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Internet in Russia and Ukraine - Part 2. Major RuNet and UaNet Search Engines and Directories

 by: Vyacheslav Melnik

This article offers an updated list of the Russian and Ukrainian search sites to webmasters and website owners who seek to expand internationally. To read General Information on RuNet and UaNet, please go to http://www.azurel10n.com/ar_runet1.htm

Russian Search Engines and Directories

Yandex.ru


Founded in 1997 as a search engine and directory, the site currently provides some additional search and indexing services via Yandex projects such as zakladki.ru, narod.ru, smart system for choosing goods, link popularity check, etc. Yandex indexes the Russian portion of the Internet, Russia-related resources and some Cyrillic Web resources in languages of ex-Soviet republics, Ukrainian in particular. The search engine reads meta tags and considers keyword density and link popularity in its ranking algorithm. The Yandex directory still accepts sites without payment, but the free inclusion procedure may take months and provides no guarantee for placement. To be listed in the directory within three working days, commercial and non-commercial sites must pay US$249 and $49 respectively, plus VAT. Generally speaking, Yandex looks like Yahoo when it comes to the controversial idea of charging for listing in a directory, while a free-inclusion search engine drives primary search results on the site. In addition to HTML-formatted content, the Yandex search engine indexes PDF, RTF and dynamically generated pages. By mid-September 2003, Yandex had indexed about 110 million pages with unique content.

Rambler.ru


The site is a search engine combined with two directory-based rating systems: Rambler's Top100 and Rambler's TopShop. Since its foundation in 1996, the search engine has been indexing the Russian Web segment and the content with domains of other post-Soviet countries. Rambler ignores meta tags. Being listed in the Top100 directory is very beneficial to a site, because the Rambler search engine reviews the listed URLs daily, while other sites are visited every two weeks at most, except news sites that are spidered five times a day. Rambler offers free inclusion service. The search engine conducts over 1.1 million searches a day.

Aport.ru


Search engine and directory. Aport indexes the Russian Web segment and the content with domains of other post-Soviet countries. The ranking algorithm considers meta tags, alt and title tags, keyword density, inbound links, commentaries and some other factors. The search engine indexes dynamic pages. The integrated directory is based on @Rus, once an independent search site. Both search engine and directory offer free inclusion. Aport operates as a constituent part of a Rol.ru portal that, in addition to its search options, offers services nationwide as an ISP and provides access to news (Rol.ru/news), sample essays (Referat.ru), entertainment pages (OMEN.Ru) and online games (Absolute games).

Google.com.ru - Not Google.Ru!


Despite Google still lags behind the above search engines in Runet / Uanet search traffic, it becomes increasingly popular with the local searchers. Some opinion polls state that Google still accounts for three to nine percent of Runet search traffic, but many webmasters and analysts believe that its share in total searches on the Russian search sites is 10 percent at the very least. Google applies its general indexing rules to any Web content in Russian or related to Russia, whether or not a domain name is specific to Runet. This is a big advantage over its Russian competitors that are not so friendly to the websites with domain names like "yoursite.com", "yoursite.org", etc. and require them email their applications for inclusion. However, there seems little chance of Google taking the lead in Russia and Ukraine unless it improves its search algorithm in terms of the Russian and Ukrainian language morphology (flexions, synonyms, etc.). The drawback to morpheme search also means that web copy in Russian or Ukrainian should be crafted specifically for Google.

Many users still confuse Google (www.google.com.ru) with Google.Ru (www.google.ru). The first address is the true URL path to Google's standard interface in Russian, while the second domain name has been cybersquatted on since August 2001. The site "Google.Ru" now operates as an information portal that delivers brand-name Google's search results.

Lycos.ru


Lycos Russia, a branch of Lycos Europe, first appeared on the Internet in August 2001. You can add your URLs to Lycos Russia's search engine and directory for free. The search site is very helpful in doing the combined global-and-regional searches. Obviously, Lycos Russia stands a good chance of being ranked higher among the local search sites, but it may take a few more years for Lycos, still popular with Europeans, to ensure its profitability and growth on the Russian Web.

Punto.ru


Search engine. Founded in 2001. Punto can filter out duplicated copy in search results, leaving the most relevant page. The search site has a software module that changes misspellings so that any misspelled keyword or phrase you type in cannot affect search results. Searches in Ukrainian are possible as well. The ranking algorithm places great importance on link popularity.

Turtle.ru


The search engine with a bit peculiar name began operating in mid-2002, having over 81 million pages in its searchable database. Despite its name, Turtle does searches quite fast, but it displays the less relevant search results, compared to the top four engines. Turtle declares that it indexes the regional Internet portions of ex-Soviet republics (the CIS countries) in their national languages as well as the Russian-language Web resources of other countries. However, when I tested Turtle recently, it failed to do searches in Ukrainian. Automatic submission is not allowed.

Tela.ru


A search engine that spiders the Russian portion of the Internet and considers the Russian-language morphology. There is a Ukrainian search page on the site, but it provides poor search results in Ukrainian. Tela needs no submission for a webpage to be indexed.

Metabot.ru


Meta search engine. Russian and English versions.

Mail.ru (formerly known as List.ru)


Directory and email services. Free listing in directory database.

Russia on the Net - www.ru


The very first directory on the Russian Internet, founded in September 1995. Russian and English versions. Free inclusion.

Begun.ru


The pay-per-click ad placement provider began operating in 2002. Begun uses a sort of simplified FindWhat model, allowing advertisers to bid on keyword phrases and placing pay-per-click ads on the search sites and portals throughout Runet. Minimum cost-per-click charge is $0.05, and minimum deposit is $5. If you want to drive traffic to your site via Begun, you have to choose proper keywords, write a text link ad and put in your bid on the keywords. Begun's main partners are search engines and directories such as Aport, KM.ru, Refer.ru and Sotovik. PPC advertising currently is rather innovative service


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