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[Source: This article was published in techcrunch.com By Josh Constine - Uploaded by the Association Member: Olivia Russell]

Yandex, the Google of Russia, has built a voice-activated visual search engine for Facebook. Codenamed “Wonder,” the mobile app lets people ask what businesses friends have visited and what content they’ve consumed, sources confirm. The question is if Facebook will permit the app. Its policy prohibits the use of its data in search engines without permission, and Wonder resembles Facebook “Nearby.”

I talked to multiple industry sources who’ve seen Wonder first-hand or currently have a build of it on their iOS device (though an Android version may have been developed, too). The logo you see above is my attempt at an artist rendition of what sources say an early version of the app’s logo looked like. One source said Wonder is “about more than Facebook” which means it could pull in more traditional search results, or just make use of data from the partners I detail below.

 

A Yandex spokesperson said Yandex “can’t confirm and can’t comment” on Wonder. However, they did admit that “Yandex is working on mining social data. We are building social products.” It also noted it would have an announcement to make on that front in the coming weeks or months, which could certainly be a reveal of Wonder.

Here’s a rundown of how an alpha version of Wonder worked, but note that some design and partnership details may change if it’s released.

Welcome To Wonder

Wonder users can search using voice for things such as “restaurants in Los Angeles my friends have visited.” A horizontal, tile-by-tile scrolling interface lets them view one at a time the restaurants where their Facebook friends have taken photos or checked in. Wonderers can also type to search instead of using voice, or ask to see where a specific friend has gone.

Clicking on business shows a horizontal stream of photos and recommendations of that place posted by their friends. Another tap brings up Foursquare-powered venue info such as a map, address, and phone number.

Wonder isn’t just for local businesses like Facebook’s recently launched “Nearby” feature built by the acquired Gowalla team. Wonder can pull up music that friends have listened to, let you learn about artists thanks to Last.fm-powered profiles, or preview or buy songs from iTunes. There’s a news discovery component, too. You can see news articles recently read by all your friends or a specific friend and read them within the app through an internal browser.

Yandex’s Passport To The USA

yandex maps app

Yandex has largely limited itself to Russia and Russian-speaking markets over the years — a market where it is currently the largest search provider. But its share in its home market has come down and been hovering around 60 percent in the last year with competition from Google and others, so it is turning to growth elsewhere.

Just as Google has extended into mobile to expand the potential footprint for its advertising network, Yandex has done the same.

Chief among those efforts have been Yandex’s moves in mobile. A little over a year ago, it bought a company called SPB Software, which develops cross-platform mobile applications and user interfaces.

Some of projects SPB may have helped Yandex with include apps discovery for musicbusiness listings, taxi services (similar to Uber, with a very popular app in Moscow) and more (this Google Playlist includes apps for movie listings, eCommerce, Yandex’s Dropbox-like app Yandex.disc, and Yandex.market for ‘personal shopping’ ). In fact, you could think of these as a composite for some of the features of Wonder.

Perhaps most important of all, are Yandex’s location-based and mapping efforts. Yandex’s maps have replaced Google on iOS devices in Russia, and it also provides the search (but not native maps) on Windows Phone devices in the country. These location-based services might just be Yandex’s passport out of Russia (or so it hopes).

Yandex’s Dream, Facebook’s Nightmare?

So Wonder sounds great, especially compared to Facebook’s internal search engine, which is glaringly deficient. There’s no way to search for news read by friends, searching an artist’s name in the music category returns zero results, and if you figure out how to use the Places tab to search for restaurants, you’re met with standard-looking search results. Finding photos or recommendations of businesses from your friends is tough.

facebook search results places
Facebook tried to fix some of this with Nearby and did a pretty good job with the business search. Built into a tab in Facebook’s primary mobile apps, Nearby shows you places friends have been, Liked, or recommended. It took a browse-by-category approach to minimize mobile typing, in contrast to Wonder’s focus on voice commands. However, Nearby doesn’t surface photos taken by friends at places yet, and it might be better off as a standalone app rather than being buried in Facebook for iOS and Android’s navigation.

The problem is that Yandex’s Wonder may be a bit too great and employ too much of Facebook’s data. In May, Facebook updated its Platform Policies to include the statement “You must not include data obtained from us in any search engine or directory without our written permission.” Facebook tells me this was designed to keep your friends from volunteering your private information to public search engines. But Wonder could definitely be interpreted as a search engine, especially considering its built by Yandex, and the policy doesn’t only apply to private data.

facebook nearby map titled

In fact, Facebook apparently learned that Yandex was developing Wonder around the time it changed its policy, and the line could have been added to protect Facebook’s future endeavors in search from invaders like Yandex. Therefore, Wonder might get it's public Facebook data to access to shut down if it doesn’t have permission, and I’ve heard Yandex is actually worried this will happen pre- or post-launch.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself explained at TechCrunch Disrupt SF that Facebook is getting into search:

“Search is interesting. I think search engines are really evolving to give you a set of answers…’ I have this specific question, answer this question for me’. Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have. ‘What sushi restaurants have my friends gone to in New York in the last six months and Liked?’ These are questions that you could potentially do at Facebook if we built out this system that you couldn’t do anywhere else. And at some point, we’ll do it. We have a team working on search.”

