As Real-time Bidding and native become more closely intertwined in the ad tech world, Adblade is proud to announce its recently updated WordPress plugin. Publisher’s using the new and improved Adblade WordPress plugin will now have access to advertisers bidding across DPS including Zemanta, Stack Adapt, Pulse Point, PowerLinks and more. In addition to advertisements sold directly by Adblade’s sales team, publishers will now have access to these 3rd party RTB demand sources as well. Adblade’s plugin creates a larger ad marketplace with RTB bids coming in approximately 20-50% higher than less targeted bids. This means higher CPMs for publishers and it also means more in-content, highly targetable inventory for advertisers.
We’re very excited about the fusion of native and RTB and look forward to helping advertisers and publishers unlock their potential. WordPress publishers can download the plugin here.
Facebook announced on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, that they are changing their “Trending” feature’s algorithm to combat the proliferation of fake news. The announcement was made on Facebook’s Newsroom blog by the VP of Product Management, Will Cathcart. Facebook’s Trending algorithm was first added to the site in 2014.
There were three updates that the social networking site talked about. One of them was how the Trending feature would look. Previously, the feature initially only showed a trending topic and if the user clicked on it, they would be taken to a “results page” that shows different posts and outside sources talking about the topic. Now, while the results page is still intact, Facebook Trending will feature the trending article’s headline underneath the topic, without having to go to a results page to see it. It will show the source of the article as well.
Facebook is also changing how the feature will curate trending articles. Instead of basing Trending on a user’s interests, the algorithm will be focused on trending articles in a geographic area. This is done in hopes that people in the same region, such as the U.S., will see the same news articles.
Their third update centers on the legitimacy of topics. Before the update, the algorithm simply chose articles that were shared the most by users. With the update in place, Facebook Trending will now choose news stories that were the most widely covered by news outlets.
Google has also gone after fake news. As we have discussed in a previous post, Google released a report on the 25th about the 1.7 billion bad ads they took down. In addition to the individual ads, they also banned around 200 publishers from AdSense that violated their updated misrepresentative content policy to crack down on publishers who knowingly accepted fraudulent ads.
We’ve all seen those terrible ads leading to scammy sites pretending to be People, CNN, FoxNews, etc., and containing fake celebrity testimonials. On January 25, 2017, Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Product Management, posted on the company’s blog how they combatted against “bad ads, sites, and scammers” in 2016, touting a takedown of 1.7 billion ads. Spencer has attributed this success to two steps they took: policy change and technological advancements.
One type of ad that Google was hard-pressed to take down were “trick to click” ads. Often, these ads disguise themselves as system warnings in order to get users to click on them. In reality, clicking these ads have resulted in downloading malware. Spencer reported that Google took down 112 million of trick to click ads. Another type was clickbait ads, which they called “tabloid cloakers.” These are ads that take advantage of popular, viral news stories and present themselves as such. When a user clicks the ad, the user is not taken to a news site but is instead taken to a “bad site” that promotes some sort of product like weight-loss pills.
Google makes most of its money off advertising. While it may seem risky to tamper with their greatest earning factor, it makes sense in the long run. At Adblade, we take this issue seriously as well, and we call on all advertising platforms to ban the fake diet, wrinkle cream, Lotto and teeth whitening ads. By taking down bad ads, users will be able to have a better experience with Google and should help improve click rates over the long term by maintaining consumer confidence.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released an enforcement policy yesterday that outlines which forms of native advertising it deems acceptable and which it deems deceptive. This new policy means many leading native ad platforms will need to modify their current widget labels and disclosures.
Adiant, owner of the Adblade native advertising platform and a long-time proponent of proper labeling, was pleased with the decision that that Native Ad Widgets should be labeled with the words “Ads” or “Advertisement” above each of the ad units. The decision supported Adblade’s long-held internal policy, which was clearly backed up by the FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements.
Adblade is the only major native content recommendation company to have proactively and consistently utilized the FTC approved widget labeling guidelines for the past several years. Other leading providers have only recently (and some would say reluctantly) began to change their disclosures, often using terms such as “Sponsored by” or “Promoted Stories”, which the FTC states are potentially confusing to consumers.
Adblade is proud to have once again proactively led the Native Advertising industry, which it helped pioneer in 2008, by consistently advocating for clear and prominent advertising disclosures on native widgets as well as advertiser landing pages. The guidelines make it clear that everyone who participates directly or indirectly in creating or presenting native ads is held accountable, including ad tech companies and publishers.
We look forward to seeing the rest of the native advertising industry change their widget labels to include words such as “Ad” or “Advertising” above their widgets as well.
Botching a first impression can make for a hard climb out of the doghouse. As far as first impressions go, native advertising gave consumers impressed them as much as chewing with your mouth open at dinner. When it first launched, native advertising had little-to-no regulation and fostered a natural distrust in its audience.
Sure, some transparent companies labeled their ad units as they should, but others, however, skirted around lax rules to avoid labeling their ad units all together.
On top of that, digital advertising already left consumers with a bad taste in their mouths thanks to overly intrusive banner ads interfering with the user experience in the early days of online marketing. In contrast, native advertising was crafted to fit organically in the environment its placed in so readers can continue to enjoy their stream of content, while not being bombarded with surprise ad attack.
The shame of it is that native advertising is beneficial to readers and advertisers alike; there is a higher level of investment and creativity involved in native than other forms of advertising. And instead of the straightforward click-bait you see with banner ads, native advertising attempts to entertain and inform with its content. The nature of it is to engage the reader, not hard sell them on a product or special offer.
Here are three ways the industry can prompt the public to give native advertising a second look:
Label them. Whether your ad is placed in an unit alongside other ads, or is a stand-alone one-off ad, labeling them is key. It’s been shown that the more you label your ads, the more qualified clicks they received. Not to mention unlabeled native ads posing as journalistic articles is one of the main reasons the tactic got a bad rap in the first place.
Be transparent. You can’t rebuild trust without a commitment to absolute honesty and transparency. You have to let consumers know that they are about to read and interact with an ad; the more upfront you are about content, the better off you are long term. Pay close attention to the wording used in your ads to ensure that it doesn’t mask the fact it’s an ad or being sponsored. As for testimonials, make sure that it’s explicitly listed as a paid testimonials at the bottom of the ad.
Treat paid studies the same way. Disclosure is key; absolute transparency also goes for any paid studies.
If consumers are really interested in your product, a paid study won’t be a problem. Think of it as if someone wants to date you — they likely won’t be deterred by the fact that your shirt is wrinkly. When rebuilding trust, there are no half measures. Advertisers, publishers ad networks and marketers must be forthright with consumers to help native advertising reach its potential.
The first impression is gone. Now, it’s time to show the audience why native advertising deserves another shot.