How Google AdSense Native Ads Work | Webmaster Guide

If you are a web publisher then I have good news for you in regards to the Google AdSense Native Ads! A new type of Ads introduced by Google Adsense for their web publishers. In short, these ad types are known as Native ads. And according to these units, by default, they have a responsive behavior of displaying ads.

Google AdSense provides a way for publishers to earn money from their online content. AdSense works by matching ads to your site based on your content and visitors. The ads are created and paid for by advertisers who want to promote their products.

Since these advertisers pay different prices for different ads, the amount you earn will vary as explained in the article on How AdSense works.

”Today we’re introducing the new AdSense Native ads — a suite of ad formats designed to match the look and feel of your site. Providing a great user experience for your visitors,” Violetta Kalathaki – AdSense Product Manager stated.

What Is Google AdSense Native Ads?

The Google Adsense Native Ads are the type of display ads that are implemented to match your website’s look and feel. And as such, they provide a better user experience to your audience. Not to mention, that’s why these ads are so different from the standard ads.

These ads are different because native ads are designed to fit clearly inside the user’s path through your website. This makes your visitors still know that they are ads. And above all, native ads are of high quality and more customizable than the standard ads.

Related Topic: What are Vignette Ads? & Why did Google roll them out?

Notably, the Google Adsense Native Ads allow you to support a wide range of devices (i.e., computers, phones, tablets, etc.). By automatically adapting the size of the ads to fit your page layout. Regardless of which device users use to visit your site.

Thus, display ad units can help you provide a great ad experience. And in general, the Google Adsense Native Ads are offered in 4 different types. Whereby, you’ll either find them in form of; In-article Ads, In-feed Ads or even Matched Content.

Examples of Google Adsense Native Ads

Native in-article ads & Native in-feed ads are new Adsense native ad types. But, matched content and link ads are not new products from Adsense. Many of you will be familiar with Adsense Matched Content. So, what are they and how do they perform?

In-article Ads

Of all the Google Adsense Native Ads, In-article Ads are some of the most used ad units. These are Google-optimized ad formats that help you put native ads between the paragraphs of your pages. In-article ads only use creatives that have high-quality ad elements (for example, the responsive ads in Google Ads).

This means that while In-article ads can be more visually appealing to your visitors, they may have a lower CPM in the short-term for some publishers. To help increase CPM, you can choose to also show selected display ads inside your In-article ad units.

After all, Google will select display ads that fit well in the available space. Therefore, showing both types of ads can help to increase your revenue. You can learn more about this option in In-article ad settings.

In-feed Ads

The In-feed Ads are a format of ads that you place inside your feed to help monetize your site and provide a better user experience to your visitors. For example, a feed can be an editorial feed (e.g., a list of articles or news) or listings (e.g., a list of products, services, etc.).

In-feed ads are native which means you customize them to match the look and feel of your content. Typically, you place In-feed ads in between the content of your feed, or where your feed begins or ends. As visitors scroll down your content they encounter In-feed ads.

And because In-feed ads fit seamlessly inside your feed, they’re not intrusive and they don’t break the user’s flow. For more information about these feeds, you can see more on In-feed Ads or What is a feed?

Matched Content Ads

As you’ll realize, Matched Content is a free recommendation service that offers you a simple way to promote your content to your site visitors. By offering your readers more content that’s relevant to them.

More often, they allow you to;
  • increase your site’s page views,
  • the time spent on your site,
  • reader loyalty,
  • ad impressions, and ultimately
  • ad revenue.

Matched Content recommendations are based on topic similarity and are personalized for the reader. Our experiments show that on average Matched Content recommendations increase the number of pages viewed by 9%. And the time spent on-site by 10%.

With Matched Content units, you choose the pages where you’d like the recommendations to appear. And then, AdSense promotes the articles on your site that are most relevant to the readers of those pages. You can learn more about Matched Content: Designed to engage your users and increase visitor duration.

Responsive Link Ads

We can not sum up native ads without mentioning the Responsive Link Ads. These are the type of ads that display a list of topics that are relevant to the content of a web page.

Link ads are closely targeted to the interests of your users. And because users directly interact with the topics, they may be more interested in the ads they eventually see. But, on the contrary, AdSense publishers are paid for clicks on the ads that are linked from topics. And not for clicks on the initial topics themselves.

The ads on the linked page are pay-per-click Google ads similar to those shown in standard display ad units. Link ads are responsive by default. They allow you to support a wide range of devices (i.e., computers, phones, tablets, etc.). By automatically adapting their size to fit your page layout.

