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Gemma Houghton

Yandex: The Russian Online Opportunity Is Still There


Russia has long been an interesting market for international businesses and the dominance of its homegrown search engine Yandex makes it different from many of its European counterparts when it comes to online marketing.

At the International Search Summit London on 19th May, Tatiana Kalinina, Business Development Director at Yandex, will be sharing some insights into this unique market and how international businesses can make the most of the features Yandex has to offer.

Passes for ISS London, which is running as part of SMX London, are still available. Save 15% with code ISS15.

Ahead of her session,  Tatiana answers a few questions:

Tatiana, The Russian economy has had a rough time recently – is it still an attractive market for foreign businesses?

The opportunity is still there. We have not seen any mass exit of foreign businesses from the market. Any pauses in the ad activity have been temporary and were quickly over. The pauses were due to businesses needing to recalculate their stock due to exchange rate changes that were fast moving over a period of time and have now completely stabilised.

In general advertisers understand that as soon as they exit the market, new businesses will arrive to take their competitive spot so it is a great risk. For instance, currently we see big pressure from Chinese eCommerce players wanting to enter the market.

What are the most important factors for international businesses to take into account when targeting the Russian market?

They should be aware that their brand awareness in Western Europe/USA/their local market does not equal what their brand awareness in Russia is likely to be. So they will not be able to rely on it.
Awareness of English-language knowledge limitations is also important, especially if they want to also go into the regions. The regions are growing and they have lower local supply in comparison to Moscow & St Petersburg so they do make an attractive opportunity.

For any commerce it is important to understand how customs work in Russia and have an appropriate delivery option in place.

Where does Yandex come into it? How can and should businesses use it?

Coming back to the point of having to build up brand awareness from scratch, Yandex will provide the reach and visibility being the single most visited page in the Russian internet.

Yandex’s display advertising also lends credibility to brand building as it’s a prime placement. If businesses want to go straight in after sales revenue, then it’s paid search advertising and Yandex.Market for any eCommerce player.
Again Yandex Paid search Platform (Yandex.Direct) owns 70% share of the market, whereas Yandex.Market is a No1 online shop aggregator in Russia that has recently launched a special filter for shops abroad.

Despite the differences in activities and measurements, both teams have a huge amount to learn from each other in terms of efficiency. By planning and continuously adjusting the company’s presence on SERP from both Paid and Organic listings there is a great opportunity for a leap forward in efficiency for both channels.

What will people learn from your session at ISS? 

I will talk about the Russian internet and digital landscape, since there are marked difference with that of UK.
Within that I will talk of Yandex as it has maintained its digital leadership status in Russia for years and is much more than a search engine to the population. I will also cover the latest trends among Russian users – what they are searching and how when it comes to commercial verticals.

Finally, why attend ISS?

Like travel, it widens horizons! It’s no secret that the most business opportunities a well as largest online audiences lie outside of Western Europe and the US now. ISS has industry professionals talking of hidden depths within those markets that we tend to be less familiar with.

Join us for ISS London on May 19th for a jam-packed day of international content, and plenty of networking and discussion opportunities to ensure you leave with the answers to your international questions.


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Gemma Houghton

Gemma Houghton

Director of Marketing at Webcertain
Gemma has worked in international search marketing for over ten years and is Director of Marketing at Webcertain, overseeing all marketing activities for the Group. She also organises and programmes Webcertain's International Search Summit, a search marketing conference focusing on international and multilingual online marketing which runs across Europe and the US. Gemma holds a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Diploma in Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute, and a BA joint honours degree in French and German.

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