One of the most common questions we get from publishers evaluating our products — both on the distribution and traffic acquisition sides — is “are we SEO positive?” While the true answer is “maybe” (I’ll explain in a minute), our party line on this is “No, SEO isn’t one of our selling points.” Every once in a while, a publisher will get hung up on the issue of SEO (search engine optimization), believing “SEO juice” should be baked into every product decision they make.
For our partners, Outbrain’s value is unrelated to SEO. On the distribution side, we offer best-of-breed content recommendations through a proprietary algorithmically-driven system that yields clickthrough rates at levels that typically far exceed the expectations of our partners. The widget itself yields traffic recirculation value (reader engagement) and creates a new revenue stream for the publishers who host it. On the traffic acquisition front, we offer high value traffic acquired on a cost-per-click basis that can help promote branding efforts and/or deliver ROI-positive traffic to your content while helping to reach new UVs.
But back to the topic of SEO. At Outbrain, we discuss our products as “SEO neutral,” meaning no search engine will penalize you for working with us. Further, our widgets load asynchronously — our load occurs independently of the page load; they don’t wait for each other — so we won’t slow down overall page load, which can be a factor in search engine rankings.
May 12, 2011