Panning For Content Gold | Outbrain Blog

CONTENT MARKETING & DISCOVERY

Panning For Content Gold

| David Sasson

Interesting article by Colin Nagy on AdWeek today: Panning for Gold With Search Engines: Smarter, social recommendations are long overdue. Colin argues, very successfully I think, that search engines are overloaded with content and not doing the best job of filtering for quality. As he puts it:

“With the proliferation of content over the past few years, we’ve created too many rivers and not enough dams”

Couldn’t agree more. That’s why part of what we’re trying to do at Outbrain is to algorithmically identify what content is interesting to different audience segments within different contexts. We have learned through trial and error that filtering for content quality is a very different task than filtering for relevancy. So for example, when we recommend content we’ll score articles not just on whether we think they are related to the article you just read, or whether they have lots of inbound links, but whether historically people who have clicked into it have read through it fully, spent time on the destination page and kept exploring more content after clicking, etc. After all, why would we want to recommend content to you if 90% of people who read it bounce?

So to continue Colin’s metaphor, our approach is to siphon as much water as we can from various content streams in order to learn quickly which sources are fresh and pure, and which are polluted. Then we quickly build a reservoir around the good stuff and pour it into the cups of readers around the web.

Cheers!

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David Sasson

David Sasson is the Chief Operating Officer at Outbrain. Prior to joining Outbrain, David was COO of Quigo Technologies, Inc.... Read more

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  • Mark S. Schwartz| January 5, 2011 at 4:04AM

    I'd like to apply your theories to an application: I'm encouraging folks to honor the sacrifice of Isaac Woodard, an American WWII veteran who sacrificed his sight in the Civil Rights movement. The 65th anniversary of Mr. Woodard's sacrifice is coming up on 13 February 2011. I'm hoping that when people search for information about Mr. Woodard, links on the big search engines will lead people to honor his memory and ensure his story is known, as it deserves to be. There's lots of re-posting but original, documented, verifiable, and certifiable documentation isn't researched appropriately in many cases on the web. But Mr. Woodard's story, and that of Harry Shall, Max Brodofsky, and the story of 153 American civilian prisoners of the Japanese during WWII, “We Raised the Stars and Stripes Over Japan,” are examples of well-researched stories that deserve to be told.

  • Mark S. Schwartz| January 5, 2011 at 4:04AM

    I'd like to apply your theories to an application: I'm encouraging folks to honor the sacrifice of Isaac Woodard, an American WWII veteran who sacrificed his sight in the Civil Rights movement. The 65th anniversary of Mr. Woodard's sacrifice is coming up on 13 February 2011. I'm hoping that when people search for information about Mr. Woodard, links on the big search engines will lead people to honor his memory and ensure his story is known, as it deserves to be. There's lots of re-posting but original, documented, verifiable, and certifiable documentation isn't researched appropriately in many cases on the web. But Mr. Woodard's story, and that of Harry Shall, Max Brodofsky, and the story of 153 American civilian prisoners of the Japanese during WWII, “We Raised the Stars and Stripes Over Japan,” are examples of well-researched stories that deserve to be told.

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