Yandex is probably the biggest search engine few people have ever heard of.
The Russian search engine has surpassed Microsoft's Bing in the world's top search engine rankings, according to Search Engine Watch, which got its data from ComScore.
Coming in first place is Google with 114.7 billion search queries and 65.2 percent of the market share. China's Baidu ranked second with 14.5 billion queries and 8.2 percent share. Third was Yahoo with 8.6 billion queries and 4.9 percent share. And, fourth was Yandex with 4.8 billion queries and 2.8 percent share.
Despite Yandex now ranking higher than Bing for global search, Microsoft's engine is not far behind -- it had 4.4 billion queries and 2.5 percent market share. ComScore's data covers the number of worldwide search queries that took place in November and December 2012.
One of the reasons that Yandex is doing so well in the search world is that it has a massive Russian-speaking audience. The country has a population of nearly 142 million. According to Yandex, it generated 60.7 percent of all search traffic in Russia in October 2012. Besides Russia, it also operates in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Turkey.
While the English-speaking world has a bigger population, it also has more search engines to choose from. According to GigaOM, Microsoft sites had 268.6 million unique "searchers" in December, while Yandex had just 74.4 million. This shows that language is a mighty factor for Yandex's move up in the global search rankings -- and that Russian users search a lot.