Optimization 2020: what will be remembered for the main conference on search marketing

What has changed this year?

We moved everything online. We have dealt with digitalization successfully.

For the first time in 19 years (!) The conference was held completely online due to the pandemic. The organizing committee made a lot of efforts to preserve the atmosphere of the classic Optimization with its networking, discussions, exchange of business contacts. All participants actively communicated in Telegram chats (the messenger became the main platform for communication and navigation), received answers to questions, and rated the speakers. It is also planned to maintain the trend of the online format next year, so that as many participants as possible, including international specialists, can join the conference.

We made the conference open to everyone … and got a record 3000 registrations!

Anyone had open access to the Optimization-2020 broadcast. This allowed us to support the business, as well as expand the limits of Optimization’s capabilities: to discuss more questions from the audience, get acquainted with different points of view, and hear more practical advice. Recordings of talks are available for purchase.

Expert opinion

Natalya Khomutova, chief organizer of the Optimization conference, director of the Ashmanov & Partners Internet Marketing Academy:

khomtuova1.jpg“Classically, Optimization took 2 days in several streams. This year, taking into account the new online format, we made 3 days and 2 streams, dividing them for marketers and optimizers. For the first time, we added discussion panels to the sections. Having reduced the number of reports from four to three, we gave the moderator and speakers an opportunity to more comprehensively answer the audience’s questions.
For the first time, the Western SEO section consisted entirely of Western specialists. And Barry Schwartz and Dan Taylor took part in other sections together with Russian and Ukrainian specialists. This year the focus was on speakers from business, not agencies. If we saw that there are already speakers from the agency in the section, and another report with an interesting case is offered, the program committee recommended that a joint agency / inhouse report be made. “

What did you talk about at the conference? Briefly about the main

  • About promotion in search engines and search space

The conference was opened by Igor Ashmanov. In his speech, he emphasized that promoting a business on the Internet has become an extremely difficult activity today, and the solution may be a new principle of working with the entire search space, not limited to the site and issuance: promotion in services, aggregators, information platforms and other external resources. The topic of SSO (search space optimization) was not accidentally one of the main topics at the conference: experts and participants actively discussed the “dominance” in search results of search engine services, large sites, information platforms that make it difficult to reach the top positions for other sites that are “not so ”Like their big competitors.

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  • About the value of a quality product online

The pandemic has worked as a catalyst for the digitalization of business, reorienting industries online. Classic SEO and buying contextual advertising online are indispensable. When we talk about SEO promotion, we are talking about the quality of the offered product: can you articulate how you differ from competitors, what exactly is your offer? Is your product packaged well enough? Both large and small online businesses must have USP, differences, values.

  • About the main ranking factors in 2020

Mikhail Volovich and Olga Yudina (Search Analytics Laboratory “Ashmanov & Partners”) spoke about the research of ranking factors in search engines. Mikhail noted that the year turned out to be calm, and almost everything that was written in the research earlier remains in effect. The main trend remains the dominance of large players in the TOP-3, as well as sites with a large assortment. For many parameters in Yandex, the correlation with TOP-3 has reached the limit, while the average for TOP-30 is growing faster. Closer to the TOP-3 sites with mobile adaptive layout, turbo pages (Yandex) and AMR (Google). Olga shared case studies and showed how to use the research of ranking factors in practice. Mikhail presented several key forecasts for 2021:

Expert opinion

Mikhail Volovich, Head of the Search Analytics Laboratory:


“Yandex will carefully limit the benefits for the largest sites – small sites will have a chance to break through. Some parameters will be weakened (ICS, traffic, reference). There will be more hidden factors involved in ranking in the top-most positions. Site Authority (EAT) will grow on Google. HTTPS parameters, adaptive layout, some non-commercial factors will be strengthened. Turbo pages will gain traction in Yandex ”

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  • About cheating behavioral factors

Cheating is a hot topic. Within the framework of the round table, experts discussed that it is important for business to understand the risks of such a path, previously we wrote about this in detail here. Elena Pershina noted that according to internal Yandex surveys, this trend is observed among businesses. However, according to Denis Shubenko, the TOP in the SEO sphere changed by 70% several times over the year, simply because some cheaters were removed, while others appeared. Mikhail Slivinsky once again pointed out the actual existence of a problem with cheating, but did not confirm the adoption of decisive measures. Yandex’s main method of struggle is to use accurate tools to ignore fraudulent clicks. The question from Igor Ashmanov “what does Yandex think to do now about markups and the fight against it” remained unanswered, nevertheless, many will still be waiting for an answer. We will tell you more about this very soon in an interview with Mikhail Slivinsky.

Expert opinion

Mikhail Slivinsky, head of the Yandex webmaster service:


“We understand that any cheating is a problem for the quality of search, so we are making every effort to suppress this evil. We have a device with which we measure this evil and know how to fight it. We see good progress here, both by our instruments and in the context of discussions on Facebook: many SEOs say that cheaters have taken off. ”

  • SEO and business are inseparable

The realities are such that it is impossible to retouch business flaws by optimizing a site alone. It is necessary to build a business along all verticals – loyalty, logistics, work with reputation, etc. The love of search engines and the love of customers have become one for the business, and this should be accepted as a new philosophy for promoting a product online.

What kind of feedback did you get?

The opinion of the participants is important to us, so we asked the participants to rate all the content (the speaker and his report), each section (including the moderator) and the conference as a whole. According to the survey, more than 92% of the participants rated the conference as “excellent” and “good”. According to observations, most of all the participants liked the transfer to the online format, the mechanics of networking in Telegram, the level of content, sections and topics of reports. Many people lacked live communication in the spirit of Optimization. All feedback will be taken into account by the organizers for the next year.

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The level of the speakers remains at the highest level thanks to the careful work of the program committee. We call on the best experts in our industry, including search engine representatives, to give you the longest-running knowledge in search marketing.

Igor Ashmanov

What to expect from Optimization 2021?

The main question is, will the conference be publicly available? Answer: yes, the possibility of free participation will be preserved! The second most important issue concerns the online format: the organizers hope that the situation with the pandemic will be resolved by that time, which will allow the offline format to be returned. Still, I would like to feel the Optimization atmosphere again, talk personally with each expert, and get a charge of emotions. Since in 2020 the scale of participants has grown significantly, changes will also affect the conference program:

We are planning to expand the topic of the programs: we will cover the entire agenda of work with the search space, we will attract more relevant cases from experts from business. New faces, new companies will be invited to participate ”.

Natalia Isaykina, dDirector of Marketing and PR at “Ashmanov and partners

Follow our news so you don’t miss the start of preparations for Optimization-2021! Some videos from Optimization-2020 are already available on our channel, recordings of reports can be bought here. Subscribe to the blog – we will decipher the most interesting articles and put them in open access for reading.

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