In addition, they’re intended to work with sites built with responsive design, but will work on non-responsive sites too. Regardless of which device users use to visit your site, responsive link ads can help you provide a great ad experience. You can read and learn more about them in this article.

How Google AdSense Native Ads Work

According to an article by Inside AdSense on Content is King, publishers are constantly faced with the question of how to balance content and ads. Perse, in order to provide the best possible experience for their users. And as you might have found, there’s no easy one-size-fits-all approach.

Simply, because every website and application is uniquely different from each other. With different types of content, objectives, and users. Meaning that balancing content and ads will look different from publisher to publisher.

Under such circumstances, when faced with this challenge, it’s important to ensure that you always give your users what they’re looking for. Particularly, in a format that’s easy to find and navigate. And this includes the ads on your site pages, blog posts, or even web apps.

Related Topic: How a Web Banner Ad is Designed | A Step-by-step Guide

It’s important to realize, Native Ads can be placed together, or separately, to customize your website’s ad experience. But then again, when deciding your native ads strategy, you should try and keep the content best practices in mind.

As an example, you can use In-feed ads inside your feed (e.g. a list of articles, or products). As well as use In-article ads between the paragraphs of your pages. And as for the Matched content ads, you can use them directly below your articles.

To Start Using AdSense Native Ads:
  • First, Sign in to your AdSense account, and if you’re new, Create a New account,
  • Secondly, in the Left Navigation Panel, click on the ‘My Ads’ button,
  • Then thereafter, click +New Ad Unit to generate your codes,
  • Lastly, select your Ad Category: In-article, In-feed, or Matched content ads.

After successfully generating the codes as shown in the steps above, you can then paste them to your HTML source code on your site. In regards to where you’d like your ads best shown to your users. Learn more about the responsive behavior of display ad units.

How To Balance Your Ads And Content

Fortunately, the above ads unit implementation format has already been available to eligible publishers and is now part of AdSense Native ads.

But, if that proves to be hard, you can utilize a WordPress plugin I most preferably use — the Ad Inserter. Not forgetting, you can Contact Us if you’ll need more help on this or any other of our blog articles related topic. Below are a few tips to help you balance ads and content.

1. Content is king

Generally speaking, your content is the reason users are visiting your website or application. Whether they are looking for a recipe, how to build a birdhouse, or trying to find out what’s happening in their town.

So, by providing them with the information they’re looking for, you’ll equally satisfy their needs. And at the moment that they need it the most. You can check out this blog post to learn more about winning these micro-moments.

2. User-oriented designs

It’s always important to design your content, website, or even app around the user journey.

For instance, by making your content the focal point on the page. And then again, by following standard web best practices. In the end, you can create a site or an app that’s visually appealing and easy for your users to use and navigate.

You can check out the AdSense Guide to Audience Engagement. Especially for the best practices on designing user journeys, not just web pages.

3. Complement your site/app

Inasmuch as the content is king, you should try and use ads to complement your website or app. Ads should always supplement the content on your site, not the other way around.

So when you’re placing ad units on your site, consider the user journey and how the ad format will complement your site and provide value for your users. If you want ads to look more natural, and match the feel of your content, consider using native ad units.

For example, news and article publishers could consider using the Matched content native-style format at the bottom of each article. For one thing, in order to direct readers to other relevant content on the same website. After all, this strategy can help grow readership and your ad business.

4. Compatibility test check

By compatibility test check I mean you should test, test, test, and test again. Bearing in mind, at the end of the day, the data you’ll collect will be your source of truth.

For instance, if you’re considering implementing new ad units, you can run an AdSense experiment to see how they perform. Also, test the different formats to see what works best for your users and your page. Running an experiment allows you to compare one of your ad settings against a variation of that setting to see which performs better.

Ad Experiments work by splitting your site’s traffic between the original ad setting and the variation. So that their performance can be measured side by side.

5. Create your ad experiments

In reality, running ad experiments will greatly help you make so many informed decisions. Like how to configure your ad settings. And as a result, help you to increase your earnings.

You can createmonitor, and choose the winner of experiments on the “Experiments” page in your account. And in that case, to view your “Experiments” page: Sign in to your AdSense account, and click Optimization > Experiments.

When your experiment has collected sufficient data, you can choose the winner of your experiment. And with that in mind, you can learn more about How to Create your Experiment.


Always remember, content is king and it’s the most important thing to users on your website. So, you should always have more content than ads on each page. For more information and best practices, head over to the AdSense Help Center. Or even join the next #AskAdSense office hours on Twitter.

Finally, if you’ll find this topic useful, feel free to help us share with your friends. You can also leave your additional thoughts and questions in the comments sections. And please don’t forget to donate in order to support us and help us grow together with you.

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