Help & FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I get started with Outbrain?

    Installing Outbrain is as easy as placing a small JavaScript tag on pages where you want to display content recommendations.

    If you are a blogger, you can get started immediately by grabbing our free blog widgetcode.We also have a special FAQ section just for you


  • Where on our site should the Outbrain widget be placed?

    We are frequently placed immediately after article content, above the comments and footer.

    This is great placement for people who have finished reading an article and want to discover more great content. Our recommendations can also be used in sidebars, section fronts and home pages as personalized navigational units. We also support mobile  and video implementations. Contact us to get started.

  • What kind of traffic lift should I expect from Outbrain?

    Clickthrough rates on our recommendations vary considerably based on a variety of factors such as placement, UI, number of links and length of your content. But, if you adopt our UI best practices, you’ll likely see a clickthrough rate of between 4-10%. Not bad for a few minutes’ work, right?

  • Do I need to customize the widget’s look and feel?

    We automatically inherit your CSS in order to merge elegantly with your site’s look and feel. Discuss the desired look of your widget with your account manager in advance of launch and he/she can help you style it according to your specifications. A mock up or instructions from your design team are always helpful. Adjustments to the look and feel of the widget can be made by CSS and can be hosted either by the client or by Outbrain. If you have any questions regarding design changes to the widget, please contact your Outbrain account manager.

  • How do you choose what to recommend?

    We use a variety of approaches to surface the best links for each user. We look at a variety of factors including contextual similarities, post popularity and audience patterns when choosing recommendations. We also filter our recommendations for each user visiting your site so that they don’t see links to posts they’ve already read. Our algorithms are all geared to help your readers find interesting content and boost engagement on your site. Read more about how it works .

  • Can I control what content is shown as recommended on my site?

    Yes. Within the Settings dashboard, you can determine whether your widget should only show links to content from your site or to also include links from other sites (sponsored recommendations).

    In addition, we offer editorial tools available within the Settings dashboard to give you more control over your Outbrain recommendations. You can block sponsored recommendations by landing page domain or by keywords in the titles to prevent certain content from appearing in your widget. All you need to do is add those terms to the block list in your dashboard and they won’t show on your site. Keep in mind that this data is cached and can take up to 1 hour to refresh.

  • What are sponsored recommendations?

    People come to your site to find great content. Most advertising, however, distracts them from that activity, trying to convince them to buy a product or a fill out a form. Our sponsored recommendations align your needs with that of your audience, allowing you to profit by pointing out great content that your readers will actually find interesting.

    Sponsored recommendations, like all Outbrain recommendations, are links to high quality articles and content. Customers pay us to distribute these recommendations across our publisher partners and they are clearly marked as paid. Outbrain has strict content guidelines to ensure we are only promoting quality stories that are interesting and well written. Our goal is to provide your readers with links to great content, whether sponsored or not.

  • Can I generate revenue with Outbrain?

    Yes! If your site receives over 10 million monthly US article page views and you have installed the widget for 30 days, you may qualify for a revenue share from hosting sponsored recommendations. Please contact us to enroll.

  • How can I scale up revenue with Outbrain?

    It is up to you to determine how many sponsored links appear in the Outbrain unit. If you’d like to increase revenue, contact your account manager for information on how to optimize and show additional paid links or implement additional units.

  • What kind of reporting does Outbrain offer?

    Outbrain provides an online dashboard detailing all performance indicators including page views generated from our recommendations, click-through rates, revenue generated through our sponsored link program, RPM and most clicked articles. Customized reports from your account manager are also available.

  • How do I access reports, widget, and editorial control functions?

    Outbrain can grant reporting and configuration rights to multiple users on a per site basis. Simply follow the “Add Blog” process in the dashboard. If you are part of our premium publisher network, register for an Outbrain account and send your username to your account manager. Your account manager will ensure that you have access to reports and other controls.

  • Can Outbrain integrate with my site analytics?

    Yes. When someone clicks an Outbrain recommendation, we can append a parameter to the end of your URL so that it registers in Google Analytics, Omniture, etc.

  • What settings can Outbrain customize for my installation?

    Available to premium publishers in our network only, your Outbrain Account Manager can toggle a variety of settings to make sure you get the deployment you want:

    • Setting the number of recommendations displayed
    • Setting the number of sponsored recommendations to display (more paid listings, more revenue for you)
    • Turning on thumbnail images above your recommendations vs. using text links
    • Limiting recommendations to a set of distinct sites you’ve approved
    • Altering look & feel, including the language surrounding the widget, fonts, colors, bullets, borders, etc.
    • Adding terms or domains to your sponsored recommendation block list
    • Integration of traffic data into your analytics platform
    • Using specific icons to represent video recommendations versus article recommendations
    • Adding additional widget deployments on the same page for extra traffic and revenue
  • How does the widget affect page load?

    We follow an internal principle called “graceful degradation” to ensure minimal impact on your page load. When your page loads:

    1. Our JavaScript pings our datacenter to ensure connectivity before making additional calls. If the ping does not return, we make no further calls and the widget simply does not render. In HTML5 supported browsers, we load asynchronously and will time out in the case of no data center connectivity.
    2. We assess how much content is user visible and only load when the user scrolls far enough down the page to see our widget. This reduces unnecessary loading.
    3. We wait for all of your content to load before we attempt to call our services.

    Our images and JavaScript are served from a CDN for fast and reliable delivery.

  • Do Outbrain links have any impact on SEO?

    No. Our recommendations are SEO neutral because our links are dynamically served and include the “rel=nofollow” attribute.

  • Can I submit my content so that it’s recommended on other sites?

    Yes! By using Outbrain Amplify, links to your content can appear as sponsored recommendations on our publisher partner sites. Learn more  and contact us to get started

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