstantin Kostin interested in the principle of news aggregator "Yandex". "I called to tell how to construct news. I briefly explained how news stories are collected in plots which fKtorov affect the rankings, what principles are selected for posts and annotations for the title "- recalled the former head of" Yandeks.Novosti "Leo Gershenzon. He showed screenshots related to the war in Georgia: "It was important to explain why a couple of references to the Georgian media in the story about Georgia from 15 - it's not terrible, but okay." Surkov, he said, the move said, "That's what we do not need, it is our enemies." Surkov himself told RBC that does not remember this episode.

In April this year, President Vladimir Putin said at a media forum of the Popular Front, said that "Yandex" started out as a project with Western influence, and the Internet in general - "a special project of the CIA." In late May, MP Andrei Lugovoi asked the Prosecutor General to check the activities of "Yandex": he demanded to equate the media search engine. If it aggregates the news and analysis of leading Russian and foreign media, he must abide by the rules that apply to the media, said the deputy.

But just as in July the prosecutor's office said that "as a result of violations of the inspection zakonodatelsIslands of the media company is not established. " Subject recognition of "Yandex" the media and the changes in the legislation concerning the regulation of the work of search engines is no longer relevant, told RBC a source close to the presidential administration, and confirmed the source close to the leadership of the State Duma. The reasons they did not explain.

Perhaps the search engine left alone, because they found a way to Technical vzaimodeystovat with him, suggested a source in one of the Internet companies.

The chief editor of the news publication Meduza Galina Timchenko does not believe that you can easily circumvent the mechanism of "Yandex. News. " "If" Yandex "will close it, he will be able to clean up its own algorithm, and all their efforts will fly into the pipe. Cheat "Yandex" is possible, but a very short time "- she said. "If one loophole found, and will find another when needed country-wide scale", - says the manager of one of the Internet companies. He believes that the repetition of such a scheme on the federal level, "Yandex" is not insured.

"We closely monitor the quality of servicebut also pay attention to the optimization attempts. If the quality suffers, always taking measures ", - said the head of RBC" Yandex service. News »Tatiana Isayeva, commenting on the story with the news Sobyanin. It does not explain how the "Yandex. News "will change the algorithm to keep track of the news:" Parts counter falsificating we do not disclose. " Press Secretary of "Yandex" Asya Melkumova added that attempts to introduce a search engine misleading company faced many times: shops are trying to break out of the top "Yandex. Market ", the drivers are trying to optimize" Yandeks.Taksi "etc., but" Yandex "find ways to establish" ecosystem. "

How to get to the top, "Yandex"

What is a "Yandex. News"

"Yandex. News "- automatic news aggregator, created by the company" Yandex ". In the first half of 2014. Materials Mediation passed about 6 thousand online publications, 4,6 thousand of them -.. From Russia.

To get to the top news stories of "Yandex" - meanst have access to a large number of readers. Audience "Yandex. News, "more than any media in Russia: according to TNS Russia, the site in August, was attended by almost 22 million people aged 12-64 years; Compare RBC audience in the same month amounted to 13.8 million, the site "Russia Today" (formerly RIA Novosti) - 13.17 million, Lenta.ru - 10.9 million five major news "Yandex" and shows. its main site.


To connect to a "Yandex. Novosti ", the sites submitted. Content Manager "Yandex" verifies that the requirements of the aggregator sites: whether they have news and analysis, do not violate the laws if they, whether commercially available. With the last moderation sites signed an agreement on information cooperation and connect to the partner base. Money from sites "Yandex" does not take.

The aggregator can get not only the media, but also the sites of state structures. Messages from these sites on a par with the media texts are combined into stories - news clips about the same event. If many partners "Yandex. newsshe "will publish texts on the same theme, the plot will grow and may appear on the" Yandex front page. "

Three indicators

News ranked automatically: moderator and editor-in service is not, say the "Yandex". The algorithm focuses on three main indicators - the number of messages on the event, the weight of the media who wrote about it, as well as the intensity of the flow of messages (what they write times per minute, more important than what is written about every two hours). If the event in a short period of time get a lot of messages from different media, among which are publications of the federal scale, it is likely to fall into the top 5 news, "Yandex".

Dear sources

The top 5 are only the news of which wrote "different reputable sources," the press service of "Yandex", a list of their company did not disclose. At the official presentation of "Yandex. News "listed only ten most quoted sources in alphabetical order -" Gazeta.ru, "Interfax, TASS," Kommersant "," Komsomolskaya rightsand "Prime, RBC, RIA Novosti (" Russia Today ")," Rossiyskaya Gazeta "," Echo of Moscow ".

In "Yandex. News "is the algorithm to exclude the" doubles "- the same texts: that is, if all sources reprint the same text as the chances of its inclusion in the top 5 news," Yandex "will be small. What percentage of the text to be matched to the algorithm considers his "double", the company does not disclose.


To get to the top news stories of "Yandex" dream of almost all the Internet resources - it allows them to dramatically increase traffic. To do this, most sites employ specialists in search engine optimization (search engine optimization, SEO). SEO-managers see to it that the texts produced by "like" robot "Yandex", for example, contained a large number of keywords in the first paragraph, it would not be too long, and so on. D.

The purpose of "Yandex" - give users "an adequate picture of the news of the day." "Cases of abuse have been and will be, but we are always looking for new criteria for ranking, if the former is not Oprah herselfvdyvayut ", - he stressed the representative of" Yandex ".