Yandex, Russia’s most popular search engine, have announced themselves on the global stage by launching an English language search engine at www.yandex.com. According to sources at the Moscow Times, this is a move aimed at taking on Google.
The company’s announcement states that Yandex has been “indexing foreign websites and adding global content to its search results for two years already” with a total of 12-15% of all searches on Yandex made using Latin-alphabet based languages.
According to analysis from comScore, Yandex sits 7th overall in the number of searches conducted worldwide with a 91% growth from 2008 to 2009. This puts Yandex ahead of sites like Facebook and Ask.com in the volume of search queries conducted.
Initial feedback appears to be quite positive, with many praising both the quality and design of their search results.
Search engine land has an interesting quote from Duncan Morris about the quality of search results provided by Yandex,
Take for instance a search for “buy viagra online”, a hotbed of all that is bad on the internet. At the time of writing 3 of the top 5 results Google returns are from hacked .edu domains. It’s hard to look at viagra SERPS and not think spam, but Yandex returns the cleanest set of results I’ve seen for such a search.
It’s not clear if Yandex will use the site to compete with Google on a global stage, or if they plan on targeting Russian users searching in other languages. Either way, it’s another major search engine to keep your eye on.