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Google Gains on Russia's Local Internet Giant Yandex

Yandex operates a range of services in Russia.

Russia's online population is increasingly favoring Google over homegrown search engine Yandex to surf the Internet, according to a report released Tuesday by investment firm Morgan Stanley.   

Polls taken by the investment bank between 2012 and 2014 found that 51 percent of mobile users said that they frequently used Google, as opposed to only 41 percent who favored Yandex.

Yandex, ranked as the fourth most used search engine worldwide, operates a range of services in Russia, from Yandex.Music, an audio streaming site, to Yandex.Money, an online banking service.

Morgan Stanley said Google's mobile boost is likely tied to the widespread use of its Android mobile software — more than 70 percent of smartphones in Russia run a version of the system, which operates on most non-Apple devices.

The poll also found that 83 percent of desktop computer users favored Google among their web browsers, as opposed to 73 percent who generally preferred to use Yandex. Morgan Stanley said the popularity of Google's Chrome web browser may be a contributing factor.

The bank's report contradicts results from leading internet statistics service Liveinternet.ru, which show Yandex retaining its title as Russia's most popular browser, newspaper Vedomosti said. According to Liveinternet.ru, at the end of January Yandex had a 58.9 percent share of all searches in Russia compared to Google's share of just 32.8 percent.   

Morgan Stanley's poll was taken twice yearly by 30,000 users, with analysts studying the behavior of 1,500 respondents. No margin of error was given.

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