Yandex Search Engine

Yandex was launched in 1997 by a Russian IT company, it is the largest search engine in Russia (with 64% market share, ranked eighth-largest in the world). The company also develops a number of Internet-based services and products. The home page has the highest traffic and has been rated as the most popular web site in Russia.  The interesting name Yandex can be explained as “Yet Another iNDEXer”.

The closest competitors of Yandex in the Russian market are Rambler and Although services like Google and Yahoo! are also used by Russians and have Russian-language interfaces, Google has about 21.8% of search engine generated traffic.  It is one of the few Non-English search engines to outperform Google in their own country. Probably its greatest advantage is its ability to incorporate the use of Russian inflections in its search queries. This makes it easier for Russian speakers to use; this is a primary function of all search engines.

Yandex has developed slowly over the last decade, having tripled its revenue by 2008 from its initial period. In March 2007 they incorporated an already established social network site into their portfolio. A further development in 2008 was the addition of the automatic Russian to English keyboard layout switcher software.  More recently, in May 2010 it was released an English only search engine.

The Yandex domination of Russia has been further aided by Mozzila Firefox 3.5 (and subsequent versions) using it as its default search engine rather than Google (as in most other countries).  Yandex have also developed a toolbar that works with the Firefox browser which is catered specifically with Russian users in mind.

Since 2001, they have conducted regular Internet search contests under the name of the “Yandex Cup” with several thousands of participants and valuable prizes.

The idea behind the internet search competition is getting the contestants to compete in finding the answers to set questions on the Internet.

On 6 July 2006, Yandex and the BBC simultaneously hosted a webcast which used viewers’ questions to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin. Yandex and the BBC dealt with the Russian-language and the English-language questions respectively. They have been represented by Aleksandr Gurnov, a famous Russian journalist and celebrity.

Yandex also offers photo-sharing and professional networking features similar in premise to Flickr and LinkedIn. As part of the Yandex campaign to promote the use of the internet in Russia, it has organized free Wi-Fi network with hotspots all over the country.

For more information about search marketing contact the Digital State.