The Search Engine Cold War by @arron_daniels

Jan 14, 2015

There is a search engine turf war going on in Russia, and it isn’t looking pretty for Google. Recent legislation from the Russian government has forced Google to shut down it’s engineering operations leaving Yandex to remain the dominant force. So what does this mean to sourcers and recruiters? Options for different search results.

If you haven’t heard of Yandex, they are 4th largest search engine in the world headquartered in Russia with some unique search capabilities. (Big Shout out to @Jim Stroud who introduced me to Yandex a couple years back)

Don’t Search Google Exclusively

Those who attended the Denver SourceCon heard @SteveRath mention some interesting stats.

  • The web is approximately 60 Trillion individual web pages and growing.

  • Search engines can only see a part of that.

  • Google is the most comprehensive, yet it only searches 40% of the web.

  • Each search engine yields unique results based on their algorithms.

With all of this in mind, I take some time to play around with other search engines that I come across as a mental exercise and just a good rule of thumb.

Yandex Pros & Cons

I know what you are thinking, you are a little rusty on your Russian. Not to worry, there is an English version or you can run translation functions  (Chrome or Firefox) and it will translate the Russian version in real time on the fly. ?????????? ?????!


  • Search for words in a sentence using the “&” as an operator. I find this useful for natural language search or very specific searches

          jeremy & roberts  & sourcecon

  • Operator for words appearing in the same page “&&”

          sourcecon && sourcing && arron && daniels

  • Accurate NEAR type operator that uses a simple forward slash radar /5 survivability

  • Stems search words engineer = engineering, engineered, engineers, etc.  This can be helpful depending on what you are searching for and who you ask

  • Undocumented intext: command that works fairly well

intext:sourcecon Seattle intext:2015


  • Yandex automatically stems words. This is for the other side of the coin when you don’t want a search engine to “think” for you.

  • When searching the captcha is EXTREMLY aggravating withuot using a virtual keyboard.

  • They have two different search algorithms (confirmed by their support personnel) for English vs Russian searches; this is like two search engines, but with a lot overlapping results.

For a detailed breakdown of their search operators click here.

Photo Credit

Yandex Browser

That’s right folks, they are also jumping on the browser bandwagon. It’s pretty slick and has some aesthetic features, but these cool features worth mentioning.

  • Chrome Extensions – Access the Chrome Web Store using the browser to run extensions just like chrome. Most of the extensions work, but some will not.

  • Tableau – (new tab option) taking a page Opera browser and how it has tiles on their start page – here you can save a search you run regularly to access it again with a  simple click of the mouse.

So that’s a quick look at Yandex. Have a look around in the search features, experiment, and have some fun with it. Good hunting!

Photo Credit

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