Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, was born in Moscow in 1973, and the first words out of his mouth were Russian. Yet neither Russian nor the Russian market has come easily to Google.
Created in Silicon Valley by Mr. Brin and Larry Page, Google has adapted its search engine to dozens of languages, selling billions of dollars in advertising around the world. But in Russia, Google is behind the curve, trailing local Internet companies in executing searches and collecting rubles on the ads linked to those searches.
Mr. Brin left Russia with his family in 1979, and Google set up its Russian site three years ago and opened its first sales office there only one year ago, giving its rivals a long head start. But the company’s development has also been slowed by cultural and language issues, company executives — and rivals — say.