Russian search engine Yandex has partnered with VKontakte, the largest local social network in Russia — which accounts more than half of web traffic in the CIS region.
Under the agreement, the public-facing elements of VKontakte user profiles will show up in Yandex searches in realtime. So far, this has resulted in Yandex indexing over 25 million user profiles, essentially creating a people search engine since results, where publicly available, will link to and/or display a person’s date of birth, place of birth, university or place of work.
In addition, Yandex uses face recognition technology to pick the relevant part of a user’s profile photo to turn it into a thumbnail for use in search results.
VKontakte status updates and blog posts will also be indexed by Yandex for use in its dedicated blog search engine.