Looking at Google AdSense Placement on MySpace

SMS Text

Google and MySpace put together a major partnership last year with a focus on Google Advertising. About two months after the partnership, Google AdSense contextual ads began appearing throughout the MySpace social network.

A study was published yesterday by Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield estimating that MySpace is now generating over $30 million per month in advertising revenue.

The main advertising channels throughout MySpace are branded sponsorship of MySpace (think X-men or Transformers), display advertising, and contextual advertising. MySpace also charges companies for the set up of professional profiles.

The display advertising in MySpace, usually a leaderboard banner served on the top of all pages, including user profiles, seems to be served mostly via Advertising.com and other ad networks. I have not seen any graphic display ads served by Google yet.

However, Google AdSense contextual ads are served throughout the MySpace admin, forums, MySpace Music, Blogs, Mail and other personalized pages.

I’ve compiled screenshots of Google AdSense in action on MySpace and have come across these trends:

  1. The ads are not marked as ‘Ads by Google’, but only as Sponsored Ads.
  2. The majority of Google AdSense ads use a clear background, blending with the page design.
  3. Google is serving ads in different sizes dependent upon placement.
  4. The Google Ads are targeted towards user interests and lifestyle (which users teach to MySpace & Google via their info and profiles). For example, I am single and have lived in Brazil and Japan. Most of the ads served to me are for Singles Sites where I can meet Brazilians and Japanese women. That’s some very tight ad targeting by Google.

Here is a rundown of MySpace pages serving Google AdSense contextual ads, Google Ads are highlighted in red:

MySpace Homepage

MySpace Homepage

MySpace Admin Home

MySpace Admin

MySpace Friends

MySpace Friends

MySpace Mail Inbox

MySpace Mail

MySpace Blog Posts

MySpace Blog

MySpace Music

MySpace Music

MySpace Groups Messages

MySpace Groups

MySpace Events

MySpace Events

MySpace Video

MySpace Video

MySpace Movies

MySpace Films

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Everett Sizemor

    I love how the ad I’m seeing just above your comments is Yahoo ! Search marketing… Ads by Gooooogle.

    Good post. One would have to assume that MySpace has the inside scoop on some Google ad converstion / ctr metrics that most of us just aren’t privy to.

    Now let me go Diggit….

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    My guess Everett is the clicks are high volume, lower CTR%, medium pay per click.

    Since dating sites make up the mass of the Google Ads which I am seeing, and dating sites spend A LOT on advertising, but usually very ROI and conversion driven ads… I am guessing that the campaigns being shown are working for everyone.

    Other ads seem to be download or ringtones driven, and if you ever read ShoeMoney.com you should know that MySpace users LOVE Ringtones.

    Do you have a MySpace account? What Google AdSense ads are you seeing?

  • Dan

    I am getting good results on the home page…less so on the others. A pretty big swing. Like a $2 cpc to a $34 cpc

  • Hawaii SEO

    Are they somehow targeting you by cookie or page referral? For example: If you visit a page tagged “Brazilian Singles” a script places that phrase in the page code as you browse the rest of site. Google may look for the script to serve relevant ads.

    Or… Maybe the ads are tied to something in your profile. For example: No matter where you go on the site, Google is looking back at your profile and friends list (Not the page you are actually on).

    I’ve noticed the same phenomenon on LinkedIn. Pages serve seemingly irrelevant ads if you were to only judge them by the page content but are somehow very targeted if you were to look at my profile or surfing behavior instead of the page.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Dan, thanks for contributing but I meant which ads are being served to you by Google AdSense when you log into MySpace.com, not on your own site.

  • watch live tv

    caught a spelling typo “which users tech MySpace & Google via their info and profiles”, you probably meant which users teach?

    I find it unfair of Google to allow Digg and Myspace customize their ad setup, while not letting smaller sites to customize it in this manner. Overall I’m not a fan of Google’s Adsense, it’s probably their weakest service mostly because users already have ad blindness for it and they such a low CTR and low payouts.

  • bdwill

    Let’s have a part 2 to this research — I’m interested. After reading the text and seeing the screenshots, I was waiting for more info and analysis.

  • dan

    The reason Digg, Myspace etc can change the layout of their ads is because they’re premium publishers. If you have a high traffic site such as Myspace, Google will approach you to become a premium publisher.

