Taboola Overview And Review

Taboola Overview And Review - Logo Image

 

Taboola Overview And Review

Taboola is an advertising company that holds the largest market share within the “Native Advertising” space as of the time of this writing, doing over one billion dollars a year in revenue, according to Digiday.

 

Company Info

According to the Taboola website, the company currently has:

-1.4 Billion unique users per month (Editor’s Note: This is likely their estimate of the number of people worldwide who see their ads in any given month)

-10,000+ publishers and brands

-1,000+ employees

-18 offices distributed around the world

 

Taboola is an Israeli firm, which was founded by Adam Singolda in 2007, who still holds the position of CEO today.

Other key executives, as per the official website, include:

-Eldad Maniv – President and COO

-Kristy Sundjaja – SVP People Operations

-Lior Golan – CTO

-Paul Jelinek – SVP Business Development

 

As per the Taboola website, they currently have an array of publishers that includes:

-USA Today

-The Weather Channel

-NBC

-MSN

-Business Insider

-Bloomberg

-CBS News; and

-Fox

 

As of today, the company has not gone public, and is still privately owned.

According to Fortune, it had raised over 150 million dollars in funding by 2015.

 

Merger With Outbrain

In October 2019 it was announced that Taboola would be merging with it’s largest native-ads competitor, Outbrain, a fellow Israeli company of similar size.

From BusinessWire:

Taboola and Outbrain, two digital advertising platforms, today announced that they have entered into an agreement to merge, subject to customary closing conditions. Both companies’ Boards of Directors have approved the transaction. The combined company will provide enhanced advertising efficacy and reach to marketers worldwide, while helping news organizations and other digital properties more effectively find growth in the years to come….

…The combined company will have over 2,000 employees across 23 offices, serving over 20,000 clients in more than 50 countries across the North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.

 

The US government at one point was investigating the merger to determine whether it would have too large a monopoly within it’s industry, before eventually greenlighting the deal.

As per the Wall Street Journal:

The Justice Department decided not to challenge a merger of rival internet companies whose sponsored-content offerings generate revenue for publishers around the globe.

 

However, in September of 2020, the merger was suddenly reported to have fallen apart.

As per Tech Crunch:

Online advertising is a game of scale, but one attempt to consolidate two competitors to better take on Google  and Facebook  has fallen apart. Taboola and Outbrain, startups that each provide publishers with ad-based content recommendation platforms, have called off a planned $850 million merger that would have valued the combined company at more than $2 billion.

From what we understand, both companies will continue looking at ways they can continue to grow, even if it’s not as a team. That will include weighing up other strategic acquisitions and other opportunities, since some truisms remain in the worlds of media and advertising. “Scale and reach are critical to being successful in this market,” said our source.

 

 

Taboola In The News

Like the rest of the native ad industry, Taboola has often been the recipient of criticism regarding the type of ads and content within their network.

Fortune once called Taboola’s ads “the worst of the web”.

The Wall Street Journal called their potential merger with Outbrain “a clickbait marriage”.

And the Verge intimated that Taboola’s  variant of ads represent “a chumbox of weird garbage”.

Much of this criticism, however, seems to stem from a visceral dislike of the types of articles modern humans are most likely to click on, as it could be argued that the ads displayed in native ad widgets are primarily a reflection of the psyche of those clicking on them, as the most likely to be clicked on topics rise to the top.

 

Taboola CEO Adam Singolda on CNBC:

 

 

Taboola Review

We here at OBpedia.org primarily focus on providing information and definition rather than recommendations, however there are a very small number of companies and products we have used ourselves and do recommend, and Taboola is one of them.

We have found their advertising platform very easy to use, and would point out it’s strengths vs it’s native ad competitors as:

1. Greater volume

2. More geographical variability

3. Higher quality traffic

 

The one negative we would point to in a review of Taboola would be slightly inconsistent moderation.

If you are interested in utilizing Taboola as a publisher or advertiser, you can sign up at the official Taboola website here.

 

 

How Long Does Taboola Take To Review Ads?

In our experience Taboola moderation typically takes anywhere from less than an hour up to 4 days, depending on the language the campaign is in.

 

Taboola’s Widgets

As explained in our article “What Are ‘Widgets’ In Native Ads?”, websites monetizing their traffic through Taboola do so by placing Taboola “widgets” on their pages, which then host ads from the Taboola network.

There are a wide variety of Taboola widgets, of different shapes and sizes.

Some are finite in size, while others are “Infinite Scroll” widgets that continually pop up new ads as you scroll downward.

Taboola infinite scroll widget example screenshot.
An example of Taboola’s
‘infinite scroll’ on a mobile browser.

 

 

Taboola Targeting Options

Taboola has a variety of targeting options.

Utilizing their platform one can target by:

-Location – including country, state, city, or zip code.

-Time of day and days of week

-Device type

-Browser type

-Connection type

-There is *some* interest targeting but it does not seem anywhere near as advanced as that possessed by Facebook or Google at this point.

-There is also *some* demographic targeting but it also seems limited at this point

-There is also “Retargeting”

-And there are “Lookalike audiences”, though these also seem rather limited compared to what Facebook and Google can do in this regard

 

Taboola’s “SmartBid” Feature

In 2019 Taboola released their new “SmartBid” targeting feature, which allows their algorithm to target for you, using it’s own internal AI.

This “SmartBid” targeting is based on a large variety of factors, and is most similar to Facebook’s AI-based targeting – often referred to in shorthand as the “Facebook pixel”.

 

Example Of Taboola Within Digital Marketing

Newsline, Inc is a (hypothetical) Canadian news publication that needs to monetize their website in order to pay their staff and grow as a business.

They look at various options before deciding to focus on native ads, and conclude that Taboola is the best option within the native ad space.

They reach out to Taboola and- based on the size of their existing traffic- are assigned a “rep” (or representative), who assists them in placing the widgets on their site, and ensuring they are optimized.

Viewers of their site routinely click on ads within the Taboola widgets, earning Taboola revenue, a percentage of which they then pass along to Newsline, Inc.

 

On the other side, a (hypothetical) entrepreneur named “Jared” owns a digital marketing company specializing in lead-generation.

Jared is attempting to drive leads for a Canadian Life Insurance company, and to do so he uses Taboola, as he considers it an effective traffic source with lots of available volume.

He creates campaigns targeting Canada, on all device types, on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm, and runs ads to those individuals, a percentage of which click on his ads, go to his “landing page”, continue to the Canadian life insurance website, and “convert” as leads.

He pays Taboola on a per click basis for this traffic.

Some of this money is for the clicks produced by “Newsline, Inc”, our hypothetical Taboola publisher.

 

This is how the two sides of Taboola’s network – the advertisers and publishers – work, and the way in which Taboola makes a profit in the middle by connecting them.

 

Conclusion

That is a basic run-down of Taboola as a company and traffic source.

For more information on working with Taboola as either an Advertiser or Publisher, you can visit their website here.