- Google has launched AdSense Native ads that look and feel like the ad serving website, the company said in a blog post.
- The native ad format comes in three categories: in-feed, in-article and matched content. The ads include elements such as an improved user experience with high resolution images and longer titles and descriptions. They are also designed to look and feel good across different screen sizes while being easy to use via editing tools.
- The in-feed and in-article formats are available to all publishers, and the matched content format is available to publishers meeting eligibility criteria based on traffic volume and number of unique pages.
Native advertising has been growing for several reasons, including that consumers are looking for less intrusive ad experiences while publishers seek ways to better monetize their content for mobile users. A recent report from eMarketer reveals that native digital display ads will account for more than half of all digital display ad spending in the U.S. this year.
The AdSense news is clearly an attempt by Google to support publishers' efforts to include native advertising. The announcement can also be seen in light of the fact that both Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles, which are mobile-driven content platforms, have not received a warm embrace from publishers, who are reluctant to hand over a significant level of control over the content they produce.
The Google post points out the three different types of AdSense Native ads can be placed together or separately depending on the publisher’s strategy. In-feed ad appear in lists of articles or products, in-article ads appear between the paragraphs of pages and matched content ads appear directly below articles.
The post doesn't address one primary issue with native advertising — because the ads resemble the website where they appear by design, they have to be properly and prominently labeled as ads or sponsored content. In this case, Google has baked in the word “Ad” inside a contrasting colored square at the beginning of the ad’s description line taking that responsibility out of the hands of publishers.