The company released the Russian internet’s first contextual ad placement system, Yandex.Direct, allowing ads to be placed directly on Yandex without any intermediary. In its first year, it attracted more than 2,500 advertisers.
Open Search Challenge
Yandex came up with an internet search championship, open to all, with the winner being awarded the Yandex Cup and the title of “The Person Who Found Everything”. The competition became very popular and ran through to 2008. Under Yandex’s licence similar competitions were held in Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Israel, Norway and the United States.
Yandex moved into its first office, once home to one the first series of Russia’s Academy of Sciences mainframe computers BESM, and then the Elbrus. Now Yandex had its own building, maintenance service and a server room. Up until that point, Yandex's servers had been hosted by MTU Inform.