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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
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

Well it’s been a big week for search, I think we can all agree.

If you’re a regular Google user (65% of you globally) then you’ll have noticed some changes, both good and bad.

I won’t debate the merits of these improvements, we’ve done that already here: Google kills Right Hand Side Ads and here: Google launches Accelerated Mobile Pages, but there’s a definite feeling of vexation that appears to be coming to a head.

Deep breath…

As the paid search space increases in ‘top-heaviness’, as organic results get pushed further off the first SERP, as the Knowledge Graph scrapes more and more publisher content and continues to make it pointless to click through to a website, and as our longstanding feelings of unfairness over Google’s monopoly and tax balance become more acute, now more than ever we feel there should be another, viable search engine alternative.

There was a point not that long ago when you could easily divide people between those that used Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and AltaVista. Now it’s got to the point where if you’re not using Google, you’re not really using the internet properly.

Right now though maybe we should be paying more attention to the alternatives. Maybe our daily lives and, for some of us, careers shouldn’t need to balance on the fickle algorithm changes of the world’s most valuable company.

Let’s see what else is out there in the non-Google world. It’s not that scary, I promise. Although you may want to bring a coat.

Please note: this is an update of an article published on SEW in May 2014, we felt like it needed sprucing up especially many of the listed engines (Blekko, Topsy) are no longer with us.

Bing

Microsoft’s search engine is the second most popular search engine in the world, with 15.8% of the search market.

Bing homepage

 

But why should you use Bing? Lifehacker has some great articles where they try to convince themselves as much as anyone else why Bing is a serious contender to Google. Plus points include:

  • Bing’s video search is significantly better than Google’s, giving you a grid of large thumbnails that you can click on to play or preview if you hover over them.
  • Bing often gives twice as many autocomplete suggestions than Google does.
  • Bing can predict when airfares are about to go up or down if you’re searching for flights.
  • Bing also has a feature where if you type linkfromdomain:[site name] it will highlight the best ranked outgoing links from that site, helping you figure out which other sites your chosen site links to the most.

Also note that Bing powers Yahoo’s search engine.

DuckDuckGo

The key feature of DuckDuckGo is that it doesn’t retain its users’ data, so it won’t track you or manipulate results based on your behaviour. So if you’re particularly spooked by Google’s all-seeing, all-knowing eye, this might be the one for you.

DuckDuckGo homepage

There’s lots more info on DuckDuckGo’s performance here.

Quora

As Google gets better and better at answering more complicated questions, it will never be able to match the personal touch available with Quora.

quora

Ask any question and its erudite community will offer their replies. Or you can choose from any similar queries previously asked.

Dogpile

Dogpile may look like a search engine you cobbled together with clip-art, but that’s rather the point as it pulls in and ‘curates’ results from various different engines including Google, Yandex and Yahoo, but removes all the ads.

Dogpile Web Search

Vimeo

Of course if you’re going to give up Google, then you’ll also have to give up YouTube, which can be a terrifying prospect. But there is an alternative. And a pretty good one at that… Vimeo.. The professional’s choice of video-sharing site, which has lots of HD video and no ads.

otis the cat reviews in videos on Vimeo

 

Yandex

This is a Russian portal, offering many similar products and services as Google, and it’s the dominant search engine in Russia.

As you can see it offers results in a nice logical format, replete with favicons so you can clearly see the various channels for your branded queries.

search engine watch on Yandex

Boardreader

If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of a subject with a variety of different points of view away from the major publications, Boardreader surfaces results purely from forums, message boards and, of course, Reddit.

Boardreader Forum Search Engine

Boardreader Forum Search Engine

WolframAlpha

WolframAlpha is a ‘computational knowledge engine’, or super clever nerd to you and me. Ask it to calculate any data or ask it about any fact and it will give you the answer. Plus it does this awesome ‘computing’ thing while it thinks about your answer (which can take a short while.)

what really killed the dinosaurs Wolfram Alpha

It’s not always successful, you have to practice how to get the best from it. But at least it’s aware of the terrible 90s television show The Dinosaurs.

IxQuick

Another search engine that puts its users’ privacy at the forefront. With IxQuick none of your details are stored and no cookies are used. A user can set preferences, but they will be deleted after 90 days of inactivity.

Ixquick Search Engine

Ask.com

Oh look… Ask Jeeves is still around. Also he’s no longer a Wodehousian butler, but a computer generated bank manager. Weird.

Ask Jeeves

It’s still a slightly mediocre search engine pretending to be a question and answer site, but the ‘Popular Q&A’ results found on the right hand side are very handy if Jeeves himself can’t satisfy your query. And what a good use of the right-hand side space, huh Google.

SlideShare

SlideShare is a really handy place to source information from presentations, slide decks, webinars and whatever else you may have missed from not attending a conference.

 

You’ll also be surprised what information you can find there.

hamburgers on SlideShare

Addict-o-matic

“Inhale the web” with the friendly looking hoover guy by creating your own topic page, which you can bookmark and see results from a huge number of channels in that one page (including Google, Bing News, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr).

Addictomatic Inhale the Web

 

Creative Commons Search

CC Search is particularly handy if you need to find copyright free images for your website (as discussed in this post on image optimisation for SEO). Just type your query in then click on your chosen site you want to search.

CC Search

Giphy

Because really, when it comes down to it, we could imagine a worse dystopian future than one in which we all communicate entirely in Gifs.

GIPHY homepage

 

Source : https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/02/25/say-goodbye-to-google-14-alternative-search-engines/

Categorized in Search Engine

Yandex, Russia’s leading search engine which is thought to be mulling over an IPO for up to $1.5 billion, is rolling out a new feature today that aims to make its search experience seem a lot more intelligent.

Dubbed “Spectrum” and claiming to be able to read users’ minds, it uses what sounds like a combination of semantic technology and machine learning to “infer implicit queries and return matching search results.” In other words, Spectrum is able to make better sense of the meaning of searches based on its own classification system.

It’s based on what Yandex describes as query statistics:

The system analyses users’ searches and identifies objects like personal names, films or cars. Each object is then classified into one or more categories, e.g. ‘film’, ‘car’, ‘medicine’. For each category there is a range of search intents. [For example] the ‘product’ category will have search intents such as buy something or read customer reviews.

So we have a degree of natural language processing, taxonomy, all tied into “intent”, which sounds like a very good recipe for highly efficient advertising.

But what if a search query has many potential meanings? Yandex says that Spectrum is able to choose the category and the range of potential user intents for each query to match a user’s expectations as close as possible. It does this by looking at historic search patterns. If the majority of users searching for “gone with the wind” expect to find a film, the majority of search results will be about the film, not the book.

“As users’ interests and intents tend to change, the system performs query analysis several times a week”, says Yandex. This amounts to Spectrum analysing about five billion search queries.

Earlier this month we reported on how Yandex was also getting smarter through partnering with VKontakte, which is the largest social network in Russia. Under the arrangement, the public-facing elements of VKontakte user profiles will show up in Yandex searches in realtime, essentially creating a people search engine since results, where publicly available, will link to and/or display a person’s date of birth, place of birth, university or place of work.

https://techcrunch.com/2010/12/15/russian-search-engine-yandex-gets-a-semantic-injection-2/

Categorized in Search Engine

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