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This is my first post on this forum.
I have experience with Russian search engines. The top if Rumbler. I believe at the moment it takes about 70% of the market. Then follows Yandex, then Aport. Google has about 9% of the market in Russia (according to the statistics, which I doubt is correct, I believe it is much less), and mostly used by webmasters. My sister lives in Russia and she is very active on the Internet, but until recently she didn't even know that Google.ru existed. This is how popular Google is in Russia.
I have a good ranking on Google with some of my keywords and hardly get any traffic from it.
9% market share for Google seems very low. Take a look at these January log figures for a 150-page site in Russian and how the same site ranks in the top engines for the most important keyword:
Yandex: site ranks 2nd, 506 visitors
Google: site ranks 7th, 239 visitors
Rambler: site ranks >30th, 119 visitors
MSN: site ranks >30, 39 visitors
This would certainly leads me to believe that Google has a lot higher market share than 9%. Considering the very high ranking in Yandex, I would guess that Google is very close to Yandex.
The statistics on market share I wrote above I took from a Russian webmaster forums. I personally believe that this is somehow correct.
I used to have a very good SERPS on Google.ru for a keyphrase that is VERY competitive. I didn't get more than 3-4 clicks a day from Google.ru though. On the other hand, I have an OK ranking on Rumbler for a keyphrase which is not competitive al all, but I am getting about 10-15 clicks a day from them - just from this keyphrase search.
Some of my experience with Rumbler and Yandex: it's much cheaper to deal with Rumbler than with Yandex. Both of them don't index automatically ".com" sites. You have to manually submit your site (and you have to have a Russian text on the site) and wait for their approval. I have submitted my site to Rumbler and next day got an answer from them that my submission was approved and my site indexed. They crawl my site several times every day.
Yandex, on the other hand, wants money. They have a free submission option to their directory, but they are like Yahoo - never review or crawl your site if it was submitted for free (I am talking about ".com" sites). I was waiting for their review many months until I lost patience, then I just paid them US$150(US$170 with the tax). Next day they reviewed and approved my site. Only after I got in their directory, they started crawling my site regularly.
Rumbler is very fast to pick up the changes on the site - a couple of days. It's a different story with Yandex - it might take them two months to pick up the changes.
The following is traffic from search engines in the descending order from discussions in one of the popular webmaster discussion boards:
Based on review of my raw access logs, I would say that the above is correct.
Based on my statistics of my main site, which is both in Russian and English the following is the traffic from the search engines in the descending order:
- Ask Jeeves
- Unknown search engines
Please note that the above includes search results of my site both in English and Russian.
If you follow google search engine optimization techniques, you should be fine with all Russian search engines.
In general, you need to manually submit your sites to Russian engines. Pages you are submitting to Russian search engines need to be in Russian. Once pages in Russian are indexed, your pages in other languages will be also indexed.
Submission pages to Russian:
Mail.ru : First you have to find the directory you are submitting and then follow link:Ф добавить сайтФ
Please sticky me if you would need to do the SEO and translation into Russian.
The article itself is about search engine advertising so it might be that this breakedown is based on the money spent on Ads rather then amount of users (but if one reads the sentence above literally the meaning would be that this is users they are talking about). It looks like yandex is having a lion share.
For those who can read in Russian the full story is here:
If someone finds another numbers from a reliable source please post here. Interesting to find the truth :-)