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Russian search company Yandex acquires ad agency

Yandex, Russia's largest search engine acquired a display ad agency to bolster its advertising initiatives.

Russia's largest search site, Yandex, announced today that it acquired Mediaselling, an online display ad agency, for an undisclosed amount in an attempt to bolster its advertising initiatives and establish itself as Google and others try to create a foothold in the country.

Yandex, which recently postponed (Google Translation warning) its plans for an IPO, will allow Mediaselling to continue to operate as an independent entity for a short while, but the advertising firm will eventually become a part of Yandex, according to Mediaselling CEO Lev Gleyzer.

"I have good news," Gleyzer wrote in a blog post. "In September (of) this year, after several months of negotiations, we decided (to) join the team at Yandex. We have relied on (our) partnership and friendship with the Yandex team (and) always found a common language, understanding, and support."

According to the latest figures, Yandex currently serves 1.5 billion searches each month and ranks as the world's sixth-largest search engine behind Google, Yahoo, Baidu, Microsoft, and Naver. And with 10 million users currently embedding its contextual ads on their sites, Yandex's advertising network is growing rapidly. In fact, the company reported at the end of 2007 that its advertising network accounts for approximately 10 percent of its total revenue.

Yandex hopes that the Mediaselling acquisition will help it provide another level of service and ensure that advertising becomes an even more important element of its overall business.