Taboola vs Google Ads: Who Should Earn Your Budget?

In a contest between two giants in the advertising space, how does Taboola compare vs Google ads? Discover the main differences, pros, and cons and which advertisers each platform is best for.
taboola vs google ads

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)

Taboola is also considered an ad exchange, so it integrates with top demand-side platforms such as Google´s DV360.

  • 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.

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.

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

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

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
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.

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.

G2

2.9/5

G2

4.3/5

GetApp

4.5/5

In terms of user reviews, Google is a clear winner. That doesn´t mean Taboola is bad, it´s a bit subjective and depends on what the advertiser requires.

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.

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