Facebook Nearby, since it launched, could answer that sushi question, but so could Wonder thanks to Facebook’s data. With local business, the discovery comes lots of opportunity for monetization through sponsored placement and other channels. Facebook may not want some other company cashing in on this.

There is hope, though. Facebook struck a status update licensing deal with Yandex in 2010 to allow public posts from Pages to appear in the Russian search engine. In exchange, Facebook got a widget on the Yandex home page that helped it sign up Russian users when it was still fighting off local social network VKontakte. Russian news outlet Ria Novosti also reported that Zuckerberg visited Yandex’s headquarters in Moscow in the Fall and held talks with management there.

Perhaps Facebook and Yandex could come to some sort of partnership around Wonder, such as a revenue share or allowing it to use Facebook data in exchange for more promotion of Facebook on Yandex. Other possibilities include Facebook buying the app from Yandex, cloning it the way Facebook copied Snapchat to build Poke or working out a larger deal where Yandex assists Facebook with its search strategy. If Facebook was really feeling generous, it could just give Yandex permission to use the necessary data in Wonder.

No matter the outcome, sources say Yandex has proven there’s wondrous potential for Facebook in mobile search.

[Additional reporting by Ingrid Lunden]

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern - Contributed by Member: Dorothy Allen

Russian search engine Yandex has introduced a smart speaker, marking the company’s first foray into the world of hardware.

The company’s smart speaker, called Yandex Station, is designed to compete with the likes of Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod.

Unlike competitive offerings, Yandex Station is developed to be more regionally adapted to the Russian market.

Yandex Station speaks Russian and comes equipped with a voice assistant called Alice. It’s the same voice assistant that was introduced to Yandex’s mobile app last October.

The smart speaker is capable of fetching information on demand, ordering food, streaming media, and other actions consumers come to expect from a smart assistant in 2018. Yandex Station has over 4,000 skills in total.

Konstantin Kruglov, Director of Experimental Products at Yandex, says in the official announcement:

With the introduction of Yandex.Station, we are excited to bring our intelligent assistant from mobile devices into the Russian home. Our high-quality smart speaker offers Russian users the benefits of a highly localized intelligent assistant, unique options for audio and video streaming, and superior sound quality.”

In the hardware department, Yandex Station is no slouch, coming equipped with an HDMI port, seven microphones, two 10W drivers, and a 30W woofer. However, it is only capable of streaming media from Russian video streaming services such as KinoPoisk and Amediateka.

With that said, when Yandex Station launches this summer, it will likely only be available in Russia. It will cost the equivalent of $160 USD, which also includes a premium subscription to Yandex’s music, streaming, and taxi services.

Categorized in Search Engine

 Source: This article was published rankred.com - Contributed by Member: Jennifer Levin

Google tends to be a giant gorilla in the room during all SEO discussion. The reason behind this is its dominating market share – according to netmarketshare, Google holds more than 90% of mobile and tablet and around 80% of desktop global search engine market share.

However, it isn’t the only option. There are literally tons of search engines on the web. Some of them focus on tech news or research paper, while some provide a single line answer instead of listing millions of pages.

We would like to present you some of the most advanced alternatives to Google that will help you find what Google might not. We are not saying they are better than Google, but some of them are good at performing specific searches. Because our aim is to uncover the things you might not aware of, we haven’t included some big players like Bing, Baidu and Yahoo search.

18. StartPage

startpage

StartPage was the first search engine to allow users to search privately. None of your details are recorded and no cookies are used, unless you allow it to remember your preferences. It also provides a proxy for those who want to not just search, but browse the internet with full privacy.

In 2014, the company released a privacy-protecting email service, called StartMail. As of 2015, the search engine reached its record daily direct queries of 5.7 million (28-day average).

17. BoardReader

BoardReader is a very useful resource for any type of community research, as it searches forums and message boards. Users can either look for content on the forums or for forums related to the specific topic.

The front-end looks quite simple, exactly what forum search engine should look like, but on the back-end, they run a robust data business by selling off user’s data to advertising companies.

16. Yippy

Founded in 2009, Yippy is a metasearch engine that offers a cluster of results. It’s search technology is used in IBM Watson Explorer (a cognitive exploration and content analysis platform).

With Yippy, you can search different types of content, including news, images, blogs, government data, etc., and filter the results category wise or flag any inappropriate content. Like Google, it lets you view cached web pages and filter results by sources or tag clouds. Also, there is a preview link on each result that shows how content looks like, on the same page.

15. FindSounds

FindSounds is the perfect search engine for finding sound effects for personal or commercial use. Just filter the results before you begin, using the suitable checkboxes. You can search anything by category, from animal to vehicle sound effects, and the search engine will return you detailed results, along with file format, length, and bit-rate information.

