Replacing Suggested Topics with AdSense Matched Content

Google AdSense’s new Matched Content is interesting in two ways:

  • It provides similar user engagement feature than Discourse’s built in Suggested Topics.
  • It can be used for monetization, on eligible sites.

Has anyone tried this on Discourse? The Matched Content has a responsive layout, so it could be used as a drop in replacement for Suggested Topics. I would be very curious to see this in action. It would be interesting to see how Google selects the topics to be promoted, and of course the monetization opportunity is there.

Could it be implemented to replace the Suggested Topics via Discourse’s awesome customization panel?

I have tried it in the past and like how it can provide thumbnails for content with images. It’s good for desktop view, but I am not a big fan of the mobile experience. In the end, I prefer using the ad spaces for ads. It would be nice to have another option for recirculating users around the site. The ideal experience would probably be different for desktop and mobile at the topic level.

I just added a link in our mobile topic footer to encourage new users landing from search to explore the list of categories. I’d be interested in the idea of showcasing latest topics at the bottom of topics with an additional link to browse more of the category and create a new topic. The mobile topic pages could probably be improved to get new users engaged with the category or community, as users land on the topics from search engines.


Could you share how you implemented it on the desktop?

I have a 728x90 in the footer active through DFP. I’m assuming the same could be done activating the AdSense placement, but that may not allow you to place the custom code. Currently I have regular ads running, but you can imagine this with the code from AdSense matched content.

From AdSense, I can create a matched content placement.

Not sure if this is what you were looking for. If you need more info on setting up DFP, I can try to offer assistance on that. Let me know if you try it out.


Ok, that is not exactly what I am after. Since Matched Content layout is responsive, I could be used as a 1:1 replacement for Suggested Topics. Blend it in to the site layout so that it looks more or less native.

BTW, are you getting any paid links on yours?


No. When I had tried it I only had content showing from our site. Interesting idea of having an option in Discourse to specify for related content area to come from the AdSense matched content plugin. Perhaps a good plugin. Note that you lose control of having the topics be sepcific to the category, and some may not be relevant any longer (which could also be a case with related content)

Time is a factor that should probably be considered for suggesting topics. That why I like the idea of a recent posts area.

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