As a publisher, your primary goal is to grow your readership and keep your readers constantly engaged, whilst at the same time earning enough money in order to grow, advertise your brand and make ends meet. Keeping a balance between those objectives can be a daunting task – a clean and professional layout coupled with quality content will keep your readers coming back for more, but might not earn enough money for your site. On the other hand, covering your site in blinding banners, pop ups and interstitial ads may earn you money, but will also damage your engagement and hinder significant growth.
That is why many publishers use native ads to boost their bottom line. These ads blend into the content and offer added value to readers, while also creating a new and decent revenue stream for publishers.
Some of the leading native ad networks are Taboola, Outbrain and Ayboll. In this article we will explain the difference between them, as well as highlighting their advantages and disadvantages.
Taboola is currently the biggest native ad network in the world. Some of their top publishers include Daily Mail, USA Today, AOL, Bloomberg, NBC and MSN. The ads on Taboola vary hugely, from high brow all the way to pretty trashy. CPMs are decent, they offer great publisher tools and their customer support is also top notch. Prohibited Publisher content includes anything Adult, as well as the usual alcohol, gambling, sweepstakes, questionable health improvements, weaponry, illegal drugs or tobacco as well as iffy financial products such as binary options and the like. Overall there is nothing negative that can be said about Taboola – the only problem is that you need to have a minimum of 500,000 monthly page views to join their network, so if you’re just starting out or own a niche blog it will be hard for you to get their widget showing on your site. If you want to apply to Taboola, click here.
Outbrain is the second biggest native ad network, with over 200 billion recommendations served per month. They are pretty similar to Taboola, though some publishers claim that their CPMs are even higher. Outbrain has always been a bit of an elitist network, showing few if any trashy ads. Their publisher list includes the likes of CNN, US Weekly, Fast Company, Mashable, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. Outbrain (and Taboola) really value their large publishers and have long term contracts with them that often last many years. They have clear content guidelines to make sure only premium ads are shown on their publishers sites and as with Taboola, if your website or blog is in any way questionable, or you have less than 500,000 monthly page views, you can forget about getting a widget from them. To try to sign up with Outbrain, click here.
Both Outbrain and Taboola have a pretty stringent sign up process. If you do get accepted by them, you cannot simply swap your widget for another network and experiment to see what works best for you. Usually these ad networks sign you up for a 2 year exclusive contract. The whole process of getting a widget from them can take a few weeks, so don’t expect to make money immediately even if you do meet their requirements.
Overall it can be said that these large Native Ad Networks already have all the top publishers under their belt, make a ton of money and can therefore afford not to take on any small sites.
Ayboll is very different from both Taboola and Outbrain. Though not entirely a native ads network (they also offer other ad placements aptly entitled ‘Innovative Ads’), Ayboll tries to democratize the native ads space by being available to any site or blog. They accept pretty much anyone, even adult themed sites, by categorizing adverts into Safe / Moderate or 18+. Publishers who don’t want to show nudity or anything questionable on their sites can simply opt for the safe rating, whilst those with a more mature readership can choose Moderate or 18+ Safety levels.
Ayboll has no minimum traffic requirements whatsoever. In addition, their signup process takes literally 5 minutes. You choose a username and password and voila – entry is granted to their back office system where you can create various widgets in no time and start earning money right away.
The only downside with Ayboll is that their support is not very responsive. I guess when you have thousands of small publishers it is not feasible to answer everyone right away. They do however have a very detailed FAQ section on their site and their system is very straight forward and user friendly so you should easily be able to create a widget and start earning with them. If you want to give Ayboll a try, click here to sign up.
Do you have any experience working with these native ads networks? Please share your experiences with our readers in the comments below!