Russian Online Dating: What are people searching?

Online dating has become a really common method for finding a relationship.  Of course, this requires the Internet and basic computer skills.  While most of us take this for granted, the practice of online dating is sure to rise in some of the areas where the Internet still has room for growth and technology is catching up to Western standards.

As the Russian Internet penetration currently stands at approximately 55% and 46% of users are logging in daily, online dating has the potential to truly explode in a place where it is already picking up steam.

Last month alone Russians searched for online dating sites 1,078,000 times according to Yandex.Wordstat.  Russian men and women ranging from 20 to 60 are in the online dating scene, looking for a variety of things. Whether it is a popular online dating site, a calendar of events like speed-dating, or mobile applications, Russians are trying it all online.

Those turning to a search engine to narrow their results are most commonly searching for serious relationships. More specifically, “dating sites for relationships” proved to be a popular keyword, attracting 27, 000 search queries last month on Yandex.  Next in line, users specified that they were looking for “dating sites for serious relationships,” which drew in 26,000 queries on the popular Russian search engine.

Interestingly, but maybe not surprisingly, many users were also looking for relationships with foreigners.  The keyword “dating sites with foreigners” was searched 15,000 times in a month time period. There are specific dating sites for foreigners and Russians to meet one another, in addition to search parameters on sites that can limit matches.  Of course, users can specify which type of foreigner they are looking for including such broad search parameters as “former Soviet Union.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a less popular but still relevant keyword is “dating sites for sex,” which yields approximately 13,000 searches in a month.  Culturally, such searches and interests are far less acceptable and common.  In fact the query doesn’t even pop up when Yandex guesses what a user is trying to find in the search box.  Rather, it populates a series of keywords relating to serious relationships.

Many users were also commonly searching for free online dating services and sites that did not require a registration.  Of course, many Russians also specified their location in the searches for online match-making sites.  The top 5 Runet cities for online dating in order of popularity include Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-don, and Kiev.  However, Moscovites are online dating far more than others, yielding twice as many searches than residents of St. Petersburg and six times more than the other cities.