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, located at 40 Ulitsa Vavilova in Moscow. Up until this point, the company had been enjoying the hospitality of MTU Inform. Now Yandex had its own building, maintenance service and server.