Yandex sees a market share increase powered by its search service

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Yandex market share

Yandex’s management attributed its strong fourth quarter results to growth in its search share on desktop and mobile devices. Yandex implemented significant changes in its paid search algorithms, substantially grew the number of advertisers on its platform, and broadened the reach of its partner network—all contributing to its positive results.

Russian search market

Yandex believes it’s at the forefront of search technology, and it uses linguistics, mathematics, and statistical analysis to develop proprietary algorithms that efficiently extract, compile, systematize, and present relevant information to users. The results are supplemented by results from its parallel search system, which blends listings from all available Yandex specialized and vertical searches according to their relative relevance, such as Yandex.News, Yandex.Market, Yandex.Maps, Yandex.Music, Yandex.Image, and Yandex.Video. Yandex search is also responsive to real-time queries, recognizing when a query requires the most current information. Last year, Yandex launched the beta version of Islands, a new search platform that delivers results in the form of interactive blocks, which can accommodate various kinds of information—from texts to videos, pictures, and interactive forms.

Earlier in 2013, reports cited ComScore data and said Yandex had surpassed Bing in its number of monthly search queries in November and December of 2012 and had become the fourth-largest search engine in the world.

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According to LiveInternet, Yandex’s overall share of search in Russia across all platforms rose from 60.5% at the end of 2012 to 61.9% at the end of 2013. Mobile accounted for 16% of search queries in the fourth quarter of 2013 and attributed around 12% of Yandex’s direct revenues, compared to 15% in traffic and 11% in revenues in the third quarter. Geographically, Yandex saw its market share increase in Ukraine and Belarus, where the company estimated that it has overtaken Google as the leading search engine.

Yandex said its search share on Android rose from around 42% in December 2012 to about 52% in December 2013. Its search share on iOS is continually grew from around 35% in December 2012 to around 45% in February, when the company announced its earnings. Yandex attributed these gains to a combination of factors, including the quality of search technology, improved distribution efforts, and partnerships with OEMs and retailers. The company also has a strategic agreement with Apple (AAPL) to be available as one of the search options in Apple’s Safari on mobile and desktop devices, while Yandex powers Apple Maps in Russia. The mobile Yandex browser launched in the second half of 2013 also added to its search market share.

Yandex collaborates with Facebook (FB) on search, and a recent partnership agreement with Facebook gives Yandex full access to the social network’s “firehose” of public data that will improve the quality of its search results. Yandex expects to get full access to public posts of Facebook users in Russia, in CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries including Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, and in Turkey. Yandex’s search is already integrated with other social networking sites like Twitter (TWTR), LiveJournal, and VKontakte (VK)—Russia’s answer to Facebook. Facebook too expects to gain more visibility in the Russian market with Yandex and compete against popular Russian social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki.

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