Can Google Save MySpace?

MySpace needs help, and Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) going to lend a hand.

On Tuesday, MySpace Co-President Mike Jones announced in a blog post that The Big G had begun indexing status updates in real time, making the digital meanderings of the site's millions of members available in search results.

Twitter has similar partnerships with both Google and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) . Revenue from each made 2009 a profitable year for the billion-dollar microblogger, BusinessWeek reports.

Be kind, rewind with me
News of the deal comes at a good time. Former Facebooker Owen Van Natta was ousted as CEO after roughly eight months on the job. Katie Geminder, MySpace's senior vice president of user experience and design, and a veteran of Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) , is also on her way out, TechCrunch reports.

But these are just the latest in a series of sigh-worthy moments for the original king of social networks. Last May, researcher comScore revealed that Facebook was about to overtake the old rocker in U.S. accounts, a feat it has since accomplished.

Facebook is the world's largest social network, with more than 400 million active users, a stat that has to gnaw at the very core of News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWS  ) CEO Rupert Murdoch. The $580 million his company spent to acquire MySpace in 2005, once thought to be a bargain, is now within spitting distance of becoming dead money.

Can Google turn that around by making the collective musings of MySpace members a source of intelligence? That's debatable. Fools might remember that Google paid dearly for a social search deal with MySpace -- worth $300 million a year at one point -- only to abandon it in 2008.

"Monetization work we were doing [at MySpace] didn't pan out as well as we had hoped," Google co-founder Sergey Brin said at the time. And we're to believe this latest arrangement will work any better? Color me skeptical.

Should News Corp. dump MySpace while it still can? Make your voice heard using the comments box below.

Apple and Amazon are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Google is a Rule Breakers recommendation and Microsoft is an Inside Value pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He had stock and options positions in Apple and a stock position in Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy would kick the stupid copier if it had legs.


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