A Word On Outbrain’s New Content Guidelines

|Lisa LaCour

As recognition of content discovery platforms on publisher sites grows, so too does the scrutiny over the nature of the content promoted on these platforms and how it’s disclosed.

Rightfully so. If users can’t trust the efficacy of the content we recommend, a potentially valuable service to publishers, readers and marketers could be jeopardized.

Advancing the trustworthiness of content discovery has and always will be our number one priority, and it’s a responsibility we approach with humility.

We are also fully aware that mere words on the matter won’t suffice, so we have tried to take meaningful action over the years to measure ourselves honestly and transparently, and put practices and guidelines in place to ensure accountability over the content promoted through our network.

At times, these efforts have manifested themselves quite drastically. In Fall 2012, we made a sweeping audit of our platform and uncovered a number of unscrupulous players and their content; content that didn’t meet our standards for user trust. We subsequently scrubbed the content from our network and had to step away from the marketers who were responsible.

Our latest efforts represent our most comprehensive. In addition to performing another sweep of our network, we are implementing strict new content guidelines to account for the latest wave of affiliate marketers trying to circumvent the platform with what can only be deemed fake or otherwise misleading editorial sites.

Furthermore, we have adopted the following steps to establish the best possible conditions for preventing and removing undesirable content from platform:

→Introduced new headline restrictions that ban spammy (yet increasingly popular) content tactics like inaccurate, sensational, misleading, or otherwise too-good-to-be-true headlines

→Hired a full-time content strategist to enforce and further develop our guidelines

→Allocated more internal resources to help monitor the content in our network

→Extended manual tools to publishers to allow them to remove suspect content from their pages themselves

In conjunction with our own efforts, we are pleased to continue our work with interested regulatory bodies like the UK and US branches of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), the ASA, and the FCC to make sure users can trust what they see when they browse content online, and that publishers can continue to generate revenue for their sites responsibly.

Click here to read our new guidelines.

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Lisa LaCour

Lisa LaCour: Lisa LaCour is Vice President of Global Marketing at Outbrain, where she oversees the corporate brand, communications, and... Read more

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