During 2011 Yandex lost 4% of searches in Russia to Google.ru, reports Vedomosti (in Russian). I heard mentions of this fact throughout last year, but here is how it looks in absolute numbers.
According to LiveInternet statistics, in December last year search market in Russia was divided between Yandex, Google.ru and other smaller search engines as shown below:
In December 2010 Yandex held 64,1% of the search market, and Google – 21,5%. Quite a big change in one year, isn’t it?
Analysts say that Google’s market share most likely increases not due to the search engine traffic itself, but because of other platform Google owns or has partnerships with. Presumably, the majority of growth can be explained by wide use of Android devices (where search is powered by Google), social network Google+ as well as popularity of Chrome browser, which Google has been advertising on TV in Russia since half a year!
I have to mention, however, than Yandex also works with various partners and web browsers. Facebook search in Russia is, for example, powered by Yandex. Same goes for Windows Phone 7 and Firefox, among others. Needless to say that Aport and Rambler use Yandex’s search engine, and that Bing’s ads in Russia are in reality Yandex Direct.
Just like I predicted earlier, Yandex now announced a strong focus on mobile technologies in 2012, and not only on advertising. They acquired a mobile development company SPB Software, and, I suspect, is going to work on a response to Android – their own mobile OS.
A spokesman of Yandex told Vedomosti that the company expects 58-60% growth in revenue in 2012 and not focusing on increasing their market share, but rather creating new and useful products. The next big release, for example, is supposed to be a new search platform, which better understands interests and preferences of Internet users (read: personalized search).