This article offers an updated list of Russian and Ukrainian search sites to webmasters and website owners who seek to expand internationally. To read General Information on RuNet and UaNet, please go to http://www.azurel10n.com/ar_runet1.htm
Russian Search Engines and Directories
Yandex.ru Founded in 1997 as a search engine and directory, site currently provides some additional search and indexing services via Yandex projects such as zakladki.ru, narod.ru, smart system for choosing goods, link popularity check, etc. Yandex indexes Russian portion of Internet, Russia-related resources and some Cyrillic Web resources in languages of ex-Soviet republics, Ukrainian in particular. The search engine reads meta tags and considers keyword density and link popularity in its ranking algorithm. The Yandex directory still accepts sites without payment, but free inclusion procedure may take months and provides no guarantee for placement. To be listed in directory within three working days, commercial and non-commercial sites must pay US$249 and $49 respectively, plus VAT. Generally speaking, Yandex looks like Yahoo when it comes to controversial idea of charging for listing in a directory, while a free-inclusion search engine drives primary search results on site. In addition to HTML-formatted content, Yandex search engine indexes PDF, RTF and dynamically generated pages. By mid-September 2003, Yandex had indexed about 110 million pages with unique content.
Rambler.ru The site is a search engine combined with two directory-based rating systems: Rambler's Top100 and Rambler's TopShop. Since its foundation in 1996, search engine has been indexing Russian Web segment and content with domains of other post-Soviet countries. Rambler ignores meta tags. Being listed in Top100 directory is very beneficial to a site, because Rambler search engine reviews listed URLs daily, while other sites are visited every two weeks at most, except news sites that are spidered five times a day. Rambler offers free inclusion service. The search engine conducts over 1.1 million searches a day.
Aport.ru Search engine and directory. Aport indexes Russian Web segment and content with domains of other post-Soviet countries. The ranking algorithm considers meta tags, alt and title tags, keyword density, inbound links, commentaries and some other factors. The search engine indexes dynamic pages. The integrated directory is based on @Rus, once an independent search site. Both search engine and directory offer free inclusion. Aport operates as a constituent part of a Rol.ru portal that, in addition to its search options, offers services nationwide as an ISP and provides access to news (Rol.ru/news), sample essays (Referat.ru), entertainment pages (OMEN.Ru) and online games (Absolute games).
Google.com.ru - Not Google.Ru! Despite Google still lags behind above search engines in Runet / Uanet search traffic, it becomes increasingly popular with local searchers. Some opinion polls state that Google still accounts for three to nine percent of Runet search traffic, but many webmasters and analysts believe that its share in total searches on Russian search sites is 10 percent at very least. Google applies its general indexing rules to any Web content in Russian or related to Russia, whether or not a domain name is specific to Runet. This is a big advantage over its Russian competitors that are not so friendly to websites with domain names like "yoursite.com", "yoursite.org", etc. and require them email their applications for inclusion. However, there seems little chance of Google taking lead in Russia and Ukraine unless it improves its search algorithm in terms of Russian and Ukrainian language morphology (flexions, synonyms, etc.). The drawback to morpheme search also means that web copy in Russian or Ukrainian should be crafted specifically for Google.
Many users still confuse Google (www.google.com.ru) with Google.Ru (www.google.ru). The first address is true URL path to Google's standard interface in Russian, while second domain name has been cybersquatted on since August 2001. The site "Google.Ru" now operates as an information portal that delivers brand-name Google's search results.
Lycos.ru Lycos Russia, a branch of Lycos Europe, first appeared on Internet in August 2001. You can add your URLs to Lycos Russia's search engine and directory for free. The search site is very helpful in doing combined global-and-regional searches. Obviously, Lycos Russia stands a good chance of being ranked higher among local search sites, but it may take a few more years for Lycos, still popular with Europeans, to ensure its profitability and growth on Russian Web.
Punto.ru Search engine. Founded in 2001. Punto can filter out duplicated copy in search results, leaving most relevant page. The search site has a software module that changes misspellings so that any misspelled keyword or phrase you type in cannot affect search results. Searches in Ukrainian are possible as well. The ranking algorithm places great importance on link popularity.
Turtle.ru The search engine with a bit peculiar name began operating in mid-2002, having over 81 million pages in its searchable database. Despite its name, Turtle does searches quite fast, but it displays less relevant search results, compared to top four engines. Turtle declares that it indexes regional Internet portions of ex-Soviet republics (the CIS countries) in their national languages as well as Russian-language Web resources of other countries. However, when I tested Turtle recently, it failed to do searches in Ukrainian. Automatic submission is not allowed.
Tela.ru A search engine that spiders Russian portion of Internet and considers Russian-language morphology. There is a Ukrainian search page on site, but it provides poor search results in Ukrainian. Tela needs no submission for a webpage to be indexed.