MySpace Still Rules Google Search Results for Music Acts

BY: AuthorDavid Harrell | Print ArticlePrint Article | Comment3 Comments |

Facebook and Twitter are both more popular than MySpace, but based on my informal study, MySpace still rules when it comes to Google search results for music acts. Last.fm is also favored by Google searches.

Given that it’s pretty much dormant (and we never did much with it in the first place), I’m always surprised to see our MySpace page show up as one of the top three results whenever I do a vanity Google search for my band. I was curious to see the Google rank for the MySpace pages of well-known artists and conducted a quick search experiment last week. It wasn’t exhaustive — I just started with some of the bigger “indie rock” names of the past decade and threw in a handful of classic rock acts as well. Also, for band names of more than one word, I didn’t put quote marks around the full name, I just typed the band name and hit return, figuring that’s what most people would do when conducting a search.

For most of the acts, the Google Music Search player appears at the top of the results (no surprise there). And in almost every case, the band’s MySpace page was one of the top five search results. Of the 10 other artists I conducted searches for, Led Zeppelin was the only one where a MySpace page wasn’t one of the top 10 search results. Facebook only made two top-10 appearances (one of which was a search for my own band), though it was in the 11th or 12th spot for several acts. Last.fm made a surprisingly strong appearance and was a top-10 result for almost every artist.

Some artists (or their labels) are very active on MySpace, of course, so you’d expect to see their respective MySpace pages as top search results. But MySpace also has the substantial advantage of having been around longer than Facebook, Twitter, etc., and online articles and blogs posts have linked to MySpace pages for years. Incoming links figure highly into Google’s PageRank calculations, so even if some artists are transitioning their social networking efforts to other sites, MySpace seems likely to remain at the top of Google search results for the foreseeable future. And Apple’s new Ping network (I’ll be writing more about it soon), seems unlikely to become a top search result, unless iTunes is transitioned to a browser-based platform.

Below are the top 10 search results as of Friday, October 15, 2010.

Arcade Fire

1. official site
2. MySpace page
3. Wikipedia page
4. Google news results
5. fan page
6. Google video results
7. Last.fm page
8. label page (Merge Records)
9. Amazon.com album page
10. Twitter page

Band of Horses

1. Google Music Search player
2. official site
3. MySpace page
4. Wikipedia page
5. Google video results
6. Last.fm page
7. label page (Sub Pop Records)
8. Amazon.com album page
9. artist site (album streaming page)
10. Facebook page

Broken Bells

1. Google Music Search player
2. official site
3. official site (home page)
4. MySpace page
5. Wikipedia page
6. Google video results
7. Amazon.com album page
8. Last.fm page
9. NPR story
10. iTunes album link

The Layaways (my band)

1. Google Music Search player
2. official site
3. MySpace page
4. eMusic artist page
5. Amazon.com page
6. Facebook page
7. CD Baby album page
8. unrelated site
9. post at this blog
10. unrelated site

LCD Soundsystem

1. official site
2. official site (album page)
3. MySpace page
4. Google news results
5. Wikipedia page
6. Google video results
7. Last.fm page
8. Vimeo page
9. Pitchfork interview
10. Discogs artist page

Led Zeppelin

1. Google Music Search player
2. official site
3. Wikipedia page
4. Google video results
5. fan site
6. Google news results
7. Last.fm page
8. Amazon.com album page
9. fan site
10. MTV artist page

The National

1. official site
2. MySpace page
3. Wikipedia page
4. unrelated site
5. unrelated site
6. Last.fm page
7. unrelated site
8. unrelated site
9. Google video results
10. unrelated site

The Rolling Stones

1. Google Music Search player
2. official site
3. Wikipedia page
4. Google video results
5. unrelated site (Rolling Stone magazine!)
6. Google news results
7. Last.fm page
8. MySpace page
9. Artist Direct page (dead link)
10. fan club page

U2

1. Google Music Search player
2. official site
3. Wikipedia page
4. fan site
5. MySpace page
6. Google video results
7. Last.fm page
8. fan site
9. fan site
10. MTV artist page

Vampire Weekend

1. Google Music Search player
2. official site
3. official site (music page)
4. MySpace page
5. Google news results
6. Google video results
7. Wikipedia page
8. Amazon.com page
9. Last.fm page
10. Google image results

The Walkmen

1. Google Music Search player
2. MySpace page
3. official site
4. official site (news page)
5. Google news results
6. Wikipedia page
7. Last.fm page
8. Google image results
9. Google video results
10. NPR story

David Harrell has published Digital Audio Insider, a blog about the economics of digital music, since 2006. His indie rock band the Layaways have self released four albums.

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