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Google Losing Race For Russian Crown

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Google may be king, but it’s definitely not czar. The dominant U.S. search engine is only the eighth biggest “Internet brand” in Russia, and it’s losing the competition by a very large margin.

Eric Pfanner of The New York Times documented Google’s struggle. He began by noting that “Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, was born in Moscow in 1973, and the first words out of his mouth were Russian. Yet neither Russian nor the Russian market has come easily to Google.”

Pfanner also reported on the dismal (from Google’s point of view) statistics; the disparity in some areas is amazing. “Yandex controls 50 percent of the Russian market for . . . ads, according to analysts at ING, a Dutch bank. Rambler is second with 41 percent and all other companies, including Google, fight over the remaining 9 percent.”

Irina Gofman, a chief executive of Rambler Media, summed it up when she spoke to Pfanner. “Google promised they would destroy everything, but look at where they are. They are not that big.”

Pfanner’s article seems to have made some people reconsider Google’s position in the world. Although Alex Moskalyuk ascribed the problems in Russia to “(a) complexity of the languages from the Cyrillic family, and (b) not being first to market,” setbacks in China and South Korea have been documented, as well. Taken together, this constitutes something of a challenge to the popular image of Google as a dominant force.

Then again, Google’s still doing pretty well as far as America is concerned. According to last month’s numbers from Nielsen//NetRatings, the company is enjoying a 49.6% share of searches.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

Google Losing Race For Russian Crown
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