Overall, searching sound effects using google is always an option, but FindSounds is the perfect sound engine to speed up your search and get the specific element you are looking for.

14. SearchCode

SearchCode is a free source code and documentation search engine that finds code snippets from open source repositories. It has indexed more than 20 billion lines of code, from projects on Google code, Github, Sourceforge, GitLab, Bitbucket, Codeplex and more.

Most web crawlers face difficulties while searching for special characters used in the code. SearchCode overcomes this issue and lets you search for code by method name, variable name, operations, usage, security flaws and by special characters much faster than other code search engines.

13. GigaBlast

GigaBlast is an open source search engine, written in C and C++ programming language. As of 2015, they had indexed more than 12 billion web pages and received billions of queries per month. It provides search results to other companies like Zuula, Blingo, Clusty, and Snap.

GigaBlast allows you to search with certain customizations and optional parameters, for instance, searching by exact phrase, terms, filetypes, languages and much more.

12. KidRex and Kiddle

KidRex and Kiddle are both child-safe search engine that keeps out age-inappropriate content unfit for consumption for children. Although they are powered by Google Custom Search (utilize Google SafeSearch), they maintain their own database of inappropriate keywords and websites.

The interface of KidRex features hand-drawn crayon and colored marker design, whereas, Kiddle is written in the characteristic colorful Google Style, with a red droid alien on the top waiting to answer your queries.

Also, you will find search results are slightly modified. For instance, if you search Narendra Modi, the search engine would return web pages from sites like famousbirthdays.com, britannica.com, instead of Wikipedia and news websites. The aim is to provide the simple and easy-to-read content that kids could understand without putting a lot of effort.

11. MetaGer

MetaGer is German-based metasearch engine, developed on 24 small-scale web crawlers. It focuses on user’s privacy and makes searches untraceable by leaving no footprint behind. Also, it integrates a proxy server so that users can open any link anonymously from the search results while keeping their IP address hidden from the destination server. This eliminates the chances of advertisers to target you for ads.

The results are obtained from 50 different search engines. Before presenting final results of the query, they are filtered, compiled an sorted.

10. Libraries.io

This is an open source search engine for finding software development project, including new frameworks, libraries, and tools. It monitors more than 2.5 million open source libraries across 34 different package managers.

In order to collect the library information, the website uses the dominant package manager for each supported programming language. Then, it organizes them by the package manager, programming language, license (MIT or GPL), and by keyword.

9. Creative Commons Search

This search engine is extremely useful for bloggers and authors who need content that could be reused in a blog post or commercial applications. It allows users to search for images and contents that are released under the creative commons license.

The website provides social features, allowing users to build and share lists, as well as add tags to the objects in the commons and save their searches. It also offers some useful filters such as, find images that can be used for commercial purpose or images that can be modified and reused, or search within tags, title and creator.

8. IxQuick

IxQuick is the metasearch engine that provides the top 10 results from different search engines. In order to rank the results, it uses a ‘star system’ that awards one star to each result that has been returned from a search engine. Therefore, results returned from the most search engines would be at the top.

IxQuick doesn’t store your private details – no history, no query is collected. However, it uses only one cookie, known as ‘preference’, to remember your search preferences for future searches, which automatically gets deleted if you don’t use visit IxQuick for 90 days. Moreover, with around 5.7 million searches per day, the network is growing very fast and currently supports 17 languages.

7. Dogpile

Yet another metasearch engine that gets results from multiple search engines (including Google, Bing, and Yahoo) and directories and then presents them combined to the user. There is an advanced search option that lets you narrow down searches by exact phrase, date, language, and adult content. Also, you can set your own preference and customize default search settings.

In addition to that, Dogpile recommends related content based on the original search term, keeps track of the 15 most recent searches, and shows recent popular searches from the other users.

6. Internet Archive

It’s a nonprofit digital library that aims to provide universal access to all knowledge. Internet Archive consists of websites, music, images, videos, software applications and games, and around 3 million books that fall under public domain.

As of 2016, Internet archive had 15 petabytes of data, advocating for a free and open Internet. Its web archive, known as Wayback Machine, allows users to search for iterations of a website in the past. It contains more than 308 billion web captures, making it one of the world’s largest digitization projects.

5. Yandex

Yandex is the largest search engine in Russia with nearly 65% of Russian market share. According to the Comscore, it is the fourth largest search engine in the world with over 150 million searches per day as of 2012.

Yandex features a parallel search that shows results from main web index as well as specialized information resources, including blogs, news, image and video webpages, and eCommerce sites. In addition, the search engine provides supplementary information (like sports results), and contains spell checkers, autocomplete functionality and antivirus that detects malicious content on web pages.

4. WolframAlpha

WolframAlpha is a computational knowledge engine that answers factual questions from externally sourced curated data. It does not provide a list of web pages or documents that might contain the specific answer you are looking for. Instead, you get a one-word or one-line, and to-the-point answer.

