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Yandex Launches Global Search Engine

Today, Yandex launched their long-awaited global search engine, They have now moved from being a Russian-only service to a global search player, competing in several country-markets.

As they state in the press release, this has been a long journey. I’ve been talking about this since 2008, when Yandex mentioned their plans at the conference.

The key issue is that Russians use Yandex for Russian searches but Google for international or English language searches. As a stop-gap measure Yandex placed links to other engines on the bottom of their pages, clearly more was needed to retain this traffic.

Yandex started building an index in languages other than Russian, first English German, French and Ukrainian. This has been widened now to 17 languages – Belorussian, Kazakh, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Bulgarian, Tatar, Czech, Polish, Romanian and Catalan.

Yandex are keen to stress this new service is testing new algorithms for global search and not pitched at one particular audience, i.e. Europe or America. They admit that there will always be competition between search engines where they operate. For today [my emphasis] these are Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

It’s hard not to see this as a threat to other search engines. ComScore rated Yandex the fastest growing search engine this year. In July 2009 they were recorded as having 1.2 billion searches. Tiny compared to Google with 76 billion, but greater than AOL (1 billion), Facebook (879m) and equal to Ask (1.2 billion).

Comparing them to other “Google-killers” such as the infamous, it’s hard not to get excited about their chances. This isn’t a start-up but an established company with a substantial technological and financial base to work from. In the Russian market they have not only fought off Google but increased market share over the last 3 years.

The information on and their choice of English logo does little to dispel rumours of ambitions beyond Russia and its neighbouring countries.

Our major goal is to provide answers to any questions our users may have. is the answer for anyone searching for relevant information in one of the European languages.

This is clearly a shot over the bow of Google. And yes, they should be worried.

Update: Exploring the New Yandex Index

About Anna Wilsdon

Nick Wilsdon works as a Content and Digital Strategy Consultant He manages online campaigns for the UK's leading telecom, finance and FMCG brands.


  1. Interesting and I would have to say that im actually starting to see traffic to my site so its not just a show it actually works.

    For each query you are able to use a feedback form on the right side. So i’m interested to see how they manage to process all the feedback and will it make a difference in time.

  2. Nick Wilsdon says

    @Scotia Systems

    Yes their webmaster tools system is very good. We use that already – but of course we have the advantage of understanding Russian (we are based in Moscow). It would be great to see Yandex translate that system plus their keyword tools and PPC system (Yandex Direct).

    I’ll be checking those systems though – it will be very interesting to see if they are working with all this new non-Russian data.

  3. Nick Wilsdon says


    Thanks for commenting. Yes that looks like quite a manual approach. They actually deal with spam in much the same way – report a site and usually within 2 weeks they will act on the information.

    However link buying is not seen as an infringement of Yandex rules so they only really ban sites with malware or deceptive user practices. We’ve heard about penalties for link buying/selling but can’t confirm these.

  4. Excellent, I’ve been playing around with Yandex a bit today, and I’m quite impressed. It certainly shows better results than Bing

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