Sorcerers of Yandex and Google: what it is and how it affects your reputation

Search engines have always sought to provide fast, simple and maximally relevant answers to users’ questions. To this end, various algorithms and tools were created. That’s how the search engines came up with sorcerers. Back in 2005 Google presented a special search elements One-Box, and in 2006 appeared first sorcerer Yandex – module to work with color. It was planned that with them the search would become easier.

However, a problem arose: the answers of sorcerers began to affect the reputation of the company, and therefore – and the buyer, his decision to buy the service or product. So, for example, by swiping card services, they display user reviews right in the output. Snippets sorcerers in addition, visually different from other links and catches the eye. The user looks less organic extradition and loses motivation to go to the sites of the brands themselves.

Today there are about a dozen sorcerers in the search engines. Is it possible to influence them and how to control the reputation of the business online? We will tell you more about this below.

What is the relationship between witchdoctors and reputation management?

Let’s take the standard reputation query “brand + reviews.” In a typical search query, out of the top 4 positions, 2 are taken by Yandex.Zen and Yandex.Q witchdoctors. Yandex.Neighborhood and Yandex.Maps also appear on the first page.

Note that our example Yandex.Maps pulls up a negative review, so it is dangerous not to work with reputation in this service. And, of course, on the first screen of the output we see a snippet of Yandex.Video with content on request.

It becomes clear that we should by no means ignore the witchdoctors in the output. You must learn to monitor and influence them, and thus control results.

Opinion of the expert

Vladislav Sinchugov, head of SMM & ORM department of “Ashmanov and Partners”:

Владислав Синчугов

Do you want to monitor your branded search results? Don’t forget to enable incognito mode, so that the search results are not distorted. Otherwise, the results will be incorrectly interpreted, because the search engine output is personalized. Sites that you visit more often than others, in your output will be at a higher position, while others may not appear at all. Therefore, always use incognito mode or specialized tools, such as Promo Pult.

How to monitor witchdoctors and influence them in Yandex?


To answer these questions, you need to understand who decides what will appear in extradition, and who controls sorcerers. Yandex, for example, has a technology called Blender. It provides ranking and embeds blocks of vertical searches – pictures, videos, product offerings – in the search results. Blender determines which wizard will appear in the output. Example: the query “blue color.

Blender evaluates the query index: it may show 3 wizards in a row, or may bring them to only 5-6-7 positions. Which of them is more popular according to the query indicator from the point of view of Yandex, that one will be higher. In fact, Yandex does not steal positions, which he is regularly accused of, but adds new ones, in the form of snippets. Of course, this increases the temptation for the user to go straight from the search to Yandex services. But sorcerers do not take away positions from your site, although it may make it less attractive to navigate.

Opinion of the expert

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Vladislav Sinchugov, head of SMM & ORM at Ashmanov & Partners:

Владислав Синчугов

Not resenting Yandex witchdoctors, you may not notice their essence. Thanks to them, the search results become more controllable: sites under your control are swept into it. What can not be said about the sites, feedback and forums, which accumulate negative, which you can not affect. Debunk myths on Yandex.Q, write rebuttals with evidence on Yandex.Zen, handle negativity on Yandex.Maps – there are many possibilities. Create and control your reputation with your own hands.

Work with reputation in Yandex.Q.

This service will help your organization create a reputation as an expert. We recommend that you start a card of your company on this sorcerer. To do this, just go to Q, click on “Organizations” and fill out your profile.

Be sure to make a nice cover, specify all the information about the company to the maximum. And create a profile of a spokesperson who will answer questions about your company. He can be a real person or a collective image – it does not matter. But he should have his first and last name, as this arouses trust.

Expert’s opinion

Vladislav Sinchugov, head of SMM & ORM at Ashmanov & Partners:

Владислав Синчугов

A business can hire an agency, a freelancer, or any other contractor to handle the reputation at Q. The contractor has to set up and fill out a profile, and monitor appropriate questions. This is conveniently done with the help of a bot in Telegram: messages will arrive there every time a question on your topic is asked. Depending on the complexity, these questions will be answered either by the contractor or by the client himself from the official representative’s profile.

Q also gives you the ability to work with negativity if it suddenly appears on branded issues. An official representative can bring clarity to a disputed situation, convey his view of the situation and try to influence the person’s opinion. In Q you can answer not only the question itself, but also the answers to it, this should be used to dispel myths and misconceptions about the company.

Links can be placed on Q to help illustrate the answer or to provide additional information. Proper use of links will build a company’s reputation as an expert with a wealth of information. But you can not place links to the answer itself or its direct continuation, it is undesirable to use a link cutter – Yandex wants the user to see where he is invited. More about Q and promotion in it we told in a separate article.

Working with reputation in Yandex.Zen

Zen is prominent for both branded and reputational queries. On this site there is a high level of engagement – users switch from feeds to channels, comment and get likes. Most of them are residents of large cities over 25 years: 52% of women, 48% of men.

Among the interests of the audience in the first place is construction and repair. If your niche generally fits the interests of the Zen audience, start a channel and tell what you are an expert in. Through the channel, you can debunk myths and rumors and build a reputation as an expert.

