Language Use on Yandex

In addition to Russia, Yandex offers a local search product in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkey. According to Yandex.Radar, in October 2017 Yandex’s share in Russia was 56,04%, Belarus 33,54%, Kazakhstan 19,79% and Turkey 2,67%.

When it comes to advertising on yandex.by and yandex.kz, it’s helpful to know that Belarus has two official state languages – Belarusian and Russian, the Republic of Kazakhstan has one state language – Kazakh but Russian is also officially recognized. Yandex research data present that 92% of searches from Belarusian users are in Russian and only 1% in the Belarusian language. In Kazakhstan the percentage of search queries in Russian is smaller – 80%, around 12% of search queries are completed in the Kazakh language. Around 5% of all searches in both former USSR republics are in English, most likely brand related queries.

To reach out to Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh users it’s sufficient to enable these geo regions and use Russian ad texts. However, you can also have creatives in Kazakh and Belarusian to appeal to users who predominantly speak their mother tongue. Yandex has full support of both languages.

Oftentimes advertisers get their ads disapproved for writing English ad texts and targeting Russia, Kazakhstan or Belarus. By law only official state languages can be used in offline and online advertising and if you write English ads you need to include translation to one of the official languages in parenthesis. As this takes up additional ad space, most ads in these countries are delivered in locally accepted languages. At the same time, if you’d like to target any other country on Yandex (except RU, KZ, BY, TR), for example users searching on Yandex in the USA or Croatia, you can use Russian or English ad texts without any restrictions.

Finally, when it comes to keyword research you may find Keyword Statistics tool helpful – https://wordstat.yandex.com/ (by Region tab). For any market you choose to target you can use keywords in any of the supported languages (RU, BY, KZ, TR, EN) but as mentioned above a vast majority of all searches are completed in local languages.