What Is A ‘Widget’ In Native Advertising?

Native ad widget example screenshot (Outbrain)


What Is A Widget? (In Native Advertising Specifically)

The term “widget” is often used to mean a number of different things, and within the world of online media buying and specifically native ads it has a very precise meaning that different than that which it normally has.

First of all, for a breakdown of what it is not… it is not the same as the term “widget” when that term is used as a figure of speech in everyday life.

For instance, when someone says dismissively, “I have a meaningless job at the widget factory” – they are using the term “widget” to denote any kind of meaningless, mass-produced object.

It also more specific than as the term “widget” is generally used in discussions of online infrastructure, which Wikipedia describes as:

A web widget is a web page or web application that is embedded as an element of a host web page but which is substantially independent of the host page, having limited or no interaction with the host.
Instead, a “widget” in Native Advertising refers to a box or placement containing ads from the native traffic source.


The ads it shows are controlled by the traffic sources (or it’s algorithm or ad server, technically), while the placement of the widget on the page is controlled by the website owner.
Revcontent widget example.
A typical 3 ad widget, from Revcontent in this case, taken from ConservativeInstitute.org.


Examples Of Widgets In Native Advertising

In Native Advertising, a widget can include a single ad, two ads, three ads, or more, all the way up to 16 ads in many cases.
Dianomi advertising widget screenshot.
A 12 ad widget from Dianomi, taken from the website Zero Hedge.


There are also “pop-up widgets” that are typically set as “exit-pops” that appear when a user moves the mouse in a manner suggesting he or she will close the page.
A Revcontent 'Pop-Up' widget example.
A Revcontent ‘Exit-Pop’ widget, taken from ConservativeInstitute.org.


There are also “infinite scroll” widgets, where new ads continually pop up as the website user scrolls downward.


This “infinite scroll” effect was a rather recent innovation, and has become the hallmark of native advertising giant Taboola, specifically.
Taboola 'Infinite Scroll' native ad widget example.
An example of Taboola’s ‘infinite scroll’ on a mobile browser.


Within any given native advertising widget, one could see ads in a variety of languages; by themselves or next to other articles from the host website; in image, video, or gif format; and in carousel or non-carousel style.


Website owners will often experiment with what types of widgets and what placements of widgets work best, in terms of creating the most revenue.


Example Of Native Advertising Widgets In Online Business


Bob runs a financial news website that has just started getting serious traffic.


He signs up with Dianomi, a native advertising company specializing in the financial/investing sector.


Their platform allows him to create ad widgets he can then place on his site.


He experiments with using 4 ad widgets, 6 ad widgets, and 12 ad widgets; and tries multiple locations for them such as the bottom of the page, the sidebar, or mid-article.


Eventually he settles on a 4 ad widget on the right sidebar, and a 12 ad widget at the bottom of the page.


John buys media through Dianomi on behalf of clients for his digital marketing agency.


He sees the widgets from Bob’s site in his daily traffic reports.


He ultimately decides that widget 11356 (Bob’s sidebar widget) is not profitable enough to target, and blacklists it.


The bottom-of-page widget on the other hand- widget 11357- is very profitable, and John increases his bid on that widget to get as many clicks as possible from it.



That is the run-down on what widgets are in native advertising!





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Taboola Native Ad Network Overview

MGID Native Ad Network Overview

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