For example, tell the case of Ashmanov and Partners (the brand is kept secret due to NDA). The company is a large producer of special equipment and runs a channel on YouTube. It would seem that who would read about it? But there is a highly specialized audience: drivers of forklifts, large machines, etc. We made a series of articles specifically for this audience: what is the difference between open and closed hydraulic systems, how to service elements of the air filter. People reacted, asked questions on the subject, and thanked for the useful information. Respect for the company as an expert increased.

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When creating reputation articles, it’s best to point out problems in the headlines and help solve them in the text. Include the word “reviews” in the title of the article if you want to work off the negativity that has appeared online about you.

Working with reputation in Yandex.Maps

Your business is like on the palm of your hand. Everything about you is there: photos, reviews, ratings – and all of this influences the opinion about you. Therefore it is necessary to register in Maps and follow your reputation in their search space.

Who needs to put themselves in Maps?

In general, Karta has a huge audience: it uses more than 50 million people a month, 46% of them are from Moscow and the region, 47% of them are aged 25-34. And almost half of the search engine users choose a company to buy products/services from map services (Yandex. Maps, Google Maps, 2 GIS). Reputation work here has a clear focus on B2C. Maps publishes reviews from ordinary users, without requiring confirmation that they have actually used the services of the business in question.

Maps appear in searches not only when people search for the address of an organization, but also with the queries “where to buy steel pipes in bulk”, “where to buy flowers in Strogino” and so on. In this case, in the issuance of the card companies. After the profile is 100% complete and has passed the moderation check, the sign “the information is confirmed by the owner” will appear in your snippet, which arouses the trust of the users.

Typical mistakes when working with reputation in geoservices

The rating of a company in Yandex.Maps is not an arithmetic average of users’ assessments: it is influenced by more than 800 parameters. Read more about the rating in Yandex.Maps and how to improve it here.

Your expert opinion

Vladislav Sinchugov, head of SMM & ORM at Ashmanov & Partners

Владислав Синчугов

Don’t forget to respond to negative reviews – this is an important rating factor, even if the negatives are outdated. Responding to positive feedback does not affect your rating yet, but we suggest responding to it as well. Filling out all the fields in the company card also has a positive effect on the rating. And be sure to confirm the rights to the organization, so that no one but you can edit the card, otherwise it can be used by competitors. The rules for placing a company card and the procedure for confirming rights are described in detail in the official Yandex help.

General recommendations for working with Yandex sorcerers

So, it is important to register everywhere, to update the cards, specify all affiliates and maximum information. We recommend setting up automatic monitoring and media analysis by means of Brand Analytics, YouScan, etc., which help track and analyze mentions in social networks and mass media. In addition, manual monitoring or separate automatic monitoring of geoservices should be conducted with the help of Toweco or Repometr tools, which allow you to work with reviews on the main sites.

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Be sure to communicate with the administration of the sites about removing negative reviews. There is an approved procedure for communicating with Yandex, through which you can get the negative feedback removed. Read about how to get rid of fake negative reviews here.

Respond as quickly as possible to negative feedback from the official representative’s profile or company account according to the site’s rules. Don’t forget to be thankful for positive reviews.

Learning how to deal with reputation in Google witch hunters

The situation is different here. Google sorcerers are less intrusive, there are fewer of them in search results than Yandex. That said, Google search loves the competition! For example, it often happens that Google shows Yandex.Maps or 2GIS, while GoogleMars does not.

Importantly, there are far fewer Google sorcerers than Yandex, although there are quite a few in general. On the one hand, this is a plus – the search results are cleaner and more honest. But there is a disadvantage: you have less controllable positions, you can not make your Q or Zen, and through them to influence results.

GoogleMyBusiness snippet is essentially a business card. It has a lot of information (address, hours of operation, website), and it also pulls in reviews. The organization creates its GoogleMyBusiness profile, which automatically goes into Google search and GoogleMaps. Be sure to fill out the profile completely and get access to all your locations (branches). Don’t forget to post pictures! Your GoogleMyBusiness profile will give you stats on calls, route searches, website conversions, and other user activity in your business profile. Importantly, there’s also feedback to respond to. Right in your profile you can post events, updates, special offers, giving users a positive impression of your activities.

In parallel with Google My Business there are geoservices GoogleMaps (an analogue of Yandex.Maps, where you can mark companies, lay out routes) and Local Pack. The latter is a wizard with a map over organic search results. It is formed by the Google search algorithm, recognizing the local intent of the query, and the user can not designate the geography of the search

General tips on working with Google sorcerers

Google is not as actively promoting its standard sorcerers as Yandex. That said, unlike Yandex, you can go straight to YouTube from the video sorcerer, because YouTube, as we know, is closely connected with Google. The general principles of working with Google sorcerers are similar to Yandex: create an organization profile, create a positive impression with content, information and photos in the profile, motivate customers to write positive reviews, promptly respond to negativity.


  • There is no need to be afraid of witchdoctors – you have to work with them. This is a reputational tool that you have to learn how to work with.
  • With the help of sorcerers, you can work with the negativity, pull up reviews and attract a specialized audience.
  • You need to register a spokesperson and actively communicate with users of services that involve such communication.
  • Don’t leave negativity without a reaction! Explain the situation, try to convince if not the author of the review, then the audience to change their opinion. Try to remove fake reviews through the administration of the site.


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