WebIt 2010

21 October 2010 by Nikola Shahpazov and Sevda Shinarova
Marvin Liao

You’ve been part of the Yahoo! team for 9 years now. How has this famous Internet brand changed?
I think we’ve grown up a lot and much more focused on where and what we are good at when serving consumers and advertisers. Ie. the premium content and communications space

Who do you think is the current winner in the great competition between Google and Yahoo!?
I think as the industry matures the players start playing towards there strengths. So I frankly don’t see a great competition per se between Yahoo! and Google anymore. Google focuses on search and are great at it although I see some competition coming from MSN’s Bing soon. Yahoo! is more focused on content and communications which is our strong suit (although thru the Search Alliance with Microsoft we will still play in the Search arena…so stay tuned).

Could Yahoo! be pointed out as the biggest IT company in the world?
Depends on how you define IT (hardware, software, internet etc.), we are definitely one of better known brands worldwide and if you count internet industry alone, we are in the top 3 for sure.

Has the development of Internet technology during the last few years surprised you in any way?
Absolutely there are always new technologies and companies coming out of nowhere, it’s a very exciting industry to be part of.

What will you presentation at WebIt concentrate on?
I will focus my presentation on overall internet trends and some new cool ad technologies as well as an example or two of some cool ad campaigns I have seen. Webit is attended of more than 5000 advertising and marketing specialist from the whole region which is interesting and important for us and I hope to meet in personally part of them there during the event.

You’re a huge U2 fan – did you get the chance to see some gig of their spectacular 360° Tour?
Unfortunately not, work has kept me pretty busy.

Andrey Serbant
Q: You’ve been part of the Yandex team for 6 years now. How has this famous Russian Internet brand changed?
A: It has really matured. From a company with around 100 employees sitting in a small cozy office and a loose enough internal structure Yandex has evolved into sophisticated and efficient one with about 2500 people working in 9 offices across all Russia and two other countries including US. We have learned how to operate on several different national markets and successfully compete with not only local, but also global players.
But when we speak about changes, it is equally important to mention what we have kept unchanged: we have managed to preserve our core values through all the changes and tremendous growth. They are our focus, our spirit, and our soul. We still are a single team of brilliant people doing their best to provide over 50 million people with the best possible answers. Our scientists and engineers keep inventing new amazing technologies, and products based on these technologies are easy to use, fast and efficient. We help our users to feel happy and at home in a vast and ever changing internet: it’s a wonderful challenge for all of us at Yandex .

Q: Is Yandex actually more popular in Russia than Google, for example?
A: Yes, according to search traffic measurements by LiveInternet, Yandex delivers over 60% of search traffic to Russian sites compared with 22% delivered by Google. ComScore data show that monthly audience of Google search is 60-70% of Yandex search. These numbers mean that in Russia more users prefer Yandex and, moreover, they use it more frequently even if they use both search engines. Yandex.Mail, according to ComScore, is almost 5 times more popular than Gmail, and Yandex.Maps are 30% more popular than Google Maps.

Q: Could Yandex be pointed out as one of the biggest IT companies in the world?
A: It is for the international experts to judge, but we feel and we work as a really big international IT company ;)

Q: Has the development of Internet marketing during the last few years surprised you in any way?
A: It keeps amazing me how interactive technologies change the role and the meaning of marketing. Marketing is becoming more and more a win-win game, where users are satisfied with marketing which helps them solve their problems while companies are satisfied with increasing efficiency of their marketing communication.

Q: What will you presentation at WebIt concentrate on?
A: I believe that modern interactive marketing (thanks to different digital channels it now includes) becomes a quantitative experimental science of a sort. I will try to show how experiments and measurements help marketers improve the products and the entire communication with a customer.

Q: sebrant.ru reveals your love for travelling and photography. Is that your favourite way of spending your free time? Where are you heading next?
A: Yes, you are right, I travel a lot and I just love it! ;) Visiting new places and sharing their beauty with friends using all the tools that digital photo, video and the internet offer is my idea of a perfect vacation. I hope that the next chance to spend a week out of the office will happen around Christmas and the New Year. At that time I usually dream about bright sun, not very steep mountains and a beautiful ocean ;) Sounds like Madeira, maybe…


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