Yandex Global Search – the Good, the Bad, and the Yugly

Yandex’s launch into the global search market. Judging by Yandex’s success at controlling Google in the Russian search market, they should eventually be a valuable player. I say eventually, but I don’t want to take away from the good that they are bringing to the table right now.

Keep in mind this is not a brand new garage project with big dreams of cramping Google’s style. Yandex is a mature contender with combat experience against the big G. Yandex has a few good things going, and a few that are just wrong. Let’s break it down a little.

The Good

Clean SERPs – I’ve seen Rand Fishkin and a few others mentioning this around the Web, and it’s true. Duncan Morris of Distilled was quoted in a post on Search Engine Land saying, “After a very brief play I’m incrediblyimpressed at the relative lack of spam and the quality of the results that are being returned.” He also said it may have a better engine than Google. Over the next few months we’ll see how robust that spam filter really is.

No Ads –- No paid results is a moot point to me. I may be wrong, but I don’t think that the plan will be to ignore paid search all together in the global filter. They will be there soon enough unless Yandex is going to allow purchased placement.

Site Icons – I had to include this. The site logos look great next to the results.

The Bad

A Global Results Mesh — With a little more time, we’ll be able to see where the pain points are with the global engine, but at a first glance I can say that I have a problem with the lack of country specific results.

For example, a search for “beamer” (a popular German term for “projectors”) returns results related to the car and projector alike. The car results are English while the projector results are German. Searchers are intelligent individuals, but they are also lazy and impatient. Sifting through different languages to find what they need doesn’t cut it. I can see Yandex splitting the engine to be country specific in the future.

The Yugly

Go Somewhere Else — One last thing. Aside from displaying monthly search volume on the SERP, I hope we all notice that at the bottom of the Yandex results, they are recommending that we search Google, Yahoo and Bing if we don’t see what we are looking for. I love it! Maybe it’s just my opinion, but that doesn’t sound like a great way to get your customer to keep coming back for more.

If you’ve heard anything about paid search inclusion coming to the global filter, or if you are seeing any other flaws in the results, I’d love to hear about it. Yandex is a great engine, and I hope they find success in the global market. Otherwise, I’ll have to practice my Russian.

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2 Comments

  1. David Scoville says

    Great summary of Yandex, Andy. As we continue to watch Yandex, I hope we can get a more comprehensive analysis of the search engine. I wonder, is Google is substantially worried?

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