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Yandex search: Revenue up 43 percent in '10

The Russian search engine says better search-engine quality and the revival of small-business advertising led to improved financial results.

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Yandex, the Russian search engine that along with China's Baidu is demonstrating Google doesn't have a total lock on search, reported that its 2010 revenue increased 43 percent year over year to 12.5 billion rubles, or about $420 million.

The company made 88 percent of its 2010 revenue from contextual ads, which by its definition include those shown next to search results, the company said yesterday. The company has more than 180,000 advertisers.

The revenue figures exclude commissions paid to partners, the company said. Yandex, a privately held company, didn't release information about its profitability.

"The highlight of 2010, as we see it, is that by constantly improving our product quality we managed to increase our share in the search market," Chief Executive Arkady Volozh said in a statement. "The considerable revenue increase we report this year reflects two important trends--a post-crisis revival of the small and medium-sized businesses and a shift in advertising expenditures from other channels towards online advertising."

Yandex has a foothold in Russia, but Google remains strong. According to iSuppli statistics released yesterday, Google's share of the search-ad market grew from 81 percent to 83 percent even as the market itself grew $26.1 billion in 2009 to $30.4 billion in 2010.

"While Google remains the undisputed leader in most major markets, there are some notable exceptions. These include South Korea, Russia and, most importantly, China. In these markets, the dominant search engines belong to local operators, i.e., NHN, Yandex, and Baidu," iSuppli said.