Internet in Russia and Ukraine - Russian Search Engines

By: Vyacheslav Melnik

Here is updated list of the Russian and Ukrainian search sites to webmasters and website owners who seek to expand internationally. 

Top Russian Search Engines and
Top Russian Directories

1) Yandex.ru
Founded in 1997 as a search engine and directory, the 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 the Russian portion of the 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 the free inclusion procedure may take months and provides no guarantee for placement.
  • To be listed in the 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 the controversial idea of charging for listing in a directory, while a free-inclusion search engine drives primary search results on the site.
  • In addition to HTML-formatted content, the Yandex search engine indexes PDF, RTF and dynamically generated pages. By mid-September 2003, Yandex had indexed about 110 million pages with unique content.

2) 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, the search engine has been indexing the Russian Web segment and the content with domains of other post-Soviet countries. Rambler ignores meta tags. Being listed in the Top100 directory is very beneficial to a site, because the Rambler search engine reviews the 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.

3) Aport.ru

Search engine and directory. Aport indexes the Russian Web segment and the 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).

4) Google.com.ru

Despite Google still lags behind the above search engines in Runet / Uanet search traffic, it becomes increasingly popular with the 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 the Russian search sites is 10 percent at the 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 the 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 the lead in Russia and Ukraine unless it improves its search algorithm in terms of the 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.

5) Begun.ru

The pay-per-click ad placement provider began operating in 2002. Begun uses a sort of simplified FindWhat model, allowing advertisers to bid on keyword phrases and placing pay-per-click ads on the search sites and portals throughout Runet. Minimum cost-per-click charge is $0.05, and minimum deposit is $5. If you want to drive traffic to your site via Begun, you have to choose proper keywords, write a text link ad and put in your bid on the keywords. Begun's main partners are search engines and directories such as Aport, KM.ru, Refer.ru and Sotovik. PPC advertising currently is rather innovative service on the Russian Net.

6) KM.ru

Founded in 2002 by Cyril and Methodius Company that is best known in Russia and other post-Soviet countries for its CD reference books and encyclopedias, the site incorporates 20 portals and a daily e-newspaper. Most popular are its directory, and email and Web search services. KM.ru offers free inclusion in its listings. Some 80,000 sites are listed in the directory as of September 2003.

7) Refer.ru

The directory began operating in December 2000. Refer.ru not only allows you to add your website, i.e. your home page, but in addition to that some internal pages as well. Since April 2002, Refer.ru has been carrying on advertising campaigns in partnership with Begun. In early September 2003, Refer.ru had over 235,000 URLs stored in its database. Free inclusion services.

Top Ukraine Search Engines and
Top Ukraine Directories

The vast majority of the Ukrainian Web resources are in Russian, especially when it comes to news and sales. All the government-related sites have content in Ukrainian, some of them post a Russian version, and in a very few cases they have an English version as well. The most popular servers can be found via the above Russian search engines and directories, but Ukraine has its own national search sites that are much more helpful in doing the country-specific searches.

1) МЕТА.ua

Search engine and register (directory), founded in 1998. META is designed to search the Ukrainian portion of the Internet as well as Ukraine-related sites on the global Web. META conducts some 100,000 searches daily. By mid-September 2003, META had indexed more than 5.5 million URLs and included about 25,000 websites in its register. To be listed in the register, a website must pertain to Ukraine, say geographically or by content. META offers free inclusion services and declares that a site will be listed in the search database within one to two weeks. The indexing process, however, may drag on for months unless you place their banner ad on your website.

2) Google.com.ua

Google in Ukrainian. See Google.com.ru above.

3) UaPlus.com

A new search engine that began operating in late June 2003. Developed by Miraline Co. in cooperation with the Kiev National University, the Linux-based project uses its own unique moduls instead of Apache, MySQL and other popular software. UAPlus has indexed over five million pages within the Ukrainian and international portions of the Web. No submission required.

4) UaPort.net

The site is an ELVISTI project that combines a directory with an information search system on the Ukrainian Web. Free inclusion. Upon submission, UAport invites a website to place their button in exchange for a shorter consideration procedure. The directory had some 6,000 websites listed in its 22 categories in early September 2003.

5) TopPing.com.ua

Directory, rating system and counter. Free inclusion. Placing TopPing button (visible counter) on a site is essential for those who wish to use the rating and counting services free.

6) A-Registrator.com.ua

Directory, rating system and counter. Founded in 1998. Free inclusion. Free invisible counter is available, but you need to place a text reference to the provider. More than twenty thousand websites stored in the database as of September 10, 2003.

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