The Taboola vs Google ads contest is on. In your mind, they´re probably facing each other for a while now. Hopefully, we can settle it all today.
To determine a winner, we´ll take a look at cost and performance, the main pros, and cons, when to consider one over the other, who each is best for and finally, we´ll show you some reviews from the web.
For many advertisers, choosing between these platforms can feel like the most challenging decision. People make decisions when their certainty level is high. The bridge between indecision and decision is information.
Once you have all the facts, you´ll gain all the confidence to decide. That´s what we´re hoping to accomplish with this article.
Heavyweight Contest: Taboola vs Google Ads
These are two giants in their class.
Taboola, a top native advertising platform, reaches almost 45% of the entire internet population and 87% of internet-connected mobile devices in the US. Google needs no introduction. But if you´re curious about numbers, its search market on desktop devices is over 90%.
The Main Difference
Before we proceed, it´s important to make a proper distinction between these two. Perhaps, the biggest difference is the marketing channels where you can buy ads.
- Taboola is exclusively a native platform, so the ads you can buy are, of course, native (1 channel)
- On Google, you can buy search, display, and video ads (3 channels)
- Additionally, you can buy native and audio inventory programmatically through Google´s DSP (DV360), which can expand your media mix to more channels
So, if you just want traffic from a native channel, you can buy ads straight from Taboola, through their platform. Since DV360 will likely cost you thousands a month, it can become hard to justify if you just want to buy native inventory or are still gaining traction as a business.
Traffic Cost & Performance
Much like other native ad networks, Taboola works on a CPC basis. You can expect to pay between $0.37 and $3.00 per click. As always, traffic costs can vary depending on the country, placement, and objective.
Because Taboola ads are on a CPC model, this makes it the perfect platform for upper and mid-funnel strategies, whether brand awareness or engagement.
Google ad costs vary greatly depending on the channel you´re using. Search is typically the most expensive. Google ads can cost you around $2.69 for search and $0.63 for display. However, when it comes to search, traffic can get very expensive, especially in competitive industries such as banking or insurance, where advertisers can sometimes bid $100 per click or more.
The Google advertising ecosystem is a bit more complex. For simplicity, search is the best channel for conversion goals while video and display can be best used for both awareness goals and remarketing.
Taboola Pros & Cons
Massive scaling potential
Can only buy native inventory
Relatively cheap cost per click
Requires at least $100 a day to get optimal performance
Free stock photos for ad creatives
Takes longer than Google search or YouTube ads to see results
Server to server tracking
Can only build lookalike audiences based on CRM files from US customers
Premium ad inventory
Industry leading pre-bid brand safety controls
Integrates with DMPs and APIs to bring your own data to the platform
Google Ads Pros & Cons
Multiple traffic channels available
No visibilty outside Google properties, which makes user targeting more challenging
Wide variety of segments, from customer match, custom intent to in-market or affinity audiences
Search volumes can sometimes restrain campaign scaling
Ability to expand reach with DV360, as a paid option
Native ads can only be bought through their paid campaign management option
Easier to get results with smaller budgets
Integrates seamlessly with Analytics, Optimize, Looker Studio and other useful Google apps
Very intuitive user interface with planning and forecasting tools
Easier to understand and track ad disapprovals
When To Consider Taboola vs Google Ads
Taboola ads can be used for a wide range of marketing objectives, from awareness to conversion. However, there are a few nuances that make it better for certain advertisers.
Let´s have a look at a few.
Consider Taboola ads if/when:
- are willing to spend at least $100 per day
- want to reach audiences on premium content
- brand safety is highly important for your business
- need a lot of scale and access to cost-effective inventory
- native is a substantial part of your media mix
Consider Google ads if/when:
- have a limited budget and want to get results quicker
- want to reach audiences in multiple channels inside one platform
- need more options in terms of audience types
- already using their tools, such as Analytics, Optimize, or Looker Studio
- want a user-friendly ad manager with built-in media planning tools
Which Advertiser They Are Best For
Taboola advertisers come from different industries and business types. It is quite popular for affiliates, health experts, ecommerce or B2B brands, and publishers.
In a nutshell, Taboola is best for businesses that want brand-safe, cost-effective targeting at scale, without many of the restrictions you see on other platforms.
Due to its influence and tool stack, Google attracts all kinds of advertisers from almost any industry. These days, it is still the standard platform for businesses, especially those who rely more on search traffic.
Pretty much any business can use Google ads, especially ecommerce and B2B.
On the other side, Google also has its own DSP, as we´ve mentioned – unless your brand has the resources, you probably won´t justify the service. For most companies, the standard Google Ads offering is plenty capable of delivering their desired outcomes.
Reviews From The Web
If you want to have a different user perspective of the platforms, here is a comparison table from the top software review websites.
Taboola vs Google Ads: Who Won?
The truth is some of the best brands use both.
Since we´re a native advertising agency, I could tell you to “go all in” on Taboola. But I won´t. Instead, I would recommend you think about implementing an omnichannel strategy.
That being said, it´s important for you to determine the best way to allocate budgets.
For example, a common mistake marketing executives make is attributing all conversion data to the last click.
That almost always makes search their best channel, so they mistakenly shift more budgets there, and forget that native, display, or video had a significant impact on those search conversions, from previous steps in the user journey.
As you´re thinking about budget allocation and strategy, beware of attribution and the essential role it plays in your decision-making process.
Back to you, which of these platforms are you now championing and why? Let´s start a discussion in the comments below.