One of the largest search engine sites in Russia is about to get even bigger. Yandex, Russia’s search engine answer to Google, has just entered a deal with Samsung. The new agreement will offer Yandex on new Samsung smart TVs, pre-installed so those connecting their new TVs will have immediate access.
They have also agreed to install Yandex on Samsung’s Bada mobile phones that ship to consumers in Russia. This is an important first step as Yandex tries to emulate the in roads that Google has here in the United States. It’s no secret that Google’s modest beginnings in search has exploded into an operating system powering thousands of mobile devices. This, coupled with Google now targeting smart TVs with it’s own Google TV, makes it safe to say that Yandex wants to expand to become a digital media force.
Yandex is also supplying widgets — not quite apps yet — to run certain feeds of information on the smart TVs. These include stocks, traffic reports, news listings and much more. Being preinstalled on mobile devices and available as the default search engine is a huge win for the company.
While not specifically targeting Google, Google has seen its numbers erode specifically from Yandex. Site traffic is dropping on Google.com in Russia, while Yandex is spiking up. Yandex is the single most visited web page in Russia. To put it in perspective, Russia has about 150 million residents, with 50 million of those regular Internet users. Yandex has about 24 million unique monthly visitors, so it’s a fair bet to say roughly half of all Internet users in Russia may be using Yandex. The company plans to advance in the mobile TV arena and get built in to as many screens as possible, including tablets. This new deal with Samsung gets the plan off to a running start.