It is written in Wolfram programming language (contains over 15 million lines of code) and runs on more than 10,000 CPUs. It is based on a computational platform known as Wolfram Mathematica that encompasses numerical computation, computer algebra, statistics and visualization capabilities.

3. Ask.com

Launched in 1996, Ask.com is a question answering-focused web search engine. Despite its age, Ask is still very active. They have coupled their search-system with robust questions and answer system with billions of online content.

As of 2014, the website had 180 million global users per month (with a larger user base in the US), and to date, its mobile app has been downloaded over 40 million times. They acquired a social networking site, Ask.fm, where people can ask questions with the option of anonymity. ASKfm handles around 20,000 questions every minute.

2. Ecosia

Ecosia donates 80% of its profit to plant trees and supports full financial transparency. As of October 2017, the website has reached the milestone of 15 million trees planted. In 2015, the company was shortlisted for the European Tech Startups Awards under the ‘Best European Startup Aimed at Improving Society’ category.

The search result(s) of Ecosia is powered by Bing and Ecosia’s own search algorithms. The company claims that it takes 45 searches to fund the planting of the single tree, and they assure that algorithms can easily detect fake clicks and invalidate them. Currently, it’s the default search engine of Vivaldi, Waterfox, and Polarity web browser.

1. DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is the best alternative option available out there. The search engine doesn’t collect any of your personal information or store your history. They don’t follow around you with ads because they have nothing to sell to advertisers.

DuckDuckGo doesn’t provide personalized results – all users will see the same results for a given search query. Rather than returning thousands of results, it emphasizes on returning the best results and extracts those results from more than 400 sources. It’s a smart search engine (uses semantic search technique like Google) that depends on a highly evolved contextual library for intuiting the user’s intent.

Categorized in Search Engine

Kiev - Ukraine's security service on Monday searched offices of Russian internet giant Yandex as part of a treason probe after Kiev banned its popular search engine earlier in May.

"Employees of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) conducted sanctioned searches in the offices of the subsidiary of the Russian company Yandex in Kiev and Odessa," the SBU said in a statement.

The security agency said the searches were part of a treason probe and accused Yandex of passing on the personal details of Ukrainian citizens, including military personnel, to authorities in Russia.

"The information was handed over to the Russian intelligence services for the purposes of planning, organising and carrying out espionage, sabotage and subversive operations in our country," it said.

Yandex confirmed the searches at its offices but said it had no "information" about the activities of the Ukrainian security agency.

"Yandex is ready to provide all information regarding its operations in Ukraine, according and limited by Ukrainian legal procedures," said company spokesperson Ksenia Korneyeva.

The latest move comes after Ukraine blocked Russia's most popular social media networks and the Yandex search engine earlier in May in response to the Kremlin's alleged backing of a three-year separatist war in the east.

Moscow and Kiev have been locked in a bitter feud since the Kremlin seized Crimea the Crimea peninsula in 2014.

The Kremlin described Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's decision to ban its sites as "another manifestation of unfriendly, short-sighted policy toward Russia".

The ban remains in effect for three years.

Source: This article was news24.com

Categorized in Search Engine
The Yandex search engine responds to user queries with relevant web documents it finds on the internet. However, the size of the internet is currently calculated in terms of exabytes – quintillions, or billions of billions, of bytes of information. Needless to say, Yandex Search does not trawl through this enormous pile of data every time it responds to a new search query. The system, so to say, does its homework.
To perform a search, Yandex uses a search index, which is basically a database of all the words and their locations known to the search engine. A word’s location is a combination of its position on a web page and the web page’s address on the internet. A search index is like a glossary or a telephone directory. Unlike a glossary, which only contains selected terms, a search index registers every word the search engine has ever come across. And, unlike a phonebook, which lists names and addresses, a search index has more than one ‘registered address’ for every word.

 

A web search engine operates in two stages. First, it crawls the web, saving its ‘copy’ on its servers. Second, it responds to a user’s search query by retrieving an answer from its servers.

Background work

Before a search engine can start the search, it needs to prepare the information it finds on the internet for searching. This process is called indexing. A special computer system – web crawler – browses the internet regularly, downloads new web pages and processes them. It creates a kind of ‘carbon copy’ of the internet, which is stored on the search engine’s servers and is updated after every crawl.
Yandex has two crawlers – one of them, the main crawler, indexes all the web pages it comes across, while the other one, known as Orange, performs express indexing to ensure that the most recent documents, including those that appeared on the web minutes or even seconds before the crawl, are available in the search engine’s index. Both crawlers have ‘waiting lists’ of web pages that need to be indexed. The lists continually add new links that the crawlers find on the pages they visit. New links can also appear on the waiting lists after website owners add their pages to the index using the Yandex.Webmaster service. Website administrators can also provide the additional details such as, for instance, how often their website is updated etc.
Before the crawling process can start, a special program – scheduler – creates a schedule, the order according to which web pages will be visited. Scheduling is based on a number of factors necessary for information retrieval, such as link popularity or page update frequency. After a schedule has been made, the other component of the search engine – spider – takes over. The spider regularly visits pages according to the schedule. If a website is accessible to the spider and is functioning, the program downloads the website’s pages as scheduled. It identifies the format (html, pdf, swf etc.), code and language of the downloaded document and then sends this information to the servers for storage.

