Digital Marketing in Russia: State of Market, 2023

We all know that time never stands still - and continuous change is a fact, and the field of digital marketing is no exception. On this page we will try to cover the main current events in the world of digital marketing that have an impact on the success of your digital marketing campaigns.

Some business development opportunities are becoming more promising, while others, on the contrary, are disappearing into the shadows.

Stay tuned for content updates to always be up to date with the latest trends.


In Russia the two most popular search engines are Yandex and Google, usually the overall search traffic is split about equally between them. So, any significant changes in one SE will inevitably lead to changes in the other.

Since SEO remains one of the most financially profitable methods of reaching your target audience, it makes a lot of sense to pay attention to the dynamics between the most prominent players in the Russian-speaking regions.

  • Yandex. Since March 2022 users have been gradually preferring Yandex over Google when it comes to organic search. The increased search traffic and increased advertising volume (see Paid Search section for more information) means that Yandex SEO is both harder and more fruitful for your business.
  • Google. Since Google has suspended all types of advertising in Russia, SEO is the only way to make your presence in this search engine these days. To stay in the field of view of your potential customer, you need to double your organic SEO efforts as your competitors have probably done the same. Google still has a very significant market share so it is essential for your users to be able to see your company’s website in the search results, regardless of the suspending ads in Google.

SEO is a cost-effective, long-term and promising marketing channel. In times of unclear market situations, SEO is an indispensable part of the proper digital marketing campaign. Investing in this service or at least not suspending it will keep you afloat during this time.

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Paid Search

Now it is difficult to imagine the search results without advertising and a marketing campaign without an advertising budget. Since March 2022 Google has suspended all types of advertising in Russia, here is how the situation in the paid search market looks now.

  • Yandex. Due to the lack of Google advertising most of the ad budgets spilled into Yandex, which caused a rise in bids, they have almost doubled and the competition in the niches has increased. Currently Yandex is the most realistic source of paid traffic in the region.
  • Google. Now it is temporarily impossible to place paid advertising in Google for the Russian audience. That is, if you want to boost your visibility in Google, then organic SEO is the most viable option available at the moment.

Paid Search remains the fastest way to catch up with traffic to your site. Due to the drastic recent changes, advertising is becoming a little less accessible, it is worth considering alternative ways of gaining an influx to your resource - paid social, link building or influence marketing.

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Paid Social

Google’s suspension of advertising in Russia has a considerable effect not only on paid search in general, but on paid social dynamics as well. Some of the advertising budgets, previously allocated to Google, have been transferred to Russia’s most prominent social platforms, such as VK and Telegram.

  • Youtube. Being a part of Google, it is no longer showing ads in Russia. Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world and the service is very popular here. It has been a significant source of paid traffic for many companies before March 2022. We consider Youtube SEO, social media and influencer marketing to be the most fitting alternatives right now.
  • Paid advertising is temporarily unavailable on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. In addition, their blocking on the territory of Russia greatly reduced their audiences.
  • On the contrary, the audience of social platforms such as Telegram and VK has grown significantly. The segment of the audience who was previously avidly using other, now unavailable platforms, is following their favorite influencers in Telegram or VK.

As in the case with Paid Search ads, the budgets are being transferred into those social media channels, which are available for Russian-speaking users.

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Organic Social

While the sphere of advertising is experiencing certain changes, organic promotion in social media is also undergoing some changes. Сontent creators are looking for ways to meet and engage their audience in the ever changing social networks’ space.

  • For example, Telegram has become the leader in traffic volume growth in Russia and as a messenger it is now ahead of WhatsApp. As the popularity of this social network has increased dramatically in Russia, the organic promotion has become easier.
  • The same is true for VK. This social media platform has held the lion’s share of traffic before, and after blocking other social networks, has become the most popular in Russia.
  • Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have lost a significant part of their audiences due to the recent blocking of the platforms. Though, the strongest and most persistent bloggers continue to communicate with their audience and work on their organic growth.

And yet the ability to reach Russian clients without spending large budgets through social media is preserved nowadays. Сhoosing the right and suitable platforms, it is now quite possible to conduct your business without remaining in the shadows and without losing the audience.

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