Social network Friendster today announced a multi-year deal that
makes Google the exclusive provider of search and advertising for the
one-time market leader. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Google’s advertising has already been implemented globally and is
live on the site today. Google search integration is targeted for Q2
of this year. Though Google will become the exclusive provider of
Friendster’s “search the web” functionality, search within the
Friendster profiles and website itself remain outside of Google’s
In an email to internetnews.com a Friendster spokesperson said
the deal will be a “key component” in Friendster’s ability to “rise
again” as a leader in the social network industry it helped spawn.
The spokesperson said with the help of Google’s contextual keyword
advertising and search advertising on the site, Friendster is better
positioned for growth toward profitability.
Friendster’s social network competitors MySpace and Facebook both
signed similar search and advertising deals in August 2006. In a deal that solved what were becoming serious monetization problems for
MySpace, the social network’s parent company News Corp. traded Google
exclusive rights to sell advertisements and provide search for the
site in exchange for $900 million over three years.
Only a few weeks later, Google rival Microsoft inked a deal
with MySpace rival Facebook to become the exclusive provider of brand
advertising and sponsored links on the Facebook social network.