All posts by Callie

Yandex: Google’s Russian Rival

The Russian Internet company Yandex has been popping up in tech industry news quite frequently. Yandex has the largest market share in Russia and is the third largest search engine market in the world. According to Search Laboratory’s infographic, Russia is a great ecommerce opportunity for foreign online retailers because they have the most internet users in Europe (more than 60 million). You may not have heard much about the company before, however you should take an interest in Yandex if you are an online marketer. Yandex is rapidly growing both in Russia and globally, and has been deemed the Google of Russia.

Yandex operates the largest search engine in Russia with almost 60% market share. They have over 95 million monthly users with more than 150 million active searches per day. While their main function is search, they offer a variety of other Internet services such as market, news, photos, videos, and blogs, making Yandex’s website even more appealing to its users.

Interested in advertising on Yandex? There are a few things about Yandex Direct that you should know first:

  • Yandex does not have Ad Groups
  • Ads are called Banners and Keywords are called Phrases
  • Different ads can be targeted to the same keyword sets
  • All Yandex ads are served in Russian
    • While Yandex does have a US search engine page in English, no search ads are served if they come from Yandex Direct
    • Location targeting is available worldwide but with more granular location targeting available for Russia, Ukraine, and CIS countries
    • Ad structure is 33 characters for ad title and 75 characters for ad text
    • Yandex only offers one display URL (unlike Google or Yahoo!Bing which offer 2 URLs)
    • Yandex’s main currency is “units” which is a Yandex specific currency. 1 unit= 30 RUR
    • Advertisers bid on ad placement differently depending on the desired position. The positions available are:
      • top, side (3 positions), or bottom of the page

Below is an image of Yandex’s search engine page with the different ad positions:



While Yandex may have some differences when compared to the search giant Google, it is gaining traction, and quickly. In Q2, Yandex had 239,000 active advertisers, a 6% increase from Q1. With Yandex’s continued success, more and more advertisers and searchers are frequenting the site to find information and to serve ads to potential customers.