Yandex Search Engine Gains Momentum, Knocks Bing Off Fourth Spot

By Alexandra Burlacu | Feb 11, 2013 12:50 PM EST

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Russia's Yandex has just taken Microsoft's Bing's spot as the world's fourth-largest search engine, according to newly released data on global search-engine market share.

Yandex, which specializes in recognizing the Cyrillic alphabet and Russian inflection in search queries, has seen 9.46 billion search queries in November and December. This means Yandex has surpassed Microsoft, which processed 8.96 billion search queries over the same period.

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The latest figures come from market research firm comScore. According to the comScore qSearch data, Google still leads the way with 62 percent of the global market, while China's Baidu comes in second place with 8.2 percent. Yahoo takes the third spot, seizing 4.9 percent of the global market. That leaves Yandex with 2.8 percent and Microsoft rounding up the top five with 2.5 percent.

The news is even better for Yandex, as it is dominant in its local market. Yandex has an estimated market share of 62 percent, much higher than Google's 26 percent. Yandex also has a strong presence in nearby territories, including Kazakhstan, Belorussia and the Ukraine. The search engine also has made its debut in Turkey back in 2011. Yandex also has an English-language version, but so far that has not made much of an impact.

For Bing, meanwhile, things look a bit worse, as a Search Engine Watch report points out. More specifically, things look worse for Bing as a standalone property, as the monthly totals take into account queries on several Microsoft sites, including MSN and Windows Live. Bing makes up roughly 92 percent of Microsoft search queries, which puts the search-engine tally for November and December closer to 8.24 billion search queries.

"Now that is embarrassing," notes Search Engine Watch. "You would think with all of the money, might and power of Microsoft, they'd be higher in total search volume. So either Yandex is kicking some serious butt or Bing is slowing down."

Yandex' impressive growth may be related to the rapid growth of Russia's Internet penetration, as the search engine saw more searches mainly due to the large audience in its home country. If Yandex and Baidu prove anything, it's that catering to non-English speaking Internet users may be the best solution for a search engine to gain a significant hold on the global market.

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