Perhaps I was too categorical in my earlier post about Yandex’ mastery over Google in the Russian market.
On 29 September the Russian search giant, while confirming its earnings outlook, also disclosed negative information about its market share trend, which slipped to 61.4% (MTD as of 26 September) from 63% in the prior month. This is a very significant slippage.
The specific cause cited was Google’s promotion of its Chrome browser, which does not include Yandex as a default search option (although this can be updated by Chrome users manually). The Moscow News also reported that Yandex experienced some technical difficulties with its servers in the last few days of September. Finally, Google is the midst of a fairly significant advertising campaign on Russian TV.
So, the Russian market is still being contested, even though this latest market dynamic may not have been specifically targeted by Google. While variations in market share are expected, this particular effect is quite significant and merits close monitoring.
The news has also been devastating for the company’s stock price. It’s down 21% since 27 September, when news about the market share erosion broke, and as of 7 October stood at $19.82, more than 20% below its May 2011 initial offering price of $25.