Economy, Sci & Tech

Yandex Loses to Google in Russia

Yandex Loses to Google in Russia
Yandex Loses to Google in Russia

Yandex, the Russian search engine which was keen to enter Iran, has been outdone in its own market, according to a new Russian media report.

In terms of monthly audience in Russia, Google has now beaten the incumbent, while the Russian search giant is keeping its leadership in terms of daily audience, TNS reported.

During the month of April 2016, according TNS data cited by Russian business daily Vedomosti, 20.5 million people used Google at least once in Russia, whether on computers or mobile devices.  The US company was slightly ahead of Yandex (20.4 million monthly users), and (19.3 million).

Yandex remained the leader in terms of daily audience accessing its services from all types of devices, with 12.3 million people using at least one of its services within a 24-hour period.

The social network ranked second with 12.1 million users and Google finished in third place with 11 million users per day in average in April 2016.

TNS, which is widely viewed in Russia as the reference for web audience measurement, has published consolidated desktop and smartphone data for the first time.

Google’s traction is particularly strong among mobile users, with 16.35 million users accessing its services via apps or web mobile in April 2016 compared to 13.73 million for Vkontakte and 13.38 million for Yandex. Yandex remains, by far, the leader among those using PCs and notebooks, with 54.35 million users in April 2016. Google services were used by just 43.66 million such users. Yandex, whose technology was created in the mid-1990s several years before Google, established itself as the leader of the online search market in Russia around 2002, leaving its competitors in the dust.

The US giant had launched its Russian-language search engine in 2001, but it opened its first office in Russia and introduced Russian-language morphology-based search capabilities only in 2006. Like most US web giants, Google did not or could not consider Russia as a priority market in its early international development plans. This left Yandex some time to firmly establish itself on the local market.

In the mid-2000s, Google began to assert itself more aggressively in Russia. Yandex, whose market share fell to 51% in 2008, returned with radical technological and strategic changes, and progressively regained its position. Last October, representative from the company said it had no plans to open up a local office. “Currently, we have no plans to open new offices,” Azerbaijan’s news provider, Trend, quoted Yandex press office.

The denial of the move south comes after Russian and Iranian communications ministers Nikolay Nikiforov and Mahmoud Vaezi respectively said the company would enter Iran.

According to Russia Today, Vaezi said 13-14 million Iranian users could begin to use the Russian system.