The race is on to see which engine will deliver a contextual advertising program for ordinary webmasters in Russia to rival Google.
Well it was only this Tuesday when I wrote that, and it seems that race has started in ernest today.
Yandex, the largest search engine in Russia, have just announced that the barrier to entry into their contexual adverting system will be lowered to allow ordinary webmasters to participate. Previously only web sites that had traffic in the hundred thousand visitors mark could display Yandex Direct advertising, that condition has now been cut to 300 visitors per day. Applicants are no longer required to have a legal company in Russia.
This will no doubt put pressure on site owners to move away from Google’s Adsense program, as to date that has been the only substantial advertising program available in Russia. Yandex has also broken from search engine protocol by announcing they will give partners 50% cut of advertiser payments. The exact cut between publisher and search engine is not disclosed by Google, Yahoo! and MSN although PPC expert, Jennifer Slegg has reported Google to be paying out as high as 78%.
Advertisers are free to chose if they wish to advertise on Yandex’s extended network, excluding all or sites individually by name.
In the summer of 2006 the weekly circulation of funds in the Yandex Direct system exceeded US$ 1m.