I logged in to my Google Adsense account a few days ago and was delighted to see a notice on my dashboard inviting to try out Matched Content. The first time I heard about this was like months ago and I’ve been hoping to get a chance to use this new feature since.
What is Matched Content?
Matched Content is a content recommendation tool from Google to drive audience engagement and allow your visitors to discover more articles on your site based on their interests. We’re presently using it on this blog and we just replaced our Jetpack related posts with it. 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.
How to get matched content
Unfortunately, this feature isn’t yet available to all Google Adsense users. According to Google, there’s a minimum traffic volume your site has to attain to be eligible.
We really don’t know how much traffic is enough though. Google isn’t clear on this.
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?