Russia’s Yandex launches yandex.kz

The Russian internet company Yandex announced on Oct. 14 that it would launch a search portal in Kazakhstan, yandex.kz. The Kazakh Information Technology and Telecommunications Agency hopes that the site will help boost the development of the Kazakh segment of the internet.

Madi Asanov

2009-10-17

ALMATY — The Russian internet company Yandex announced on Oct. 14 that it would launch yandex.kz, a search portal in Kazakhstan.

“The most interesting news in Kazakhstan will be constantly updated via the portal,” said company CEO Arkady Volozh, at a press conference. “People will be able to watch television programmes, find out about current events and search for goods on the web.” The website will also provide traffic information and price comparisons so that consumers can find the cheapest deals. The search engine will provide “local” answers to local queries. For example, if a user looks up “constitution,” the search portal will provide links to the Kazakh constitution.

Users of the new resource can choose Russian or Kazakh as their interface language, although currently only the main page is available in Kazakh.

The site was launched with the help of the Kazakh Information Technology and Telecommunications Agency (ITTA), which hopes to boost the development of the Kazakh segment of the internet. “In April, there were around three million active internet users in this country, and the number is rising very rapidly,” said ITTA President Kuanyshbek Esekeyev.

There is a promising future for internet advertising in Kazakhstan, and Yandex’s popularity among Kazakhs will enable it to take advantage of that, Volozh said at the press conference. He asserted that 60 percent of internet surfers in Kazakhstan use Russian search engines, whereas only 40 percent use Google. Yandex processes approximately 20 million search queries from Kazakh internet users each month.

KazNetMedia will be Yandex’s exclusive partner for the sale of internet advertising. Volozh said that today 80 percent of ads in Kazakhstan are broadcast on television and internet advertising is practically non-existent in the country. This sector will be developed by KazNetMedia, and the internet’s share of ads will increase to between five and ten percent of the total within three years.

Yandex has already created domains in the Ukraine and Belarus.

[KazTAG.kz, Inform.kz, Profit.kz, CA-news.org]

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