Goodbye, matched content. Hello multiplex.
March 1, 2022, will mark the end of an era. The end of Google’s Matched Content widget. The familiar rectangle filled with proprietary content items from the respective domain, peppered with native-looking ads, will be gone for good. The reason, according to Google’s announcement is “decreasing usage of the content promotion service”.
And while this well-known content recommendation widget might not have gathered enough interest anymore, publishers were indeed interested in a native-looking widget that houses only ads.
So – worry not – Google went back to its workshops and created a brand new widget, this time for ads only.
Google Matched Content
Is that it?
Not quite. Google Multiplex is an upgrade to good ol’ matched content in other ways too.
Multiplex widgets come with a revamped design – and a wide array of options to further customize them in size, color and more and improve user experience on the website. They also help with reducing banner blindness, a long-time woe of publishers, and are associated with a two-fold CPM increase.
Why add Google to your native ad stack?
A pretty widget wouldn’t quite warrant automatic cooperation, but working with Google carries other advantages, especially in a multivendor setup. While reaching niche audiences – and especially in the US and Europe – some other ad vendors might deliver better results. When it comes to less marketed geos, Google won’t let you down. Instead of running a less-than-relevant ad when a user pops in, Google will be there to fill in the blank with some good stuff.
AdSense or AdX, that is the question
When it comes to Google, publishers have two choices: smaller domains with less traffic can choose to work via Google’s AdSense platform, while large, (very) high traffic domains can become AdX partners and save some extra $$$.
Google AdX has some additional (and significant) advantages, including a bunch of new tools that give publishers more control over their inventory, including preferred deals and private auctions. AdX also includes a wider array of players – including GDN, SSPs, DSPs and other ad networks.
That said, many struggle to get access to Google AdX. Only truly high-traffic publishers or networks can join. That said, smaller players can always join the networks of registered partners – such as WhizzCo (ahem) for monetization.
Like it or not – Google Multiplex Ads are replacing Google’s Matched Content widget. The good news is Google Multiplex promises publishers higher CPMs, especially when results are boosted with Google AdX demand.