  • Pat

    I am not suprised, but it seems like Facebook is beginning to take over, at least somewhat. Myspace is getting a little out of whack.

  • S E Abraham

    Thank you for this interesting article

  • Kavalier

    Question I keep wondering is when are Google style text ads going to suffer “banner blindness” or has it already started?

  • Pablo Palatnik

    No matter how you look at it, it was a great deal for both parties. Last i checked, myspace charged you for ad space by the amount of clicks per month they can deliver and the numbers are incredible and it will deliver. As far as qualified traffic, i believe the best niche (which is really too big to call a niche) is the Music section on myspace which is most peoples favorite section and also they have a section all about Comic Books, as well as Films from indy producers, etc.

    If you have the budget, i think its worth the try. The ads seem to be more and more personalized each time.

  • Pbanker

    I agree, I like facebook much better than myspace.

    Though, I think myspace has a much wider user base because they were open to more people to begin with.

  • FriendlyFace

    MySpace has ads?

    Oh wait, silly me, I forgot I’m running Ad Muncher.

    Ads don’t exist anymore.


  • helmut

    to Kavalier: it has already ๐Ÿ˜‰
    my eyes flip over text ads as much as over banners… i don’t think i’m the only one outhere.

  • Psychic Readings

    good article, thanks

  • TheMacThinker

    Seeing some sponsored contextual text ads does not necessarily mean that it is google adsense. They can also be yahoo or microsoft ads. The ones that you show on the pics do not have the google signature so how do you know that it is from google?

  • Dan Bailey

    @TheMacThinker: If you right click on any of the ads, you’ll see Google’s URL in the bottom of your browser.

  • Loren

    Mac, because MySpace and Google have an excusive search na d contxtual advertising partnership.

  • Hiren Modi

    Great article and good information about Adsense!!!

  • Bucky

    WOW! $30 million in ad revenue PER MONTH! That is a pile of cash!

    If I made $30 million OVER THE COURSE OF MY LIFE, I would be quite happy…lol

  • Dan

    Yes. I am running ads ON myspace. that is what i am talking about.

  • AyeRoxor

    Very nice. They blend it in pretty seamlessly with the site so it’s not annoying or distracting, yet clearly mark it as sponsored. Many sites could take a clue.

  • Chris

    One thing that’s missing is how do I (or anyone without a HUGE budget) get AdSense ads on MySpace w/o going through an ad agency? I am trying to target a very specific market and MySpace would be a perfect place for my business to advertise.

  • John

    To Loren, Dan & Others who have experience here.. We know how Adsense et al’s tech works to create relevance which isnt sometimes.

    My question is, if I gave you and say 10 of your MySpace friends/unknown visitors the ability to say what they think the top keywords/related products/brand attributes etc should be for your profile, blog etc pages and then evaluated those to get priorities. Would they do a better and more timely job with this relevance for advertisers than Adsense?

    I believe this model can improve or offer different options for (eg. potential product/brand relationships) relevance to places like MySpace just as Digg is improving news. Thx for your comments..

  • David Evans

    Userplane run an ad network on MySpace as well through their chat client that was launched last summer. Just an FYI that there are other smaller ad nets on there contributing to overall revenue.

  • Zoltan

    Any idea about how many ads are served / month?

  • Piggy

    great article!


    Thank you for this great information !

  • lokesh matsos

    Nice post loren.,only bad thing with myspace is that we cant publish our ads at the optimized places as per google heat map

  • Motorcycle Guy

    Why did you cover up how many pages of myspace mail there was on one page at the bottom, but forget to cover it up at the top lol.

  • bhujangadev tumuluri

    Dear Sir,
    Great helpful article. As google adsense member, do I stand any chance of earning adrevenue, if I copy my google adsense code on myspace site?

  • chris

    If you have a google accout can you put your own google ads on myspace

  • HunteR

    Google Adsense – flagship of contextual advertising! Really the best webmaster program for earning money..

  • Sean

    There adsense placement is great and the ad targeting couldn’t be any better ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mitoman

    have you had luck on getting traffic FROM myspace to your site?

  • Tips To Lose Weight

    can i put the adsense code in my myspace profile?

  • alexander