Yandex Geo-targeted Ads in Maps, Search Results Open for Business

Russian search engine Yandex has introduced geo-targeted ads to its business directory. Based on what users are searching for, Yandex will highlight the location of local and small businesses in Yandex's map and search results.

Here's what the new geo-targeted ads will look like. Note: there are two search boxes. The left box is the "what" and the right is "where."

First, here's a search for [Car Services] near [Golovinskoe Shosse] in Moscow with the company Наука-авто (or Nauka-Avto) highlighted. Nauka-Avto has paid to have its location on the map highlighted in yellow and its listing appear as No. 1:

Yandex-Car-Service.png

Here's a search for [banks] on [Vatutina Street]. БИНБанк (or BINBank) is the top listing.

Yandex-Banks.png

And here's a search for [coffee houses] near [Nevsky Prospekt] in Saint Petersburg. Чайная ложка (or Chainaya Lozhka) is highlighted.

Yandex-Coffee-Houses.png

Yandex's presentation has some similarities to Google Maps/Places. However, one big difference is that Google highlights paid listings as "Ads," but Yandex doesn't.

Yandex says this will aid businesses without an online presence (e.g., small bakeries, hairdressing salons, repair shops). More than 25 million people use Yandex search and more than 11.5 million people use its maps service, according to TNS Russia.

The company will charge a fixed price for a fixed period of time. For example, Moscow advertisers would pay 9,450 Rubles (about $317) for a business listing, while Samara advertisers would pay 3,150 rubles (about $106) due to the smaller population.

Yandex Acquires Loginza

Yandex has also acquired startup Loginza, maker of a single sign-in plug-in, for an undisclosed amount.

Loginza "supports authentication via Facebook and Twitter, along with Blogger, WordPress, VeriSign, AOL, Yahoo!, Flickr, Last.fm, LiveJournal, myOpenID and OpenID. It also supports authorization schemes of a number of Russian services: Yandex, Mail.Ru, Vkontakte, Rambler, WebMoney, Diary.ru and Loginza," TechCrunch Europe reported.