I’m glad you asked. Great timing as I was just thinking about this. If you’re not familiar already, Yandex is the 7th largest search engine in the world and by far the fastest growing.
At this rate, it will surpass Korea’s NHN and eBay very soon, perhaps by the next time comScore releases its global search market growth figures. So as soon as it gets past eBay, the top 5 spots will be held by actual search engines (NHN counts, but eBay doesn’t at least in my book).
Simply put, if you want to export to Russia, Ukraine, Georgia (not the bulldog one), and other regional nations using the Cyrillic alphabet, you need to be on Yandex. Heck, even Mozilla changed its default Russian search engine option to Yandex. It’s not the same as European countries rocking Latin-based alphabets where Google is the only search engine you really need to care about.
So if you want to start advertising your products or services to Russia and other countries from the former Soviet Union, here are a few things you need to know:
Top 3 Differences: Yandex Direct Vs. Google AdWords
- Everything ties to the ad. Yandex doesn’t have ad groups, so everything ties directly to ads. If you’re a good little search marketer, you like testing ad copies, so you’ll do that by putting keywords into the campaign multiple times. If you’ve ever had to rework a Google AdWords account by pulling out duplicate keywords, this difference in account structure will send chills down your spine. Maybe even up and across. “
- Ads automatically optimize. Just like the dreaded “Ad Rotation: Optimize” setting that AdWords automatically opts you into and that 95% of advertisers should change immediately upon account creation – your ads will optimize until the point when lower performing ones (e.g. lower click-through rates) will cease showing altogether. That makes constant testing necessary.
- Web Site Monitoring. Now, this is a feature that Google ought to steal and implement immediately. With the simple click of a checkbox, you can choose to have Yandex pause all your ads as soon as it detects your site is down. If you’ve ever had an urgent call from your boss (or client) saying the site is down and all ads need to be stopped immediately, you’d know just how awesome this feature is.
So there you go. Good luck with your Russian exporting. If you have any questions about advertising with Yandex, leave a comment below or get in touch.