Remember that little social networking website called MySpace. Well all the major search engines have been vying for the right to service MySpace’s search and contextual advertising needs, and it appears that Google has triumphed.
You might recall our recent post “MySpace Climbs to the Top” which outlined the meteoric rise of the social networking site. In July, it ranked as the most popular US site surpassing both Google and Yahoo! for line honors. Needless to say, that sort of traffic represents a lucrative, relatively untapped search audience.
The recently announced multi-year deal will see Google exclusively provide search results and contextual ads across MySpace in exchange for $900 million in guaranteed payments to the Fox Interactive Media Network (MySpace’s parent company).
So what does this deal really mean?
Well Google has been notably lacking in the social networking environment. Rivals Yahoo! and Microsoft have ventured far more successfully into the social sphere with their own communities – MyYahoo and MSN Spaces (now Windows Live). These existing Yahoo! and Microsoft communities would have made it a challenge for them to secure the MySpace deal.
For Google, it’s a chance to get in bed (metaphorically speaking) with the leading social community site. The value of this deal goes far beyond just increased exposure. The learnings that Google can get from understanding MySpace’s visitors and social networking as a whole, will probably outweigh the deal’s short term revenue potential.
In terms of advertisers and website owners relying on Google for traffic, the deal does mean that the reach of your search exposure is increased considerably. With an increasingly broad demographic of users, this MySpace deal is definitely a major coup for Google and its advertisers.
Watch this space to see how Yahoo! and Microsoft respond to this mega deal!