The leading Russian search engine Yandex has launched Yandex.kz in Kazakstan. The online portal offers major Yandex services such as search, news, mail, maps, and hosting customized for local web users.
With 46% share of searches in Kazakhstan through Yandex.ru and Search.Mail.ru, Yandex faces a fierce competition from Google that also has 46% search share in the country. Kazakhstan has 2.5 million internet users out of 15 million population.
The search on Yandex.kz takes into account the morphologies of both Kazakh and Russian languages. Yandex returns links to local web-sites first in return to “local” search queries. For example, the search query for “President” returns the link to the official web-site of the President of Kazakhstan as the first search result link on Yandex.kz. In comparison, the same search on Yandex.ru returns the link to the web-site of the President of Russian Federation on top of the list of search results.
Another example is that searching for “exchange rate” on Yandex.kz will return a rate for US dollar to Tenge, and not the rate for US Dollar to Russian Ruble. As an option, the user can select the language for web search interface to match the language of the search results.
Yandex will work with Kazakhstani advertisers through a local exclusive partner Kaznet Media. The local advertisers can buy Yandex.Direct ads in both Kazakh and Russian languages as well as pay for their online advertising campaigns in both Tenge and Rubles.