Officials in Russia are launching a new search engine called Sputnik. The platform, which borrows its name from the famed Russian satellite of the same name, is meant to compete directly with Google.
The new search engine is being developed by Rostelecom, a state-controlled telecom service. The platform is also meant to compete with already established Russian search engine leader Yandex, which is based out of the Netherlands.
According to Reuters the new Sputnik search engine faces massive competition from Yandex which controls 62% of all search traffic in Russia. Yandex was recently destabilized after founder Ilya Segalovich lost his battle with cancer. Yandex stock suffered after that event as investors worried about the company’s long-term future.
Google in the meantime controls 25% of the countries search traffic and has recently been making a play at developing a stronger presence in the country.
According to a report in Russia’s Vedomosti, the team at Rostelecom has already spent $20 million developing the Sputnik search engine which will eventually go live at Sputnik.ru.
The new “Google-killer” is expected to launch in early 2014.
Rostelecom is not speaking publicly about the search engine at this time.
The biggest hurdle to overcome for the search engine may be competing with the massive international infrastructures already employed by Yandex and Google. Both of those companies offer more than just simple search features on their always growing platforms.
Do you think a Russian government owned telecommunications company can play catch up with Google, Yandex, and other heavily established search engine platforms?