 
On the storage server, another program clears the web document of the html-markup leaving only text. It then extracts information about each word’s location and adds all the words in this web document to the index.
The original document is also stored on the server until the next crawl. This allows Yandex to offer its users the opportunity to view web documents even if the website is temporarily unavailable. If a website shuts down or a web document gets deleted or updated, Yandex removes it from its servers or replaces it with a newer version.
 

 
The search index, together with copies of all the indexed documents, including their type, code and language, forms the search database. To keep up with the ever-changing nature of internet content and make sure that the search engine can find the latest and the most relevant information in response to user search queries, the search database needs to be updated regularly. Before the search engine can find and return results to end users, each new database update first goes to the ‘basic search’ servers. The basic search servers contain only the essential part of the search database – free from spam, mirror sites or other irrelevant documents. This is the part of the search database that responds to user queries directly.
The search database updates are sent from the main crawler’s storage servers to the basic search servers in ‘packages’ once every few days. This is a very resource intensive process. To reduce the load on servers, the data is transferred at night – when search traffic on Yandex is at its lowest. The new portions of the database are compared using a number of parameters against the latest version available from the previous crawl to ensure that the update does not spoil the quality of search results. After a successful quality control check, the old version is replaced with the latest update.
The Orange crawler is designed for real time searches. Both its scheduler and spider are tuned to finding the latest web documents and picking from a vast number of pages those that might be of some interest. These documents are processed instantly and sent straight to the basic search servers. As the number of these documents is relatively low, the update can happen in real time even during the day without the risk of overloading the servers.
A web search engine, roughly, operates in two stages. The first one is crawling the web, indexing pages preparing them to be searched. The other is searching for an answer to a specific user query in the previously created search database.

Source : Yandex.com

Categorized in Search Engine

Yandex, the Google of Russia, has built a voice-activated visual search engine for Facebook. Codenamed “Wonder,” the mobile app lets people ask what businesses friends have visited and what content they’ve consumed, sources confirm. The question is if Facebook will permit the app. Its policy prohibits use of its data in search engines without permission, and Wonder resembles Facebook “Nearby.”

I talked to multiple industry sources who’ve seen Wonder first-hand or currently have a build of it on their iOS device (though an Android version may have been developed, too). The logo you see above is my attempt at an artist rendition of what sources say an early version of the app’s logo looked like. One source said Wonder is “about more than Facebook” which means it could pull in more traditional search results, or just make use of data from the partners I detail below.

A Yandex spokesperson said Yandex “can’t confirm and can’t comment” on Wonder. However, they did admit that “Yandex is working on mining social data. We are building social products.” It also noted it would have an announcement to make on that front in the coming weeks or months, which could certainly be a reveal of Wonder.

Here’s a rundown of how an alpha version of Wonder worked, but note that some design and partnership details may change if it’s released.

Welcome To Wonder

Wonder users can search using voice for things such as “restaurants in Los Angeles my friends have visited.” A horizontal, tile-by-tile scrolling interface lets them view one at a time the restaurants where their Facebook friends have taken photos or checked in. Wonderers can also type to search instead of using voice, or ask to see where a specific friend has gone.

Clicking on a business shows a horizontal stream of photos and recommendations of that place posted by their friends. Another tap brings up Foursquare-powered venue info such as a map, address, and phone number.

Wonder isn’t just for local businesses like Facebook’s recently launched “Nearby” feature built by the acquired Gowalla team. Wonder can pull up music that friends have listened to, let you learn about artists thanks to Last.fm-powered profiles, or preview or buy songs from iTunes. There’s a news discovery component, too. You can see news articles recently read by all your friends or a specific friend and read them within the app through an internal browser.

Yandex’s Passport To The USA

Yandex Maps AppYandex has largely limited itself to Russia and Russian-speaking markets over the years — a market where it is currently the largest search provider. But its share in its home market has come down and been hovering around 60 percent in the last year with competition from Google and others, so it is turning to growth elsewhere.

Just as Google has extended into mobile to expand the potential footprint for its advertising network, Yandex has done the same.

Chief among those efforts have been Yandex’s moves in mobile. A little over a year ago, it bought a company called SPB Software, which develops cross-platform mobile applications and user interfaces.

Some of projects SPB may have helped Yandex with include apps discovery for musicbusiness listings, taxi services (similar to Uber, with a very popular app in Moscow) and more (this Google Play list includes apps for movie listings, ecommerce, Yandex’s Dropbox-like app Yandex.disc, and Yandex.market for ‘personal shopping’ ). In fact, you could think of these as a composite for some of the features of Wonder.

Perhaps most important of all, are Yandex’s location-based and mapping efforts. Yandex’s maps have replaced Google on iOS devices in Russia, and it also provides the search (but not native maps) on Windows Phone devices in the country. These location-based services might just be Yandex’s passport out of Russia (or so it hopes).

