For websites with a large amount of content, getting a visitor to the site is only half the battle. There are probably multiple pages that have information of interest to reader and it can be difficult to direct people to this content. To help alleviate the problem, Google has introduced a new feature for some AdSense publishers that will recommend content from the site to the visitors for free.
“Today we’re introducing Matched content, a free content recommendation tool for AdSense publishers that promotes your content to your site visitors,” wrote Tobias Mauder in a blog post last week. “Matched content generates contextually relevant and personalized article recommendations from the pages on your website.”
The way it works is simple. Qualified sites add eligible pages to the Matched content tool and then Google shows the relevant pages in the Matched content carousel on the page the viewer is currently on. In the guide to Matched content on the Google AdSense website, it’s noted that Google only generate recommendations from pages that have Google ads or Matched content units on them.
It’s also important to note that the recommendations are within-site. This means that if an AdSense account has sites abc.com and xyz.com, then the recommendations for each site will be internal to that site. This is helpful and hurtful at the same time. Since the Matched content tool looks similar to many native ads, keeping all the links internal to the site the user is on makes everything seem more legitimate. Internal links mean the user doesn’t have to worry about being spirited away to a spam site. However, there are definitely occasions where marketers would want to recommend content from their one site to the people visit their other site. The current setup of Matched content makes that impossible.
Using this tool has obvious benefits for marketers. They bring relevant content to the attention of website users, which can help increase page views and time on site. This means that using the Matched content tool could boost a site’s SEO ranking.
Though the tool is setup through AdSense, it free and clicks on the articles in the Matched content section don’t count towards a publisher’s Google content ad limit per page. Keeping with Google’s current focus on mobile, the tool works on mobile, tablet, and desktop.
Matched content is only available for certain publishers, based on the amount of content they have and the amount traffic they currently receive. AdSense publishers who qualify should take advantage of this new feature. For everyone else, there are a lof of Suggestion plugins for content management systems like WordPress that accomplish the same thing.
For more information on recent Google changes that benefit marketers, read this article on how Google is simplifying URL structures in mobile search results.