Yandex – The biggest search engine you’ve never heard of

Yandex is a Russian search engine and an internet portal attracting a monthly audience of more than 54 million users from all over the world (comScore, November 2010). Yandex Search is the leader in Russia processing over 64% of search queries. Yandex is also present in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine serving 37%, 25% and 26% of searches in these countries, correspondingly.

Yandex was launched in 1997. Its name can be explained as “Yet Another iNDEXer” (yandex) or “Языково́й (language) Index”. The Russian word “Я” (“Ya”) corresponds to English personal pronoun “I”, making “Яndex” a bilingual pun on “index”; another pun is based on yin and yang contrast (Russian: инь – индекс, ян – яндекс).

According to research studies conducted by TNS, FOM, and Comcon, Yandex is the largest resource and largest search engine in the Russian Internet market, based on audience size and internet penetration. Yandex currently has over 10 billion web pages indexed and is the eighth largest search engine in the world.

The closest competitors of Yandex in the Russian market are Rambler and Although services like Google and Yahoo! are also used by Russian users and have Russian-language interfaces, Google has about 21.8% of search engine generated traffic, whereas Russian sites (including Yandex) have around 63.4%. Yandex is therefore one of the national non-English-language search engines (with among others Naver, and Baidu) that outrun Google in their countries.

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

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. Yandex was represented by Aleksandr Gurnov, a famous Russian journalist and celebrity.

It has a google-like sparseness to its English language home page HERE

yandex biggest russian search engineThis Yandex page is the most visited in Russia

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Posted by on January 14, 2011. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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5 Responses to Yandex – The biggest search engine you’ve never heard of

  1. A Michael J. Scott

    January 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    There is a significant difference between Google and Yandex. That always comes as a surprise.

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