Native ads are not a new concept – however they are a hugely topical subject within the online marketplace at the moment. For the layman, they include what many people call advertorials/edi-vertorials – and are something that have been utilised both on and offline by advertisers and publishers for years. In fact – up until recently they were an increasingly profitable line for many digitial publications due to their popularity amongst many SEO’s to place optimised content on for link acquisition purposes.
It is therefore interesting to note, that on the quiet, Google has been testing out the concept of native ads with a number of publications including Forbes – and apparently is pressing forward with plans to become more involved in an increasingly popular digital marketplace.
Quoted on the Doubleclick blog – Neil Mohan Google’s Display ads boss stated
Recently, “native formats” have emerged as an important new model. They provide new types of brand experiences, like sponsored stories, that are unique to each publisher. We are investing in models like this to connect advertisers and publishers in a meaningful way, which we believe also creates real value for users. In the coming months, we’ll be developing this technology and in making it seamless for publishers who want to have flexibility in implementing native formats and making the most of them on their properties.
According to an article on allthingsd, the plans for native advertising are part of a much wider suite of products in development at Google, and this would still seem a fair bit off in terms of widespread rollout however the timing with recent updates would appear to be interesting to say the least.
The cynic in me does find it interesting listening to recent presentations from Matt Cutts, the Head of Webspam over at Google, outlining Google’s approach to advertorials and Google’s recent “obsession” with them with regards to the advertorial update back in February and more recently the Penguin 2.0 updates launched back in May. Whether or not there is any co-incidence there is open to debate but the irony of the situation certainly won’t be lost to many in the industry.
It may well be co-incidence however the interest is an increasingly lucrative marketplace, and the further Google can extend their reach within it, the better it is likely to be to set Google very much at the heart of Internet commerce for now and the forseeable future.