Are Google Native Ads breaking the Google Webmaster Guidelines?

Posted on: July 18, 2017, by : kim

A couple of days ago I received an email from Google Adsense promoting their new advertising format called  “Native ads”. Native ads are ads designed to match the look and feel of your site which makes it harder for users to distinguish ads from the content.

Barry Schwartz of SER recently wrote that Native ads violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines principles based on a tweet by Glenn Gabe. They believe that these kinds of ads lead to a punishment by Google but I don’t think so.  

Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate what Barry does, I have been reading his articles for years and he has a lot of knowledge and experience.

But I am a big fan of thinking for yourself so I don’t always agree with what he says. I spent a couple of hours reading the guidelines and checking various sources but I couldn’t find any proof for Barry’s statement about Native Ads.

Here is Glenns Tweet:

And I am surely not the only one to disagree…
Micheal Martinez from doesn’t mince his words when expressing his opinion:

Michael Martinez about native ads

Let’s Ask Google about the Native ad situation

Since I am not willing to take any risk with my Adsense websites I decided to ask Gary Illyes from Google about it. But it seems that this is a hard question to answer because he couldn’t even answer my question right away.

Here is how that conversation went:

So I guess ill need to wait a week or so. If I get the answer you will be the first to know. If you follow me on Twitter that is 😉

And then: Silence on Twitter. I’ll leave it like that for now. I don’t want to bug Gary even more than I already regularly do. Maybe he doesn’t know the answer either.

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