Yandex Islands: Interactive Snippets: A Webmasters Worst Nightmare?

Jun 7, 2013 • 8:10 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Search Engines

YandexYandex, Russia's most popular search engine, announced the launch of a beta of their Yandex "Islands" or as they describe it "interactive snippets," yesterday in Turkey.

In short, interactive snippets lets searchers complete their goals directly in the search results. Be it booking a flight, getting tickets to the movies, buying products and so on. Yandex doesn't want you to have to go to a web site listed in their index to do so, they want you to buy it directly in the search results.

Yandex Islands - Movies

Good for the user? Bad for the webmaster and site owner?

Watch their very powerful video:

Supposedly you can play with it at

Webmasters should be able to participate by using these specifications.

I am telling you, if Google did this, we would all go mad with anger. Of course, it does seem like Google, Bing and other search engines are heading this way. Yandex was the first to fully admit it.

Update: Here is a statement from Yandex:

It is not our goal to become a substitute for full-fledged online services by providing interactive snippets. What we suggest to web developers and publishers is nothing but conversion improvement via interactive snippets that will help users to start solving tasks right on the search results page. The completion of tasks such as seat selection during flight check-in or fridge model selection in online shop will take users to the web service's site anyway. Website owners are free to decide whether their website or service needs an interactive snippet on the search results page, how the interactive feature should look and what web page a user should land on for completion of a task.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Marc Levy

06/07/2013 12:34 pm

I'm not sure 'everyone' would go mad with anger if Google did something like this. For sure many webmasters would prefer more control and for these actions to be happening on site, but i'm pretty sure many people feel Google are on a path to offering what Yandex is but only from it's own properties (which it is buying up) and selected partners. This seems like a far more 'two sided' solution. I'm still not convinced how this plays out in reality, especially in a crowded SERP full of these types of options, but it's certainly an interesting concept.


06/07/2013 12:40 pm

You must not work with advertisers. This could do a lot of damage to a site, more so advertisers and clicks on said adverts. IMHO.

Marc Levy

06/07/2013 12:59 pm

Completely agree with you on that, but not 'everyone' earns through advertising. Google is essentially moving in this direction anyway, trying to provide as much of 'an answer' in the SERPs as possible, but atm, they are the ONLY one gaining from it.


06/07/2013 01:03 pm

Touche. *shrugs* It just seems like one of those things that people will either love or hate. I couldn't see Google doing this, at least to such extent though. Let's hope, for the webmaster's sake though.


06/07/2013 01:49 pm

if that goes far, webservices (like hotel booking) will probably share revenue with search engine per transaction made exactly from interactive snippet? Pretty similar to how Apple's Safari has been monetizing using search bar. Will clearly change game on revenue model

Praveen Sharma

06/07/2013 03:47 pm

This will make people go mad who are earning with incoming traffic on their websites. Search engines are coming up with new concepts and ideas everyday and SMEs are left with no other option than to re-code their websites as per search engine's choice irrespective of what they personally want. One day these search engines gonna change the concept of having a website for sure.


06/07/2013 04:00 pm

Didn't they state that you could remove the functionality and had total control of it as a webmaster if you didn't want it?


06/07/2013 07:44 pm

There goes my job!


06/08/2013 01:49 pm

I don't know if this is necessarily all good, but to me it doesn't seem so bad because as the Yandex representative explained, the visitor ultimately lands on the site utilizing the islands markup. This in some ways behaves like the breadcrumb or sitelinks that Google displays in search results. So Yandex is actually helping your visitors find information on *your* site faster. With Google things are a bit different because their goal is to help visitors find *your* information on *their* site faster. For example, they are not displaying forms in their search results that ultimately lead to an information page on the webmaster's site. Instead they are displaying the actual info in their own search results like they do with information from the Wikipedia website.

or zilberman

06/09/2013 06:50 am

Don't forget one more thing beside the ads. Many websites have done a great deal of conversion optimization to raise both the conversions but also the value of transactions. Many people make you but more or upgraded versions from the website after implementing a long process to make it like that. By letting Google and yandex take over the whole process up to the thank you page you lose a lot of the process that will maybe drop conversion rates but most likely drop transaction value.


11/11/2013 04:40 am

I'm from Russia. Yandex it is very bad search system. Use Google or Bing.

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