Most SEO marketers wonder if there’s an SEO value or benefit in using Outbrain and content discovery.
The answer — there’s a lot of value. In fact, Outbrain can be used for two main purposes when it comes to SEO:
- As a publisher: Grow in-site organic traffic by using the Outbrain Engage solution. Let your readers discover more interesting and relevant content inside your own website.
- As an advertiser: Distribute your content on other websites by using the Outbrain Amplify Solution. Reach users and/or potential customers and grow traffic to your web assets through content.
The Outbrain Module and SEO scoring
It is important to note, however, that our module does not impact a website’s SEO efforts directly. This means it also has no negative impact on your SEO efforts.
@JohnMu I know that using Outbrain 4 Cont. mktg. wont positively impact a websites SEO(in terms of links) but can it have a negative impact?
— Vishal Marathe (@VishMarathe411) December 14, 2016
- The traffic that goes from site A to B (in terms of paid links) goes through paid.outbrain.com, which is not visible to Google because we use meta tag “noindex,nofollow” and blocking it via robots.txt. Basically, we are not transferring any link juice from site to site.
- Organic links from Site A to Site A which go through traffic.outbrain.com are not pure “organic links.” These are “referral” links. You can view them in your analytics and measure them as non-organic traffic.
- Our module loads asynchronously, meaning our widget load occurs independently of the page load. They don’t wait for each other — so we won’t slow down page performance, or hurt your page load time — which can be a factor in search engine rankings and UX.
- The module facilitates the readers UX, bringing them into a magazine mode — when they can discover what’s next.
- By exposing your content to real users you can know how to better optimize it for your next readers and identify any problems.
A note on link juice
Why are we using the redirect traffic.outbrain.com on your organic links?
Because our module appears on many pages on your website, “clean/direct” links to your content pages could be considered “sitewide links” (see the video below regarding this issue).
This is considered to be bad practice. The situation is made even worse, when your site-wide links change frequently, as the promoted content on our module is dynamic.
The optimal web structure you should aim for is pyramid based. In this structure, you signal your most important pages to search engine bots. This structure should stay static and stable.
So, redirecting through Outbrain’s domain ensures that there is no threat to your search performance.
Additionally, the Outbrain module ultimately improves the user experience as well as the likelihood of gaining natural backlinks. The more exposure your content is getting, the more shares and traffic your content is likely to receive.
This is why content recommendation modules are great for content discovery. They help users or readers navigate to the next article in a way that traditional navigation never could.
Now You Know
Next time you’re wondering about the SEO impact of the Outbrain widget, just refer to this article. We all know that gaining traffic through SEO takes time.
So, please know that we would never do anything to counter all the hard work you’ve put in to achieve those rankings. Keep creating high quality, valuable content for your audience.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to focus on creating the best content discovery experience, delivered to the right audience.