PurpleBlack Blog: Nothing but Native Advertising

You may note a peculiar situation when you’re regularly publishing ads on platforms like Taboola and Outbrain. On clicking on the side section, you’ll see a lot of the clicks coming from cheap iOS and Android traffic. The source of this traffic could be app games or smartphone games. And the trouble with this kind of traffic is that the clicks don’t translate into conversions. In other words, you’ll get a lot of clicks, but the users may not actually place orders or make purchases. Or, they may not take action for the next step.

Let’s Understand This Issue in More Detail

Let’s say you’re ready to dip your toe into the native advertising game. You’ll sign up on platforms like Outbrain.com or Taboola.com. Next, you’ll spend time training by watching Youtube videos and other information on how to set up new ad campaigns. At the onset, you’ll set up the ideal bids and have the appropriate budget lined up. You’ll also have the proper funnels to get the ball rolling. So you start by investing $100, $200, and $300 on your campaigns, but realize that you’re getting just one or two conversions. 

At this point, you’ll want to dig deeper to find out what’s happening. On analyzing the data, you may see that you’re getting a lot of push traffic. In other words, the traffic comes from gaming apps which may give you high Click Through Rates (CTR). But, since the traffic is not converting, you’ll want to figure out how to avoid the push traffic. 

How Does Native Advertising Work?

To figure out better how push traffic works, you’ll have to understand the native advertising process. Users landing on a particular page spend time consuming the information on it. Then, they continue scrolling to the bottom of the page to look for more related information. Or, they may be looking for a new topic to read since they have the time. Let’s say you’re advertising knee sleeves, a great option for easing knee pain. You’ll place a native ad at the bottom of the page with a compelling title and an attention-grabbing image. Readers with knee pain may click on the ad since the topic is relevant to them. They might be interested in knowing more about what doctors suggest as the best course of action. 

Clicking on the native ad leads users to the editorial, where they get the complete details about the product. They’ll learn why the product or knee sleeves work, how to use them, and perhaps, a little FOMO. You could offer a limited-time discounted offer deal and other tactics to entice the user. You’ll successfully convince the reader, so they are ready to place an order. That’s how a conventional funnel works.

How Does Push Traffic Work?

Let’s say a user plays a free video game on their smartphone. While game providers and advertisers do provide free games, they also need to monetize their traffic. And to do that, they use ads from different platforms, including Taboola and Outbrain. They place ads in the form of videos that pop up when the game is in progress. When users are playing the game, it may pause for a few seconds to display a video ad. Users can watch or click on the button to continue playing the game. This is one of the many forms of push traffic. 


Most such users are unlikely to be interested in knee sleeves that relieve knee pain. That’s because the targeted audience is likely to be teenagers. They will click on the ad, but their objective is to play the game and not to buy the product. Even if they reach the offer page, they will ignore it or consider it an annoyance. Of course, when you have a high amount of traffic, you will get some conversions at some point. But, you can’t really build a scalable business on just one or two conversions. You’ll need much more than that.

Yes, Avoiding Push Traffic is Possible

You'll have to adopt the right strategies if you want to filter out push traffic and get to the real converting traffic.

Manually Eliminating Push Traffic

If you try to eliminate push traffic manually, you’ll find a lot of traffic. You’ll end up going through every section, manually selecting and excluding them. And, to do that, you’ll invest a lot of time. Until your campaign starts to receive some real traction, you will have to invest a lot of time and money anyway. This added task is just not worth your effort. You could spend an hour checking and removing 100 sites with push traffic. And, in the next two minutes, there will be an additional 200 new sites bringing you more such traffic. You’ll have to go back and start excluding them all over again.

You may not be spending more than $1 or $2 on the traffic. But, the trouble is that you won’t get the traction you need. You won’t see even one good placement where you can spend $100 or $200 and get the desired conversions. Instead, you’ll get 200 small sites where you spend maybe 70 cents or 80 cents. Added to that is the time and effort for excluding the traffic manually. At the end of the day, it’s just a lot of work without adequate traction for your campaign.

Third-Party Software for Eliminating Push Traffic


Third-party software uses virtual blacklists and whitelists. Similar to manual exclusions, this strategy also removes the push notifications traffic. The difference is that the software works automatically. For instance, they may have algorithms that alert them to CTRs that may be abnormally high for the particular site. The optimizer native is one such tool. However, you would need technical expertise to set up the software manually. Native advertising is not exactly easy to understand, but it’s not rocket science either. Advertisers must dig deep to develop the technical know-how of how virtual whitelists and blacklists work.

Ask Your Account Rep for Information on Eliminating Push Traffic

The third strategy you could try is to contact the reps at your Taboola and Outbrain platforms. You’ll put in a request to activate a block list or, say, a whitelist and blacklist. This is undoubtedly the most effective strategy, and most advertisers go for it, including the folks at Purple Black. On the flip side, if you’ve signed up for a free or self-service account, you won’t have an account rep. Platforms like Taboola and Outbrain offer chat support but won’t take care of tasks like whitelisting and blacklisting. You’re totally on your own out there. 

When you start a native ad campaign, you’ll likely receive a lot of push traffic. But having an account rep can be a significant asset for avoiding it. For instance, Taboola has a block list, while Outbrain has a performance whitelist. The underlying objective is the same–manually picking out publishers that the platform knows will perform well.

How to Get Account Reps on Taboola or Outbrain


If you wish to get ahead with native advertising and work with an account rep, you’ll need a higher budget. Advertisers working with a $1k or $2K monthly budget will likely not get an account rep. However, if they can raise their ad spend to $10K per month, they can rely on the assistance provided by the account rep. Ultimately, platforms like Taboola and Outbrain reserve their support only for users who are really interested in using them.

Experiment with Native Advertising When Scaling Your Business

For this reason, it’s never advisable to experiment with native advertising if you have a limited budget of, say, $1K. You might want to put a hold on this marketing approach if you can invest just $2K or $3K per month. If that’s where your business is at, you may want to go with other channels like Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and other social media. 

Native ads require a higher ad spend because it’s one of the most expensive traffic sources out there. But this strategy can also prove to be the cheapest if you’re scaling your company. You can tap into its potential for phenomenal growth in the long run. Expect to see very reasonable Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Mile (CPM), and Cost Per Action (CPA). Account rep support is another significant benefit to avoid non-converting push traffic. 
If you’re ready for more information on navigating push traffic, you’ve come to the right place. At Purple Black, we are accredited by the Forbes Agency Council and confident about getting you the right kind of traffic–traffic that converts. Get in touch with us to schedule your free consultation here, and let’s look for some great strategies for you.