Russia’s Yandex Takes On Search, Ad Sales For Rambler Portal

The big Russian portal Rambler will outsource its on-site search facility and some ad sales duties to the country’s leading search engine, Yandex – a partnership reminiscent of that between MSN and Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), but one which slams a door in Google’s face in Russia.

Rambler is joining the Yandex Ad Network, meaning some of its ads against search results and on content pages will be placed via Yandex.Direct. A portion of ads against Rambler search results will continue to be sold via the Begun contextual ad network, of which Rambler owns a controlling stake, but must now be placed via Yandex’s engine, meaning Yandex’s own pages will get to run Begun ads.

Rambler’s search will also be powered by Yandex. Rambler CEO Nicholas Molibog writes he will use Yandex for general search results, leaving Rambler to focus on providing meaningful recommendations of products and services that emerge from search results, like car insurance policies.

Yandex already has a 65 percent search share in Russia.

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) tried to buy Begun in 2008 but was blocked by Russian competition authorities on a supposed technicality. It since signs deals to put AdSense on and to power search and ads for the market-leading web portal