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Google's introducing three new ad formats for AdSense, its ad placement service that serves millions of advertisers globally. The new formats are "native" ad formats, meaning they are highly customizable to match the look and feel of a publishers' content, and are very mobile-friendly.

From a user perspective, native formats can make for a less intrusive experience, although can sometimes be confused with content if not properly labeled. From a publisher perspective, the updates will make it easier to create ads for different screen sizes.

Why it matters: Google has been aggressively pushing efforts to improve the user ad experience on its platform, including these new ad units, but some search engine optimization experts argue the changes will only further bury publishers' organic content on its platform.

"Many of Google's algorithm changes this year have negatively impacted the traffic to websites with quality issues," says Len Raleigh, CEO at SEO and content marketing strategy firm Telapost. "Used excessively, I believe the new AdSense ads could potentially cause quality issues on publisher's pages, leading to a loss of traffic."

More about the new formats below.

  • In-feed: Ads that fit neatly inside publishers' feeds. (Feeds are lists of articles or products on a websites.) These ads can be customized to match the look and feel of your content. (Available to all publishers)
  • In-article: Native ads that run between the paragraphs of a publishers' page. These full-width ads are meant to help publishers monetize smaller screen spaces, making them ideal for mobile. (Available to all publishers)
  • Matched content: A content recommendation tool that helps publishers promote content to visitors, to create additional revenue opportunities. (Available to some publishers)

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5-11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of five and 11, pending authorization from the Food and Drug Administration of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, as well as tens of thousands of pharmacies, to administer the shots.

2 hours ago - Sports

Where it stands: Weed policies by U.S. sports league

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With public support for marijuana legalization nearing unanimity, and more athletes using cannabis to treat pain, the four major U.S. sports leagues continue to reduce restrictions and punishments.

Driving the news: NBA players won't be subject to random marijuana testing this season, an extension of an agreement between the league and its players' union that began ahead of the 2020 Orlando restart.

5 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.