Yandex’s Dream, Facebook’s Nightmare?

So Wonder sounds great, especially compared to Facebook’s internal search engine, which is glaringly deficient. There’s no way to search for news read by friends, searching an artist’s name in the music category returns zero results, and if you figure out how to use the Places tab to search for restaurants, you’re met with standard-looking search results. Finding photos or recommendations of businesses from your friends is tough.

Facebook Search Results Places
Facebook tried to fix some of this with Nearby, and did a pretty good job with the business search. Built into a tab in Facebook’s primary mobile apps, Nearby shows you places friends have been, Liked, or recommended. It took a browse-by-category approach to minimizing mobile typing, in contrast to Wonder’s focus on voice commands. However, Nearby doesn’t surface photos taken by friends at places yet, and it might be better off as a standalone app rather than being buried in Facebook for iOS and Android’s navigation.

 

The problem is that Yandex’s Wonder may be a bit too great and employ too much of Facebook’s data. In May, Facebook updated its Platform Policies to include the statement “You must not include data obtained from us in any search engine or directory without our written permission.” Facebook tells me this was designed to keep your friends from volunteering your private information to public search engines. But Wonder could definitely be interpreted as a search engine, especially considering its built by Yandex, and the policy doesn’t only apply to private data.

facebook-nearby-map TitledIn fact, Facebook apparently learned that Yandex was developing Wonder around the time it changed its policy, and the line could have been added to protect Facebook’s future endeavors in search from invaders like Yandex. Therefore, Wonder might get its public Facebook data access shut down if it doesn’t have permission, and I’ve heard Yandex is actually worried this will happen pre- or post-launch.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself explained at TechCrunch Disrupt SF that Facebook is getting into search:

“Search is interesting. I think search engines are really evolving to give you a set of answers…’I have this specific question, answer this question for me’. Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have. ‘What sushi restaurants have my friends gone to in New York in the last six months and Liked?’ These are questions that you could potentially do at Facebook if we built out this system that you couldn’t do anywhere else. And at some point we’ll do it. We have a team working on search.”

Facebook Nearby, since it launched, could answer that sushi question, but so could Wonder thanks to Facebook’s data. With local business discovery comes lots of opportunity for monetization through sponsored placement and other channels. Facebook may not want some other company cashing in on this.

There is hope, though. Facebook struck a status update licensing deal with Yandex in 2010 to allow public posts from Pages to appear in the Russian search engine. In exchange Facebook got a widget on the Yandex home page that helped it sign up Russian users when it was still fighting off local social network VKontakte. Russian news outlet Ria Novosti also reported that Zuckerberg visited Yandex’s headquarters in Moscow in the Fall and held talks with management there.

Perhaps Facebook and Yandex could come to some sort of partnership around Wonder, such as a revenue share or allowing it to use Facebook data in exchange for more promotion of Facebook on Yandex. Other possibilities include Facebook buying the app from Yandex, cloning it the way Facebook copied Snapchat to build Poke, or working out a larger deal where Yandex assists Facebook with its search strategy. If Facebook was really feeling generous, it could just give Yandex permission to use the necessary data in Wonder.

No matter the outcome, sources say Yandex has proven there’s wondrous potential for Facebook in mobile search.

Author : Josh Constine

Source : techcrunch.com

Categorized in Search Engine

Did Yandex's new algorithm Palekh just go head to head with Google's RankBrain?

Yandex announced on their Russian blog that they have launched a new algorithm aimed at improving how they handle long-tail queries. The new algorithm is named Palekh, which is the name of a world-famous Russian city that has a firebird on its coat of arms.

The firebird has a long tail, and Yandex, the largest Russian search engine, used that as code name for long-tail queries. Long-tail queries are several words entered into the search box, more often seen in voice queries these days. Yandex says about 100 million queries per day fall under the “long-tail” classification within their search engine.

 

The Palekh algorithm allows Yandex to understand the meaning behind every query, and not just look for similar words. Which reminds me of Google RankBrain. I asked Yandex if it is similar to Google’s RankBrain, and they said they “don’t know exactly what’s the technology behind Google’s RankBrain, although these technologies do look quite similar.”

Yandex’s Palekh algorithm has started to use neural networks as one of 1,500 factors of ranking. A Yandex spokesperson told us they have “managed to teach our neural networks to see the connections between a query and a document even if they don’t contain common words.” They did this by “converting the words from billions of search queries into numbers (with groups of 300 each) and putting them in 300-dimensional space — now every document has its own vector in that space,” they told us. “If the numbers of a query and numbers of a document are near each other in that space, then the result is relevant,” they added.

When I asked if they are using machine learning, Yandex said they do use machine learning and explained that they teach their “neural network based on these queries will lead to some advancements in answering conversational based queries in the future.” Adding that they “also have many targets (long click prediction, CTR, “click or not click” models and so on) that are teaching our neural network — our research has showed that using more targets is more effective.”

