Yandex, Russia’s leading search engine, has signed an agreement with Facebook to enable the Search giant to access content from some of Facebook’s users in a move designed to further improve its search results.
Yandex has an estimated 60% of the Russian search market, more than twice that of Google’s market share in Russia (c26%).
In a statement this week Yandex said it would get full access to public data from Facebook users in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and Turkey.
This means that search results on Yandex will now include Facebook posts as well as user comments on posts.
The agreement is understood to be a non-cash deal, designed to be mutually beneficial; Yandex gets more sophisticated search results, and Facebook gets to be seen by a wider audience in Russia, where the market has previously been dominated by local players such as Vkontakte.
Yandex raised $1.4 billion in an initial public offering in the US in May 2011 priced at $25 per share. The stock has since risen by around 70% as Yandex benefited from increased online advertising in Europe’s largest online market.
The move highlights Google’s ongoing struggle to make an impression in massive markets such as Russia, and in China, where Baidu and Qhihoo dominates the search landscape.
It will be interesting to see how this impacts Yandex’s already strong position in the Russian marketplace. I believe it will fortified and will lead to similar partnerships going forward.