This afternoon Yandex published a press release about their new feature. The catchy title claims that now Yandex “Understands Users’ Search Intentions”, but in reality the new feature is just a different type of search suggestions, referred to as “dialogue-like” in Russian press.
In essence, it is quite similar to Google’s related searches: when a search query is too broad, Yandex will show more specific suggestions.
Compare, for example, searches for “Байкал” (lake Baikal) in Yandex and Google.ru:
Yandex suggests “photos”, “vacation”, “map”, “Wikipedia”, “hotel”.
Google suggests “Baikal photo”, “Baikal tours”, “Baikal weapon”, “vacation on Baikal”, “Baikal gun”, “Baikal Izhevsk”, “Baikal map”, “Baikal vacation”.
So the suggestions from Google and Yandex are very much the same, but Yandex displays them as some sort of navigation (which people will actually use) and Google shows it in the bottom of the SERP (where nobody looks). The feature itself is quite useful though.