Google In Search Talks With Russian Social Network

    November 25, 2008

Users of Russian social network are getting a taste of Google, according to a new report, with a search box becoming the subject of some tests.  If all goes well, the box should become a permanent feature, and Google will then gain access to a significant share of the Russian ad market.

Google’s quite interested in Russian search and advertising, as its attempted acquisition of Begun illustrates.  It’s also having difficulties making headway in the country, as evidenced by the way in which Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service halted the deal.

An arrangement with Odnoklassniki would be a pretty important thing, then.  Robert Andrews, working from info written in Cyrillic, reports, "One Russian ad agency boss told Kommersant an deal would add five percent to the 32 percent share of the Russian ad market Google would enjoy if the Begun deal goes ahead."

Yandex, the homegrown leader, controls nearer to 46 percent of the market.  So Google would leap somewhat close to catching it.

No timeframe for the search box testing has been publicized, though, and there’s a chance that Odnoklassniki would only use Google as a search provider on a sort of rotating basis.  Count on Google to keep exploring other options in Russia as a result.