Facebook has partnered with Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine, to index updates to Pages and show users of the search engine their Facebook notifications. The integration is not live yet, but will augment Yandex’s existing index of twitter.com, livejournal.com and Russian blog platform liveinternet.ru.
Yandex will show different Facebook content in search results than Microsoft’s Bing, which joined the Instant Personalization program this month. Bing shows Likes on search results, while Yandex will include Page updates in a similar fashion to search engines including Booshaka and Open Facebook Search. Facebook will also display a widget on the Yandex front page, providing constant exposure for the social network.
Facebook recently increased its focus on the Russian market, signing deals with Russian mobile carriers to offer free access to Facebook. Despite having to compete with local social networks such as Vkontake and Odnoklassniki, Facebook is now growing relatively quickly there. According to The Facebook Global Monitor, part of our Inside Facebook Gold membership service, Facebook increased it’s Russian audience by 16.8%, or 228,960 users in September 2010. Still, Facebook has only registered 1.1% of the Russian population, so the Yandex partnership presents a new way of gaining exposure to Russia’s 60 million internet users.
Instead of crawling Facebook to index social content, Yandex will receive a syndication feed of Page updates directly from Facebook. This reduces the lag between content being posted and being indexed. The press release also mentions personal search, but doesn’t explain whether Yandex will show Facebook user profiles or Page profiles as results to searches for names.
Javier Olivan, Facebook’s Head of International, says “this partnership will bring a lot of value for our Russian users”. The partnership will get the Facebook name and content in front of millions of Russians. This may help Facebook to accelerate growth in the area in exchange for giving Yandex faster access to data which is already public.