Content Guidelines

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Welcome to Outbrain’s content guidelines. We define quality content as any article, video, slideshow, infographic, or earned media that offers informational and/or entertainment value to the reader outside of information about the product or service. Below, you’ll find more specifics on what we will and will not accept.

Please note that Outbrain reserves the right to reject any content for any reason at our sole discretion. While we may not identify problematic content before it goes live, content will be blocked post-launch if we feel it compromises the safety, positivity, and/or quality of our network. Further, our distribution partners may choose to block specific pages or entire sources. If any advertiser is blocked by a significant portion of our publisher network, Outbrain may choose to terminate the advertiser's campaigns.

Any content linked to through the Outbrain service that is not identical to the content submitted to Outbrain for pre-approval shall be immediately removed.

A note on affiliate marketing and sponsored content

We accept high-quality, value-adding sponsored content and affiliate marketing with editorial substance beyond mere promotion of a product or service, and where there is clear and conspicuous disclosure of true author and ownership. Content sponsored by and linked to from host site will be subject to the same scrutiny and guidelines as that of the entire Outbrain network. This content will be considered on a case by case basis.

Affiliate marketing sites must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • As with all content on Outbrain’s network, affiliate sites must provide clear informational or entertainment value to the user beyond promotion or information of the product or service
  • Any affiliate links must be within the context of the content and provide value
  • Affiliate sites that use misleading editorial practices or whose sole purpose is to link or redirect traffic to the parent company or to a different site will not be allowed

 Sponsored content must not employ misleading techniques, including but not limited to:

  • Using trademarks/logos of known brands without their express permission
  • Hosting content on a domain that misleads the user
  • Using fake comments that appear to be from real individuals
  • Employing unsubstantiated claims to promote a product/service

Outbrain reserves the right to block content from the following groups and categories. Restrictions may vary depending on the region your campaign targets, the value provided to the reader, and the quality of the content.

  • Adult
  • Alcohol
  • Financial services (insurance, mortgage, trading, etc.)*
  • Gambling
  • Games/Contests/Sweepstakes
  • Health services*
  • Subscriber-only content

*These categories have a higher rate of deceptive business practices and have received a significant number of complaints in the network. Therefore, these categories are subject to greater scrutiny. Submissions will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Prohibited Content

Outbrain strictly prohibits content that employs any of the following:


  • Pornographic language or imagery
  • Weapons or explosives
  • Illegal drugs or tobacco (including e-cigarettes)
  • Non-government approved pharmaceuticals and supplements

 Information Harvesting

  • Engages in information harvesting
  • Engages in lead generation with the purpose of generating profit off the sale of information gathered


  • Contains adware, malware, spyware, virus, Trojan horses or other features designed to infiltrate or damage computer systems or access personally identifiable user information without explicit user consent

Negative Earned Media

  • Direct competitors cannot promote negative earned media or content that defames or otherwise compromises an industry competitor.


  • Promotes hate, violence or discrimination
  • Defames an individual, organization, or group of people
  • Is intended to frighten or alarm the reader into taking a specific action


  • Promotes businesses that engage in deceptive or misleading practices
  • Encourages high risk investments or money making schemes with the intention of profiting off user participation
  • Promotes or analyzes Forex trading

User Experience

Content should provide a positive, value-adding experience for users.

         Page Format

  • We do not accept traditional advertisements or commercials, including banner ads or 30-second commercial spots that end in a call-to-action to promote the sale of a product or service.
  • We do not accept home pages, directory listings, product pages, or general navigation pages.
  • Content must live on HTML page (no PDFs).
  • Content cannot require a login for access.
  • Content must be the primary focus of the page and live above the fold. Calls-to-action, forms or sales copy must not detract from the content itself.

         Editorial Standards

  • No improper spelling or capitalization.
  • No incorrect language or grammar.
  • Coherence in structure.


  • No grainy or improperly formatted images
  • No illegible fonts or copy


  • News content older than 14 days cannot be added to our network.
  • Other categories of content can be rejected or disabled based on timeliness at Outbrain’s discretion.


  • Submissions may not contain exit popups or affiliate linking.
  • Content must not spawn popup advertisements that cannot be closed, page takeovers, or other media that covers or hides portions of the content.
  • Content cannot contain link-backs to low-quality content to boost SEO
  • No hidden text or links


  • Content cannot be copied from another site, using techniques such as "mirroring." Any plagiarized content without clear disclosure of authorship will not be allowed.
  • Content must clearly display logo of website.
  • Content should illustrate a clear understanding of the intended subject matter.
  • Must not mislead or deceive the reader.