Matched content is a free recommendation tool that offers you a simple way to promote your content to your site visitors. By offering your readers more content that's relevant to them, you can increase your site's page views, the time spent on your site, reader loyalty, ad impressions, and ultimately ad revenue.
Matched content recommendations are based on topic similarity and are personalized for the reader. Our experiments show that on average Matched Content recommendations increase the number of pages viewed by 9% and the time spent on site by 10%. See this Inside AdSense blog post for more information:
This is what it looks like:
Better still, scroll down to the end of this article to see it live. As you can see, it’s just like the related posts widgets you see around but my guess is since Google says it’s based on users interests, there’s a chance it’ll get more attention than others.
Some important things to know about Matched content units:
- They bring relevant content to the attention of your users, which can help increase page views and time on site.
- You can place Matched content units on any of the pages on your eligible sites.
- Recommendations are within-site, for example, if you have two sites abc.com and xyz.com, then the recommendations we generate for each site will be internal to that site. Note that we only generate recommendations from pages that have Google ads or Matched content units on them.
- These units work on mobile, tablet, and desktop.
- For sites where the majority of articles don't have an image, Matched content units will display in a text-only format.
- Ads are only available for sites that can be well monetized.
- The AdSense program policies still apply to pages containing Matched content units.
- They are not eligible for use in experiments.
The Matched content feature is not available to all publishers. To be eligible, you must have a site that meets our minimum requirements for traffic volume and number of unique pages. We’ve put these requirements in place to ensure that Matched content provides a great experience for you and your site visitors. Once your site is approved, you’ll have access to the Matched content feature in your AdSense account.
You can get more details on this page. Apart from the traffic quantity, my guess is that Google also considers the quality of your content to get approved.
By the way, you don’t need to apply for it, you should automatically get notified when it’s time.
Will this increase my earnings?
The shortest answer is NO. This is not like your regular ad units and Google won’t pay you when people discover other pages on your site through the widget.
Google’s aim is to encourage more page views, more ad impressions and eventually, more revenue for you. However, we hope Google uses this feature to serve sponsored stories in the future as seen with similar widgets provided by Taboola, Outbrain and others.
How to know if you’re eligible
As explained before, you should get a notification on your dashboard. If, for any reason, you think you might have missed this, you can follow these steps:
- Log in to your Adsense account, click on the gear icon at the top-right and click Settings.
- Go to Site Management and you should see if any of your sites is approved already.
Creating the unit and implementation
I’m sure you’re familiar with Adsense already, else you won’t be reading this. Creating a matched content unit is just like creating your regular ad units. You only need to select it from the list.
It’s a good idea to create a responsive unit so it automatically fits on all devices. As you can see, it’s what we’re using presently and you can customize it to your taste. After that, you only need to place it wherever you want it to appear on your blog.
Are you using this feature already? Would you use if you got the invitation?