What Is Taboola And How to Block Sites in Taboola?

By Jude Bruinings


Knowing what Taboola is involves learning the basics of native advertising—and knowing how to block irrelevant partner sites.


What Is Taboola (and How Do You Use It to Block Sites)?

To answer the question “What is Taboola?” you need to appreciate the science behind native advertising—and the reasons why certain websites may not be worth appearing on.

Native advertising is one of the internet’s biggest growth areas. Increasing hostility toward banner and pop-up ads has driven meteoric growth in native ads—sponsored posts appearing alongside news or social media content on blue-chip websites.

Taboola is one of the leading native advertising brands, and a trusted partner of Brax. Considering its impressive reach, advertisers and media buyers can’t afford to be ignorant about this native advertising giant.

However, before deciding to invest in this native advertising platform, it’s worth considering: What is Taboola, how it works, and why its wide array of partner websites isn’t always appropriate for your brand or message.

So, let’s get started.

So what is Taboola?

Founded in 2007 in New York, Taboola wasn’t the first company to build partnerships with publishers and media syndicates, allowing it to show paid advertising on behalf of its clients. However, Taboola has subsequently become a market leader in native advertising—so called because sponsored posts appear natively alongside editorial content, with little stylistic difference between them. This helps advertisers reach huge volumes of engaged consumers, while giving media buyers a one-stop shop for campaign creation and management.

Taboola has been particularly successful at signing up American media outlets, including Bloomberg, CBS News, Fox, and USA Today. Alongside 10,000 other publishers and brands, these partner organizations have 1.4 billion users, ensuring native content will be seen by vast swathes of the population. Taboola supports everything from native advertising to affiliate marketing and retargeting people who’ve clicked on an ad but not completed an action. An example of this might include customers with items in their basket, or people who viewed an item twice without buying it.

Choosing with care

Taboola ads are most effective when advertisers study user behavior data and demographic information to focus native campaigns on specific audiences who are deemed most likely to engage with what they’re seeing at that moment. This involves harnessing Taboola’s vast repository of user data to create flexible ad creatives. The Taboola Trends platform monitors 50 billion weekly impressions and 75 million click-throughs, providing engagement insights that can be filtered by anything from country and language to platform and vertical.

Creating a Taboola account is a simple process, and launching a new campaign only takes a few minutes. However, it’s worth remembering that not every website Taboola has partnered with will be relevant to your brand, business, or message. The sheer number of click-throughs mentioned above means an unfocused campaign would indiscriminately target people who aren’t interested in your brand’s message or products and services. Indeed, some may be completely inappropriate.

Building blocks

We recently explained how failing to block certain sites or publishers is one of the most common mistakes in any Taboola ads campaign:

  • If you’re looking to promote articles about investment finance, your ads would probably be wasted on the audiences of celebrity or light entertainment websites.
  • If you want to direct traffic to your new supercar dealership in Seattle, newspaper readers in Texas are unlikely to be of much benefit.
  • It may be advisable to block CBD advertising across New York State, which recently published a 63-page rulebook regulating the processing and sale of hemp products.

You might want to block ads on a specific site, with a regional publisher, or across an entire segment of Taboola’s ever-expanding partner network. More targeted campaigns can lower your cost per click, laser-focusing native campaigns on audiences with the ability and desire to know more. Targeted campaigns ensure ads appear at the right time of day, for people with the correct internet connection and income, on the right device. You’d be amazed how little desktop and laptop computers are used in the evenings—when target audiences are most likely to be receptive to native ad campaigns. Because mobile-oriented campaigns are crucial for maximizing ROI, you may even wish to block desktop devices altogether.

Looking at the bigger picture

Taboola is a market leader, but it’s not the only native advertising platform worth considering. At Brax, we also highly recommend Outbrain, which we compared to Taboola in this blog. We’re big fans of Content.ad and Revcontent as well, both offering granular control over targeting and blocklisting unsuitable or inappropriate sites. We explain the pros and cons of Revcontent vs. Taboola here [insert link to Revcontent vs. Taboola: Which is Right for You? once published]

To find out how Brax allows you to manage Taboola ads or other native advertising platforms, visit our About Us page.