As consumers grew blind to display advertising over the years, advertisers and publishers began embracing any format or approach that would yield results.
Native advertising - the practice of publishing/buying ads that are more integrated with the design and experience of the site or application - has quickly become one of the most popular tactics for both publishers and advertisers and for good reason.
Publishers tend to receive more clicks on native units than others (thereby increasing revenue) and advertisers are able to benefit from increased exposure (as more publishers adopt native ad units, the impressionable inventory has risen) at a lower cost. It has been too significant an opportunity to ignore, and now there's another reason both publishers and advertisers should start taking advantage of native - the biggest name in digital advertising (Google) has taken notice of the trend and released a suite of native ad units designed to match the look and feel of AdSense publishers' websites.
Currently available to all publishers, the new AdSense Native ads come in three categories: In-feed, In-article and Matched Content.
The In-feed ads "nest" or "slot" inside feeds such as a list of products, while In-articlead units are shown between a page's paragraphs automatically. The final unit in the suite of new native offerings is that of Matched Content, a recommendation tool (similar to Taboola or Outbrain) that was actually released last year (2016) to help publishers promote their own content. Now, however, AdSense is making it possible for publishers to also monetize this functionality by displaying the content of advertisers. To be eligible, publishers will simply need to meet the minimum requirements for traffic volume and number of unique pages, but no specific information was provided.
There are opponents to the whole idea of native advertising in general, of course, with a handful suggesting that such a practice is deceptive. Glenn Gabe (a Digital Marketing Consultant at G-Squared Interactive), for example, suggested (in response to the announcement on the Google AdSense blog) that native units were exactly what he tells his clients not to do - and he's certainly not alone.
Do you see native advertising units (such as those unveiled by Google) as deceptive? Submit your comment below.
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.