5 Reasons Why Google’s Native Advertising is a Big Deal for Search Marketers


Written by Nick Yorchak. Posted in Blog

About a week ago, Google announced the launch of a new Native Advertising feature within AdSense – and aptly named it “Native Ads for AdSense.”

Before this, native advertising was not new by any means, but search marketers had fewer options with less data and reach. With Google entering the market, we can expect to see a lot more native advertising moving forward, but hopefully in a way that is more meaningful, relevant, and less intrusive than the past thanks to Google’s “user-first” philosophy.

If you’re reading this blog it’s more than likely that you’re familiar with the concept, look, and feel of native advertising, but if not here’s a quick introduction to the topic.

Publishers can work with Google or other services to present click-based, revenue-driving ads on their website. These ads match the look and feel of your site, hence the “native” adjective.

Google will now support “In-feed,” “In-article,” and “Matched Content” native ad options – all three of which can be run separately or simultaneously.

matched content native advertising example

“Matched content” native advertising

in-article native advertising example

“In-article” native advertising example

in-feed native advertising example

“In-feed” native advertising example


In past search projects, we relied on Taboola and Outbrain to manage native advertising campaigns (there are also many other services out there). Both platforms require set-up, on-boarding, and the typical tasks you’d expect with any service platform of this type. While we were happy with these services, we will see if Google offers a faster, easier, or more direct avenue to publishing these ads in way that drives MROI. Google for one certainly will behind this drive – and they have the formula right. Consider that advertising revenues from Google-owned properties has grown 30% each quarter year over year for all of 2016 ($64+ billion), while growth in the “Google Network Member” segment was only growing at 4% during this period ($15.6 billion).

According to Google publishing native ads is as easy as creating an AdSense account and clicking “+New Ad Unit” although I am sure using this channel effectively is nowhere near as easy as running shotgun ads. You can read all about it directly from Google here.


Now for our team of search practitioners’ 5 thoughts on why this is a huge deal for our industry.

1)     Greater Reach via Native Advertising: Google’s digital footprint is the largest the world has ever seen, so we can expect added reach with their products, especially if these aids can be paired with remarketing tactics.

2)     Greater Relevance: If you use Gmail, Chrome, or other Gsuite products, Google knows a lot about you – your interests, browsing habits, products you’re shopping for etc. So we can expect this data to drive the accuracy and relevance of native advertising in a way other vendors never could – because they never had this much data.

3)     Better CTRs: Google has a naturally higher CTR so this will likely continue within native ads moving forward, but consider the impact in a slight improvement of native CTR versus Display CTR. Especially with the growth of ad-blocking technology and other browser tools, we have to make marketing dollars go a lot farther with a few percentage point increases in CTR.

4)     Faster Speed to Market: Again, if you’re reading this, you’re likely a search marketing practitioner who already has an AdWords and AdSense account. So creating, funding, and publishing new native ads (at least in theory) could be much more efficient than other platforms and vendors.

5)     Better Browsing UX: With better targeting and relevance in native advertising, we can hope that publishers will also realize that better UX and CRO mean a lot to readers. Less obstruction with pop-ups, hover states, and other unrelated offers will hopefully decline as native advertising drives better performing traffic.


If native advertising is a digital marketing or search strategy you think your company should be pursuing, contact us for a consultation.