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MySpace Searches Down Under, Finds Google

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-24

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While News Corp.-owned MySpace.com courts major search engines to expand its advertising offerings through search marketing, it is also looking to expand its Australian base to better target its 800,000 Aussie members.

MySpace.com adds 5000-6000 Australian members daily, according to Australian IT News. Looking at the swell of members from Down Under has given News Corp. ideas about localizing content. Of specific interest is enabling users to preview music at MySpace as its parent company begins talks with Australian recording labels and enhancing search offerings.

Boasting nearly 80 million captive eyeballs with high levels of disposable income, MySpace is ripe for commercial development through targeted advertising. Last month, the website was found for the first time among a list of major search engines jockeying for search market share. With 43 million search queries conducted on the site, MySpace came in 6th place, just behind Ask.com.

It has a lot of ground to make up, however, if News Corp. wants to break into the top five. Ask.com reported 384 million search queries, nearly 10 times MySpace searches. But it's sudden presence on the search list may have been a fortunate accident, even if its place on among Google, MSN, and Yahoo! was predictable.

In February, Hitwise's Bill Tancer told a group of attendees at the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York, "all they need [at MySpace] is a search engine."

Tancer and the rest of the panel, that included Nielsen//NetRating's Ken Cassar, comScore's James Lamberti, and Enquiro CEO Gordon Hotchkiss, agreed that MySpace would a be a powerful force in online marketing.

In a very short time MySpace.com took over Google in terms of page views. Other virally charged social networks, like YouTube, were also touted as prime advertising space outpacing Google Video and Yahoo Video.

Google appears to be the front-runner for serving search adverting to MySpace members, but MSN is reportedly making a showing in the discussions. A deal with News Corp. would add a hefty boost to either company by offering targeted and potentially lucrative ad placement.

MSN needs all the help it can get. As Google increased its search market share for the ninth straight month to 43.1 percent (2.9 billion queries), MSN remains stagnant at 12.9 percent (858 million queries). In addition, MSN is virtually blocked from the search toolbar market as Google and Yahoo! control nearly 96 percent of that toolbar queries.

It would be a smart move for MSN to lobby hard to supply search advertising to MySpace as the site is poised to explode in the advertising marketplace and expand to countries outside the US. In March, the MySpace homepage (by itself) was already bringing in $750,000 per day in advertising revenues. Ad search marketing to those numbers and the site will become a unique force in the online world.


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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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