Author : Barry Schwartz

Source : http://searchengineland.com/yandex-launches-new-algorithm-named-palekh-improve-search-results-long-tail-queries-262334

Categorized in Search Engine

Summary

  • The share of Yandex in the Russian search market has stabilized at the level of 48%.
  • maybe this is only a short-term success of Yandex.
  • The forecasted growth of Yandex’s share prices is rather based on external than internal factors.

In my article dated December 30, I gave a positive forecast for Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), describing the external factors that were beneficial for the company: strengthening of the ruble, increased business activity and growth of the Internet advertising market in Russia. This time I would like to provide more detailed description of the company's internal trends, in order to better understand the real factors that influence the growth of the share prices.

Despite the multifaceted company's activity, the key source of Yandex's revenue is the search engine business.

It must be recognized that, although "E-commerce" and "Yandex. Taxi" segments are gradually increasing their shares in the structure of the company's gross income, their joint share in the company's revenue, according to Q3 results, was only 9%, while "Search and Portal" segment secured 88% of sales:

Analyzing the sources of the company's profit using EBITDA, we get even more contrasting results: in Q3, the positive EBITDA was only generated by "Search and Portal" and "E-commerce" segments. The remaining segments gave zero or negative results.

In other words, "Search and Portal" segment is not only accountable for the profit of the company, it also sponsors its unprofitable activities. It is also important to note that over the past year, the EBITDA of "Yandex. Taxi" fell from the profit of 44 million rubles to the loss of 633 million rubles, reflecting tough competition with UBER on the territory of Russia. As for the "E-commerce" segment, although EBITDA is positive, there are no growth trends - the profit remains at the level of 400 million rubles for already two years:

So, it should be clearly understood that Yandex is first and foremost a search portal that makes profit on the Internet advertising. And, judging by the current trends, this situation is unlikely to change within the next year. This means that it is the popularity of Yandex as a search engine that will determine its financial results in the near future. It is both good and bad news for a potential investor.

 

Over the past two years, the share of Yandex in the Russian search market decreased by 3.3%, while Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) share increased by 5.7% over the same period. The long-term trends suggest that the shares of Yandex and Google will become equal by June this year:

However, over the past three months, the market shares of both Yandex and Google remained practically unchanged. This may be a short-term Yandex success in its fight against Google for the Russian search market, however, it is still very premature to talk about a longer-term change.

There is another problem. Internet users gradually give preference to mobile gadgets, and this tendency is reflected in Russia as well as in the rest of the world. Unfortunately, Yandex lost the mobile search market to Google long ago. Moreover, the long-term trends still suggest that the gap continues to widen: 

Putting it all together

So, after all the above, again, as on December 30, I would like to make a positive forecast for Yandex's shares. Please note, however, that the expected increase in the Yandex's share price is only based on the improved external environment, as well as the local stabilization of Yandex on the Russian search market, which will probably allow Q4 results to surpass the analysts' expectations. Once these factors are reflected in the price, Yandex's quotes will return to the lateral trend.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Source : http://seekingalpha.com/article/4035530-yandex-potential-growth-drivers?page=2

Categorized in Search Engine

The Internet search engine Yandex.ru is nowadays the most popular website in Russia. More than 25 million people use this resource daily. An annual income of over 200 million Euros makes Yandex the richest Internet company in the country. How did Yandex manage to become so successful and what methods did its inventors use to beat their business rivals?

The story of the search engine Yandex.ru began in Moscow in the 1980s. Back then a young mathematician Arkady Volozh worked in a research institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and did a study on different methods of processing large volumes of information. The Law on Cooperatives enacted in the Soviet Union in 1988 made it possible for people in the country to start their own businesses.

Volozh and his colleagues decided then to earn money by buying computers in Western Europe and selling them in the USSR. The business model of young entrepreneurs had the following structure: they bought seeds of sunflowers in Russia, transported them to Austria, sold them there and purchased new computers.

Although his business was quite successful, Arkady Volozh had a feeling that trade was not really his cup of tea. What fascinated the young man most was programming. Therefore Volozh eventually made up his mind to stop selling computers and founded together with a friend a company named “CompTek” that would write and design computer programs.

Particularly interesting for Volozh and his business partner was invention of new methods of searching for certain data in large amounts of information. The first products of “CompTek” were computer programs for patent classification (these were sold to diverse scientific institutions and patent offices in Russia) and applications for search of goods and services in catalogues of different companies.

In the early 1990s there existed already various computer search engines on the software market. They were all, however, based on grammar rules of English and thus did not take into account peculiarities of other languages.

In English, for example, there are no grammatical cases and declinations for nouns and adjectives: “I am a good student” and “I know a good student” – the noun and the adjective do not change. In Russian, on the contrary, there are six cases and all nouns and adjectives change their form depending on the case. Just like in the German language: “Ich bin ein guter Student” (“I am a good student”) but “Ich kenne einen guten Studenten” (“I know a good student”). A search for the word “Student” in a German text in one of the search engines would have shown you only the first phrase. The second sentence, where the word has another ending, would not have been displayed.

