Many marketers have found that using native advertising, which is any advertising which is posted as if it were normal content on a site, to be very effective. By placing promotional content such as videos, text or even images on a site as if it were organic content the viewer is going to have their defenses down and be far more likely do something like fill out personal information or sign up for a list.
This willingness to take action, naturally, makes native advertising very popular for things like CPA and Affiliate marketers.
Google’s Matt Cutts has commented that he thinks of this as a sore subject which Google may take action against in the future. Like anything in marketing there are different levels of this activity depending on the marketer who is doing the work. Google will more than likely begin with those marketers who are on the more extreme end of the spectrum and then find some sort of balance between completely ending the practice and allowing it to go overboard.
One of the main reasons this is such a questionable practice is that according to an “Ask your Target Market” survey only 5% of Americans surveyed know what this type of advertising is. They also reported that 26% of Americans said they would be more likely to pay attention to these types of ads, making them more effective.
While Google has not made any sort of comment as to when or how they will start cracking down on these types of ads, it is undoubtedly an area of concern for many marketers. Even these industry professionals, however, acknowledge that this type of advertising is really on the fence of ethical practices. Then again, it is difficult to turn your back on such an effective advertising strategy.
What do you think about native advertising practices? Do you use it, and if so, has it been effective for you? If Google does take action, what impact would it have on your business?