Monday, August 25, 2008

Russians Dent Google's World Domination? I Doubt It

An article in the Sunday Times declares that the Russians have dented Google's world domination with their search engine Yandex.  According to the article, Russia is one of only four countries where the American search giant fares considerably worse than local services – alongside China, where the internet is controlled by the government, South Korea and the Czech Republic. To “Google it” may be the common way of searching in much of the world but in Russia Yandex holds 55% of the market compared with Google’s 21%.   I haven't checked on the Czech Republic, but suspect that the situation there is similar to that in China, and Korea.   Korea's Naver, provides only Korean language search results and its most popular feature is "Knowledge In," a database service where answers to questions in Korean are answered by other Koreans.  Naver does not actually search the internet.  Neither does Baidu in China or Yandex in Russia.  Read the following description from Yandex's own English language website.
"We operate Russia’s largest internet search engine and are a leading Russian internet and technology company. Our goal is to provide easy access to the wealth of information available online to answer any questions our Russian-speaking users may have. We rely on our in-depth understanding of the Russian language, culture and internet market to provide our users with sophisticated web search and information retrieval services."  In short, Naver, like Baidu and Yandex, do not challenge Google's World Domination because they do not even claim to search the internet.  More on the search issue in later posts.

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