The same problem was with the Russian verbs that have a lot more conjugation forms than the English ones. Aware of that Arkady Volozh and his business partner came up with the idea of creating a new electronic search method suitable for the Russian language. They invented the so-called “morphological search” that could find not only the exact word entered but also all its grammatical forms and derivatives.

To see how the “morphological search” works, the owners of “CompTek” decided to test it on the Bible. The Old and New Testaments contain lots of various words and phrases that occur in different parts of the text. Already in the 12th century there existed a special book that contained references to all terms and expressions from the Holy Scripture – in which chapter and on which page one could find them.

In the 1990s “CompTek” created a special computer program that helped search for every word or phrase in an electronic text of the Bible. For example, if one entered the word “Faith”, the program displayed references to all verses where this word occurred in all its grammatical forms.

The search engine invented by “CompTek” was named “Yandex”, which is a combination of two words: “Ya” (“I” in Russian) and “Index” – i.e. “Index for me” or “My Index” that helps me find everything I want. There was created a newer version of the program that could be installed into different systems and databases, in order search for necessary data in large amounts of information. There existed, for example, a special application “Yandex.CD” that could conduct a search on a compact disc. Lots of different companies and organizations in Russia bought the program from “CompTek” and used it for their needs.

In the mid-1990s “CompTek” turned its attention to the fast growing World Wide Web and created a new version of “Yandex” for search on the Internet. Subsequently “CompTek” tried to sell the browsing program to different telecommunications companies in Russia for 15 thousand USD but everyone rejected the offer because the price was considered too high. The inventors of “Yandex” decided then to make their own website with an Internet search engine and in September 1997 a new domain www.yandex.ru was launched.

 

At that time there existed already several other search machines in the Russian part of the Internet but the competitive advantage of “Yandex” over all of them lay in the already mentioned “morphological search” that helped find a lot more references to words and phrases. Furthermore, the browsing system of “Yandex” was partly adapted to the natural language of people and could deal with such complicated inquiries as, for example, “What should one do when a thermometer is broken?” or “Where can I buy a vacuum cleaner?” All these conveniences led to a rapid rise in the popularity of “Yandex” in Russia.

In the year 2000 the trademark “Yandex” left its parent company “CompTek” - a new firm with the name “Yandex” was founded. The value of the newborn company was estimated by experts at15 million USD. The biggest Russian Internet holding “Ru-Net” purchased then one third of all shares of “Yandex” for 5 million 280 thousand dollars. This business deal provided the company with a large sum of money for further development – numerous new services such as “Yandex-Mail”, “Yandex-News” etc. were launched. At this moment “Yandex” also started a brand new marketing campaign with advertising slogans “Yandex finds everything” and “Address all your questions to Yandex”. Since people in Russia saw and heard these slogans daily on TV, Radio and billboards, lots of them started to regard “Yandex” as a unique adviser in the World Wide Web. Phrases like “Let’s ask Yandex!” or “What did Yandex say?” went on to become fixed expressions in the vocabulary of many Russians.

In the first decade of the 21st century “Yandex” became the most visited Russian website on the Internet and with about 60 % market share the largest search engine in the country. Competition with other Internet companies, however, constantly forces “Yandex” to introduce various new services to its customers. In the last few years “Yandex” launched a lot of innovative applications such as “Yandex Postcards” (for making individual greeting cards for friends and family), “Yandex Money” (an electronic payment system for purchasing goods and services on the Internet) and “Yandex Jams” (a special online map for car drivers, that shows all traffic congestions in a selected area).

In spring 2011 “Yandex” raised 1.3 billion USD in an initial public offering on NASDAQ in New York City, which was the biggest U.S. IPO for an Internet company since Google went public in 2004. At the same time the value of the whole company was estimated at over 8 billion USD. Now if we recall, that in the mid-1990s the search engine cost only 15 thousand USD, we can calculate that in 15 years its value increased by more than 500 thousand times.

Author : Vladimir Ustyuzhanin

Source : https://sputniknews.com/voiceofrussia/2012_10_02/The-success-story-of-Yandex-Russian-Google-s-rival/

Categorized in Search Engine

According to analysts of service "Yandex", in 2016 Russian citizens in the five times increased buying activity on the web in intimate trade. More on 53% increased the demand for children's products.

It is worth noting that the intimate nature of the goods before the New Year are bought actively, than, for example, it was in November (+ 30%). The report said that in general on the eve of the New Year holidays the number of online shopping is traditionally grown. In addition, there is increased activity of Russians in online stores and compared to last year. In particular, the New Year's Eve Russian web users have made 71% of purchases of shoes and clothing more than in the same period in 2015.

 

In addition, it is reported that Russian residents to spend more money on food. growth in demand is also recorded (12%) on the train tickets sold online.

Source:  http://vistanews.ru/computers/internet/101724 

Categorized in Search Engine
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