Spring Has Sprung: What’s Shifting in the Russian Search World?

The change of season has an impact on a number of areas for people everywhere.  After being in Russia a few weeks ago when it snowed three days in a row, I know my colleagues and the rest of the Russian population are ready for the wave of beautiful weather and “deck season” hitting Russia this week!

The change in weather and special events during the season influence how people spend their time and money.  Quite obviously, the shifts in Russian life translate to shifts in Russian search behavior as well.  This blog first covers some of the major things going on in Russia and then evaluates Yandex users’ search behavior that corresponds to this time of year.

Russian Spring Holidays:

The beginning of May is a vacation period in Russia.  With a series of holidays to start off the month, few are in the office and most are spending time enjoying the nice weather and a few extra days off.  If your traffic is down this week, here’s why:

May 1, Labor Day: Russians spend the long weekend celebrating labor day and kicking off dacha season.  Monday the 4th of May was also a day off to continue the long weekend of celebrations of parades and parties.

May 9, Victory Day: Russians celebrate Nazi Germany surrendering to the Soviet Union and Allies on May 9th 1945.  Russians celebrate with military parades and tributes to all the veterans and those who lost their lives.  Russians honor those who served with flowers and major firework displays cap off the festivities at night.  For the past several weeks, signs for the 70th anniversary of Victory Day have been prepping locals for the celebrations this weekend.

Tyumen, Russia - May 9. 2008: Parade of Victory Day in Tyumen. Old-fashioned car with animator in tiger costume on parade

Tyumen, Russia – May 9. 2008: Parade of Victory Day in Tyumen. Old-fashioned car with animator in tiger costume on parade

June 12, Russia Day: Russia Day celebrates Russian sovereignty from the Soviet Union in 1990. The holiday was established in 1992 and continues to be celebrated today.

Russian Dacha Season:

The spring and summer is a time when Russians spend their weekends and holidays relaxing at the dacha or summer cabin or cottage.  Dachas are an hour driving distance or further away from Russians’ primary residences that offer a peaceful getaway.  Most spend their time at the dachas pampering, gardening, playing games outdoors, BBQing, and just enjoying family and friends.

The May 1, labor day holiday kicks off the dacha season for Russians.  Yandex.Traffic even sent out some warnings on Twitter to help prepare Moscowvites for the dacha traffic heading out of the city.

Dacha and garden in summer time

Dacha and garden in summer time

Russian Spring Search and Shopping Shifts:

As seasons shift, so do the types of queries people enter to solve their everyday problems and needs.  For most, that means planning for spring time activities.  For travelers looking to take a vacation in the Spring, domestic flights are the preferred option in Russia.  In coordination with spring holidays, many Russians travel domestically raising Yandex impressions relating to domestic flights by 51% in the Spring.

Domestic v international flights

Russia’s popular domestic vacation spots peak during the spring and summer seasons.  However, May yields the most significant increase for air plane ticket searches to local Russia destinations.  Keep in mind that many Russians travel by train, especially when trips like the Moscow to St. Peterburg train are a quick overnight ride.  While Moscow and St.Petersburg have a lot of great attractions for locals, most are looking to go to resort location areas like Sochi, Simferopol, anf Krasnodor where they can enjoy the sun and water.

Top 5 flight destinations Russia

Whether it is locally or in a town they are visiting, Russians spend a significant amount of times in parks.  If you’ve visited Russia, you must have noticed lots of people walking about, enjoying ice cream, roller-blading, riding bikes, and playing soccer.  These days most parks also provide free Wi-Fi to patrons, making it a popular place for people to turn off their data and turn on their WiFi.  Searches for Russian parks increase during the spring period when people are looking to get outside for activities or cultural excursions.

Yandex park searches

Russians are also preparing for even warmer weather and looking online for organizations that install air conditioners.  May and June are the peak times of year for Russians to search for AC installation services.  Home appliances and hardware also continue to be a top eCommerce category in Russia so it’s no surprise that users also turn to Yandex to get information on services associated with appliances.

Yandex AC searches

Warm weather also brings new trends for clothing and fashion.  Most of the fashion searches you would expect to be peaking this time of year are popular on Yandex.

russian clothing queries

People are making purchases for vacation wear, beach attire, and general warm weather outfits.   In addition to the spring searches below, Russians are also searching more for sunglasses, travel bags, ankle boots, and spring purses.

russian footwear queries

Keep in mind that users will also be looking for all sorts of equipment for spring activities like fishing and volleyball!  Advertisers on Yandex.Direct, be sure to adjust your campaigns to the way Russians are searching this season!