MOSCOW Jan 14 Russian internet group Yandex
has signed an agreement with Facebook for access
to content from some of the social networking site's users in a
move to further improve its search results.
Yandex leads the world's biggest search engine Google
in Russia with a market share of more than 60 percent
and derives the bulk of its revenues from text search-based
In a statement on Tuesday, Yandex said it would get full
access to public data from Facebook users in Russia, CIS
countries including Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and in
Turkey. Apart from the users' posts, its search results will
soon also display other users' comments on them.
The agreement is non-cash and is based on mutual benefits
with Yandex improving the quality of its search results and
Facebook getting more traffic, a Yandex spokeswoman said.
Russia's social networking landscape is dominated by local
players such as Vkontakte, part-owned by internet holding
company Mail.ru, while Facebook is ranked an
estimated fourth most popular site.
Yandex raised $1.4 billion in an oversubscribed initial
public offering in New York in May 2011 that was priced at $25
per share. The stock has since risen by around 70 percent as
Yandex benefited from booming online advertising in the country
which has become Europe's largest internet market by audience.
It recently also raised $600 million by placing convertible
senior notes due 2018 to fund a share buyback programme and for
general corporate purposes.