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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:
- The ads are not marked as ‘Ads by Google’, but only as Sponsored Ads.
- The majority of Google AdSense ads use a clear background, blending with the page design.
- Google is serving ads in different sizes dependent upon placement.
- 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: