How AdSense Publishers Should Use Google's New 'Matched Content' Tool

Chris CrumBusiness

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Google announced the launch of a new (and free) content recommendation tool for AdSense publishers called Matched Content. It simply shows more of your content to your users similar to other available content recommendation tools.

It generates "contextually relevant and personalized" article recommendations from the pages on your site, and looks pretty much how you would expect such an offering to look:

According to Google, your users can discover relevant articles on your site, spend more time on your pages, and engage more with your content.

"This new feature can help you increase your site's page views and ad impressions, and could increase your ad revenue by making it easy for your visitors to find your content," says product manager Tobias Maurer. "To provide a great experience for you and your site visitors, Matched content is available for sites with multiple pages and high volumes of traffic. Have a look at the site management settings in your AdSense account to see if your sites are eligible to run Matched content."

"Adding Matched content units to your site now could help you to grow the number of page views on your site and increase user engagement," Maurer adds.

So how do you add Matched content units? Start by creating an ad unit like normal, and choose a size that fits your layout. You'll now be able to select "Matched content" from the Ad type drop-down. Click save and get code, then place the code on your site.

Google recommends placing it directly below the article, and either above or below an ad unit. it says the matched content can improve the visibility of your ads.

It's worth noting that Google may display standard ads in your Matched content unit during the time it takes for your settings to propagate across Google's systems. Google says you can avoid this by waiting fifteen minutes before putting the code on your site.

According to Google, the units work best for sites with longer content pages, including in-depth articles with associated images. Adding a unique image to each of your content pages actually helps Google find better articles to recommend, as does using popular meta-tag protocols like Open Graph or others listed here.

You'll also be able to track the performance of your Matched content units. They have their own set of reporting metrics. Just select the "Matched content" metric family when you run a report from the performance reports tab in your AdSense account. Here's a look at the metric family:

"The desired outcome of adding Matched content units to your site is that as your page views increase, so does your total revenue," Google says. "However, this positive result can also cause several changes to your metrics. For example, your page revenue per thousand impressions (RPM) might either increase or decrease, depending on the characteristics of your site."

Google talks more about how Matched content can affect your metrics here. If you add the units to pages that didn't have any ad units on them before, views to those pages will be counted s page views, and if you're not monetizing them through AdSense, your RPM might drop.

Matched content units don't count towards your Google content ad limit per page. Recommendations are only within-site, so you can't have two sites recommending each other's content. They do, however, work cross-device.

Image via Google

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.