Google, Yahoo, And MSN To Vie For MySpace
MySpace, the dominant social networking site, would like to partner with one of the Web’s leading search engine companies. So said Peter Chermin, the chief operating officer of News Corp., which owns MySpace.
According to Chermin, the popular site, which has about 38 million members, will “auction off our search business to one of the three biggest, Google, Yahoo and MSN, and see the best we can get.” This news created slight confusion in some quarters.
There were already rumors that MySpace intended to partner with either Google or Microsoft. This seemed to imply that the social networking site was turning away from Yahoo, which, to all appearances, is the current search provider. But although searches on MySpace do yield results from Yahoo, it is apparently another, separate, partner that is reselling Yahoo results to MySpace, and not the search engine company itself.
Investors didn’t seem overjoyed about the announcement, as Class A shares of News Corp. stock fell 20 cents shortly thereafter. News Corp. has been gaining for the year, however. The media company, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch, purchased MySpace last year for $580 million.
Ross Levinsohn, president of the group, said the company hopes to make an agreement with a search engine provider within the next two months. The number of search queries on MySpace is nothing compared to those of the leading search engine, Google – 43 million searches in April vs. 2.9 billion – but it’s nothing to sneeze at, either.
Cutting out the middleman and making a direct deal with a search engine provider should be a good move for MySpace. Of course, it remains to be seen which provider they’ll partner with, and what sort of agreement the companies will reach.