Google VS Yandex

There are many search engines around the world. They started to appear in the early 90s and continued until very recently. The most used one is obviously Google but there are also a lot of others like Yahoo!, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Baidu, Yandex, etc. And even though Google is dominant in most countries, many people still use other search engines and there are certain reasons for that.

A bit of facts

Personally, I’m from Russia and we have a very popular search engine called Yandex. Still, Google takes the majority of market share in Russia but compared to around 90% in the world market, in Russia, it has a little bit more than a half (at least at the time when this post was written). Yandex appeared in 1997, the same year when Google was developed. First, Ilya Segalovich and Arkady Volozh created search software in 1993 and only 4 years later they developed a search engine. By the way, the name was taken from the phrase “Yet ANother iNDEXer” but it also contains a bilingual pun since “ya” in Russian means “I” so “i-ndex” changes to “ya-ndex”. Nowadays Yandex is not only a search engine but a huge corporation with dozens of various services, and many of them are similar to the ones that Google provides.

Google Search was founded in 1997 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It uses “PageRank” system to prioritise search results, which makes it really efficient and easy to use. And… I don’t think that I have to write anything else about it because I am sure that everyone who is reading this post already knows what Google is and what role it plays in today’s world.

So let’s focus on the differences between Google and Yandex. Most of the technicalities are the same or similar in both of the search engines but there are some details that differ. Unfortunately, I’m not an expert at all so I cannot explain those technical aspects (you can have a look at this website if interested). To be honest, I wasn’t even going to do so. This post is more about utilitarian and cultural points of view. Also, I have to mention right away that everything that is written next is based solely on my experience.

So when is it better to use Yandex and when not?

  • Of course, the required language matters. If I want to find something in English (or any other language but Russian), Yandex is not the best option. It is a Russian based system and even if you try to look for something in English it will most likely translate your request and show you the results in Russian or only the first few results will be in English (or any other language). However, it also works in another direction: if I need something in Russian, Yandex is a better choice. Grammar in Russian is much more complicated than in English and Yandex is programmed to take them into account. For example, even proper names like Vladimir can have different endings in different situations, and Yandex is designed to deal with it.
An example of results if you look for something in English
  • For me, Yandex is easier to use when I have to look for something indefinite. What I mean here is that it automatically opens each link in a separate window so you can quickly continue searching, open other links and then look through them all. With Google it is a bit less convenient because I always get annoyed when a new link opens in the same window and I have to go back to proceed with searching. So when you need to open many links, Yandex can be just easier, but when you look for something particular and you know that you don’t need any other website, Google will be handy.
  • The final difference is not something I should tell you about but it is definitely something I am certain about. Yandex is REALLY better for pirating. In case you want to download something for free or watch a film online for free (even in English, btw!), Yandex is undoubtedly the right choice. Google is useless in such situations. And I’m not going to say that it is its disadvantage, of course not, especially for those who create this content and obviously don’t want to give it for free to everyone. I just want to say that using Yandex I managed to find literally everything I needed, like books, textbooks, films, music, etc., but of course I didn’t try to find any secret document or anything (and I want to remind you that I really don’t know sh*t anything about IT).

Well, summing up, I cannot say that some search engine is generally better because, as you can see, there are some advantages to each of them. However, it’s definitely good to have a choice. I can adjust my requests and make the search much more efficient. In conclusion, even though this post is about Yandex and Google, I am sure it can be applied to other search engines, too. They all have their own peculiarities and can be better at performing some tasks.