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When we think of search engines targeting new territories, we tend to focus on the western giants. The likes of Google and their worldwide domination can sometimes overshadow that of what’s happening in other countries, or to be more accurate, it can overshadow the development and progression of other search engines.
Well for Yandex, the Russian search engine, its looks as though they’re heading west, slowly but surely. With plenty of developments to mention, there’s a good reason to stand up and take notice of what’s happening eastwards.
Off the back of a successful IPO, which is the biggest internet float since Google in August 2004 [See: Yandex Follow LinkedIn with Massive IPO Valuation], the Russian search engine managed to generate $1.3 billion. The money has been put towards securing its position in Russia whilst expanding into new markets. According to Andy Atkins-Kruger, writing in Search Engine Land, there have been plenty of developments to suggest this.
At present Yandex command two thirds of the Russian market, with 40 million unique visitors a month and 2.3 billion searches per month. In securing its position in Russia, they have struck a deal with the fourth largest search engine in the market. Rambler, who has lost much of its market share to Google have teamed up with Yandex, a move that will certainly strengthen their position.
Secondly, Yandex have released their own webmaster tools, something useful for all international search markets, especially English users. Data from their website can be accessed to use for all things SEO, such as indexing, crawler issues, links etc.
Thirdly, the Russian search engine has appeared to be taking market share from Google in the Eastern European markets. These are markets that use Cyrillic characters, but still represent an ideal opportunity for the search engine to break into the international markets. For example, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus are all countries where Yandex have closed the gap on Google’s stranglehold.
For Atkins-Kruger, this is a sign of things to come, where Yandex will potentially take on more Eastern European countries, notably Turkey. Whilst there’s no way of telling how successful they’re going to be at conquering the Eastern European markets, it does make a nice change to have another big player on board. We will keep an eye out on their movements to see how they grow and develop.