By Maëlle Alquezar
Google is the world’s most popular search engine with over 65.2% of the market share worldwide. However, there are notable exceptions such as in China where Baidu has over 85% of its market share.
Google is also well behind its competitors in other countries, including Russia. Yandex, the main competitor of Google, has 62% of the Russian search market. Its net income grew by 79% compared to last year from 1.26 billion rubles to 2.25 billion rubles. Yandex also announced that 2013 sales are expected to grow by 35%.
One of the main reasons which have contributed to the company’s success is their understanding of how to index the Russian language for searching online. Yandex’s focus on Russian is essential and has contributed to the quality of the search engine. Most Western search engines and algorithms are usually built from English language structures and then adapted to the target language. As a Slavic language, Russian has a particular shape and structure along with its Cyrillic alphabet. As a consequence, the search engine must understand these traits and take them into consideration in order to offer a useful tool.
Another factor which explains the success of Yandex in Russia over Google is culture. Indeed, the most visited websites here are not Facebook, Google and YouTube.
Furthermore, being first always helps. Yandex was an active search engine a whole year before Google’s arrival.
Now Yandex also competes with Google by offering other services such as images, social networks and cloud services. The company is also trying to expand and to win market share in countries (such as Turkey) where Google dominates the online market.
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