Yandex rolls out personalized search based on language

Yandex rolls out personalized search based on language

17th August 2011

On State of Search we’ve reported earlier about Yandex as being one of the possible threats to Google’s current worldwide domination. Today Yandex has made a major step towards internationalization of the search engine with rolling out the new search platform ‘Reykjavík’.

Reykyavík is built to deliver search results based on the user’s language preferences. This means it will display more English results for users who often visit English web resources. The company calls this the ‘first step towards personalized search’, I call it the first step towards internationalization.

Denis Raskovalov, head of Search Quality Development at Yandex, states the following:

According to our stats, most people prefer receiving answers to their queries in their own language. But there are also those who deliberately want the answers in English. 

According to the stats from Yandex’s new search platform, about 8% users of Yandex prefer search results in English. That means there’s a lot of growth possible among these users. With this new step focusing on recognizing user languages by search behavior, Yandex could be preparing for a growth among English language users worldwide and possibly for integrating more languages in the future.

UPDATE: We asked Yandex about this change:

Which languages are included?
Currently only English

Why the name ‘Reykjavik’?
Starting from 2009 we name our search platforms by cities’ names. Each new platform gets the name of a city which name starts from the letter the previous city’s name ends. Arzamas – Snezhinsk – Konakovo – Obninsk – Krasnodar – Reykjavik. Our new platform’s got Reykjavik name (not Russian city, obviously ;)) because it’s all about user’s language preferences.

Can we say this is ‘automated translations’?
No, it doesn’t have any relation with automated translations although we have such service (Yandex.Translate) and our users can translate any English page from search or text from Yandex.Translate interface.


Written By
Jeroen van Eck is a consultant search engine marketing at the online marketing company E-Focus in the Netherlands.
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