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Traffic arbitrage

How to select keywords using Yandex Wordstat — beginner's guide

Yandex Wordstat is a service where you can collect user search queries. With its help, you can gather a semantic core for SEO promotion or contextual advertising setup.
What does Wordstat allow you to do?

  • Analyze Yandex users' interests in various products and services.
  • Evaluate the popularity of specific queries over a certain period of time.
  • View the distribution of queries by GEO (countries and cities).

How to gather keywords?

To get started with Wordstat, you need a Yandex account. Create one or log in to your existing account. After that, navigate to the Wordstat service page. Its interface is straightforward: there's a field where you need to enter the query of your interest (word or phrase), and filters for words or regions. Yandex displays results regardless of word case and number. The service doesn't differentiate between queries like "sports betting" and "betting on sports." Then, click the "Find" button.

What does the result look like? You receive a forecast based on the analysis of search queries over the past 30 days. Note that the list is formed only from Yandex data (so for gathering semantics for Google, you'll need to use other services). As an example, let's input the query "traffic arbitrage" and take a look at the results.
Left Column: This column displays the frequency of the entered primary keyword phrase and other queries that contain it. The highest number is at the top position, encompassing all subsequent numbers.

Right Column: It contains similar queries (according to Yandex) and their frequencies. You can choose suitable contextually relevant keywords from these suggestions and include them in your selection.

Frequency: The number indicates how many times users have entered this query in the last 30 days. Please note that this metric takes into account activities such as position checking services, grouping keywords, influence of search factors, etc. Thus, this number is not absolute and should be considered only as an approximate value.

Yandex Wordstat operators

You can specify the accuracy of the query for which statistics are collected. To do this, you need to use operators — special symbols that define the type of match.

  • Minus Operator: The symbol '-' will help exclude a specific word from your query. If you input 'Traffic arbitrage -beginning', all phrases containing the word 'beginning' will be removed from the results.
  • Plus Operator: The symbol '+' allows you to specify the mandatory inclusion of a certain word in the analysis of advertising output. Usually, Yandex ignores prepositions, conjunctions, and the exact meaning of the query. So, if you enter the phrase "Traffic arbitrage +with +what to start" in Wordstat, you will see results that include the phrase "with what."

  • Exclamation Mark: The symbol '!' sets the condition for exact inclusion of the keyword in the query. It looks like this: "!Arbitrage !traffic" excludes words like "arbitrage," "traffic," etc. from the analysis.

  • Square Brackets: Enclose your query in '[]', and you will define the word order that Wordstat must consider. For example, "[Traffic arbitrage]" will show keyword phrases where these words are only in that order.

  • Quotation Marks: The symbol '""' specifies the number of words that are considered in the search output. For example, the query "Traffic arbitrage" leaves a list that contains only phrases with exactly two words.

Filtering the results

Under the search bar in Wordstat, there are buttons that allow you to filter the obtained queries. You can view statistics for users on desktops (PCs and laptops), all mobile devices, smartphones, or tablets separately. This will help you choose the most suitable keywords for setting up advertising campaigns for a specific target audience.
Additionally, Yandex allows you to set a filter by GEO: to do this, check the 'By regions' checkbox. The service gathers data from all countries, regions, and cities where there are users of the search engine. The search results show frequency and regional popularity. While the frequency is clear without further explanation, the second metric represents the level of interest from users in this region within the overall output. For example, if the metric is 100%, this region doesn't stand out among others, but if it's more than 100%, then the user interest in the query is elevated.

The 'Query history' tab illustrates how user interest has changed over time. The data can be divided into time periods, devices, and regions.

Wordstat and Direct Commander

You can obtain a list of keywords not only manually. Yandex provides the option to use Direct Commander — a program for collecting semantics and managing advertising campaigns.
To gather keyword queries using it, you need to:

  1. Launch Direct Commander and log in to your Yandex account.
  2. Create a campaign and add an ad group.
  3. Go to the 'Keyword suggestions' tab.

Essentially, this provides you with an equivalent of Wordstat in the form of separate software. One of its advantages is the ability to pre-specify negative keywords. After collecting and filtering search queries, you can export the results into a .csv file. The compiled core will be present in the 'Phrase (with negative keywords)' column.
"What are the benefits of using Direct Commander?

  • It's free.
  • There's no risk of inflating artificial semantics (i.e., queries from position tracking services, keyword grouping, etc.).
  • Lower cost per click (through optimization of the search query base).
  • Increased ad click-through rate (by effectively categorizing ads based on the collected semantics and their text).

Plugins and programs for keyword collection

The drawback of Wordstat is that you won't see all collected phrases at once. Only 50 queries are displayed on a single page, and you need to navigate through new pages. Hence, it's better to use third-party browser plugins and standalone programs to streamline your work. What options are suitable?

  • Yandex Wordstat Assistant: A Google Chrome plugin that speeds up the process of collecting search phrases. With the 'Add' or 'Add all' buttons, you can retrieve the entire list of phrases, which can be copied into a spreadsheet editor for further work.
  • Wordstarter: This plugin adds an interaction field with Wordstat, enabling you to create and save projects, set negative keywords, collect search phrases, and export them to ad constructors. Based on the acquired queries, you can quickly switch to Yandex Direct for ad campaign budget forecasting.
  • Key Collector: A standalone paid program that parses keywords from Yandex (and beyond). It requires accounts in search networks and some time for operation. Additionally, Key Collector offers extra functions like keyword grouping and stop-word removal.
  • AllSubmitter: A versatile tool for SEO specialists. Apart from keyword selection, it allows website registration, backlink analysis, content uniqueness checks, and more.

Tips and hints

  • Refine your query. To avoid unnecessary search phrases, use the '-' operator to remove irrelevant terms. Also, make sure to utilize GEO filters.
  • Group collected keywords based on characteristics such as meaning, regional relevance, etc.
  • Avoid using pre-made lists of negative keywords.Create them yourself.
  • Remember the seasonality of queries. For instance, interest in sunblock cream rises toward the end of spring and declines by autumn. Therefore, assessing such keywords should involve the 'Query history' feature, which compiles statistics over the past two years.


Wordstat is a convenient tool for gathering search queries in Yandex. The service enables anyone to compile their own set of phrases, which can be used for SEO promotion or contextual advertising. However, remember that you'll achieve optimal results by combining Wordstat with other tools.