Well.. new or not, but as of today, search at Mail.ru is 100% powered by their own search engine.
Previously Mail.ru search displayed results from Yandex, and since 2010 – from Google. Shortly after signing the contract with Google, Mail.ru started working on their own search technology, and from mid-2012 a part of Mail.ru search results was already delivered by their own algorithm (including such important areas as local searches in Moscow). In the end of 2012 Mail.ru announced the plans to switch to their own search engine in 2013. And here we go, today is the day.
Mail.ru today stands for 8.6% of the Russian search market, which makes it the 3rd largest Russian search engine with monthly audience of 39.5 million users.
Mail.ru invested a lot of time, money and work into their new search engine. In the last few years the search team grew from 15 to 200 people, and the index – from 5 to 10 billion documents.
As a part of their effort of becoming a serious player on Russian search market, Mail.ru also launched their own Webmaster Tools, where apart from the standard reports about indexing status, search queries and links, webmasters can also see information about so important these days behavioral factors.
Advertising on Mail.ru Search
A few hours after the announcement about the launch of Mail.ru search, I received a note from Yandex team saying that contextual advertising (SEM) on Mail.ru search will be powered by Yandex.Direct.
Placements on Mail.ru search will be available for all advertisers using Yandex Advertising Network (YAN). There will be no possibility to opt out from being shown on Mail.ru search, says Yandex, however since the ads are keyword targeted, this new placement within YAN will probably perform similar to search ads on Yandex itself.
There is no possibility to advertise solely on Mail.ru search – neither through Yandex.Direct nor in any other way. For now. Mail.ru has its own advertising system – Target@Mail.ru, which is not made, but I am sure will be adjusted, to serve search ads.
Overall it is a very important milestone for Mail.ru and for Russian search market in general. I am very excited to follow the development of the new Russian search engine!