Global Gateway Fail: Yandex

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Yandex is Russia’s leading search engine and, following in Google’s footsteps, is eager to take over much of Russia’s Internet, which naturally includes the web browser.

Yandex is also in the process of expanding its reach beyond Russia.

But when I visited the web browser download web page I couldn’t help but notice a few problems with the global gateway.

Shown below is the only “English” option for me.  The use of the UK flag signals to me that Yandex doesn’t yet have a web browser available for American web users. But perhaps Yandex is using the flag to simply indicate language, but I can’t be sure either way. What I am sure of is that flags are usually a bad idea in global gateways.

yandex_gateway

Flags often limit the reach of a language, so use them only if you’re focused on specific ecommerce/legal scenarios. If, for example, your goal is to reach the maximum number of English speakers around the world don’t use the flag of one English-speaking country.

Clicking on the Select Language link brings up the following menu. Take a quick look and see if anything looks a bit odd to you…

yandex_gateway2

You might notice the use of Spain’s flag to indicate “Spanish.”  Granted, the localization could be specific to Spain only, but I’d bet that Yandex would prefer that most Spanish speakers download the app and not just Spaniards.

I also didn’t realize that Brazil’s dominant language was  known as Brazilian. Actually, it’s not. It’s supposed to be called Brazilian Portuguese. Another global gateway fail.

So I’d say at this point, based purely on the global gateway, that Yandex has a ways to go before world domination.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.