With Google dominant in so many markets, one would thing that search is kind’ve ‘done’. Of course, we have yet to really tap into social search, and Facebook Graph search is showing a clear direction. But traditional Web search could still be re-imagined. That is what Russian based search giant Yandex plans to do from today. They feel there should be way more functionality to search terms. If you are searching for a hotel room, why can you not see live prices and availability? That’s a taster of what they plan to do.
The roll-out is uncharacteristically Russian. Yandex has taken to using Turkey as a test market. It has an on-the-ground operation there and, so the next Yandex version will start there, and gradually rollout out to Russian users (Yandex gets five billion searches each month from the Russian market and has a market share of more than 60 per cent – and is growing rapidly). After that is plans a fill global roll out.
Yandex is calling these ‘Islands’. The new feature is designed to speed up engagement with sites and services by allowing users to directly action their query – such as booking cinema tickets, making restaurant reservations or paying a bill – directly from the search page rather than through an organisation’s site.
The feature will be available for all searchers on different types of devices, launching first on PCs, then on mobile devices and tablets. It is being rolled out to Yandex’s 8 million users in Turkey today and will then be introduced to Yandex’s broader customer base in Russian, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan in the coming months.