The State Of Online Marketing In Russia

For online marketers, Russia offers two appealing qualities: It’s one of just five countries in the world where Google isn’t the market leader, and Russia is now the 2nd biggest online market in Europe in terms of users, having passed the UK last year.

Yandex is the market leader in Russia, with a 64% market share, more than double Google’s 22% share, according to Russian statistics service LiveInternet (Dec. 2010). In addition to reaching native Russian speakers, Yandex (Yet Another Indexer has been aggressively expanding globally, now reaching 56 million users from all over the world.

Some other interesting stats: Despite being the second largest online market in Europe, less than half of the Russian population has internet access, suggesting more growth to come:

internet penetration in russia 2010

Russian internet users are comparatively young, though internet penetration in Moscow resembles major western cities:

internet penetration by age in Russia 2010

Although the most popular social media sites in Russia are homegrown (, Odnoklassniki and’s My World Western social media platform usage (namely Facebook and Twitter) almost doubled in 2010.

The total advertising market in Russia was about $7.5 billion in 2010, with about 11% of that going to online ads. The market is expected to grow to about $10 billion by 2012, with online spending increasing to 13% of total spend, according to Russian daily news provider Kommersant.

For more on search advertising options available in Russia, see our detailed Search Marketing Tips For Yandex, Russia’s Top Search Engine. Yandex also offers extensive Webmaster tips for help with getting your site properly indexed. To get started with search ads, visit Yandex Direct, the company’s (English language) self-serve platform.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Search Marketing: Multinational | Yandex


About The Author: (@CJSherman) is a Founding Editor of and President of Searchwise LLC, a Boulder Colorado based Web consulting firm. He also programs and co-chairs the Search Marketing Expo - SMX conference series.

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  • lyena

    In my opinion, Google missed the boat years ago when Yandex provided much more relevant results for Cyrillic alphabet users. Google is still underperforming for image searches, for example. Transliterated domain names (Vkontakte = “staying in contact”; odnoklassniki = “classmates”) did not factor into Google search results. Yandex, however, integrated the meaning. is painful to use, but Facebook did not have a Russian version. I got trojan viruses on my computer through a couple of times, but there was no alternative and I keep using the site (with caution). I still do not foresee Google or Facebook dominating Russian search.
    The bottom line is, a company has to recognize the market opportunity and make an effort to participate. Otherwise, it will be too late.

  • Verona

    Hey Chris! Nice summary! Russia is growing a lot in terms of Internet and mobile users, and indeed is becoming an interesting market to enter and to write about. I am however very sad that a you refer to that post of Olga Gabdulkhakova as a detailed and worthy source of the information. That post is a rip off of my old blog, which I stopped writing roughly half a year ago, and therefore the information in Olga’s post is outdated and in many cases plain wrong. There are a few good blog in English about Russian online marketing, which would be a wat better reference. Thanks for sharing the latest stats on Russia once again! Very interesting to watch the market developing and evolving like that.

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