Outbrain is a content discovery platform that specializes in advertising website links that lead to sponsored content. Essentially, the company has a hand in placing advertisements from websites hoping to boost traffic. Outbrain claims to use behavior targeting with regard to what sites it recommends to particular users, which is becoming a common practice in digital media.
Aaron Galai and Ori Lahav co-founded Outbrain in 2006. Gala previously founded a search engine company called Quigo that was sold to AOL for $363 million in 2007. Lahav previously worked for shopping.com, where his job was in research & development. Outbrain currently has more than a dozen offices throughout the world, employing more than 400 people, and has its company headquarters in New York City. The company also has partnerships with clients in over 55 countries.
Outbrain’s specialty is in content recommendation. The company prides itself in giving users content they did not know they were looking for or did not know existed. In a video on the company’s website, Outbrain executives explain that they want to replicate the act of flipping a newspaper page in the digital age. As explained in the video, when people would flip the page of a newspaper, they would discover a new article that may not have been relevant to the article they just read, but it was hopefully interesting. Essentially, they aim to help people discover the next content that will be interest to them that they wouldn’t be able to find on their own.
Outbrain offers two primary services: amplify and engage. The amplify service is designed to get content from a website sponsored and recommended to readers on a larger site. Outbrain works with several high-profile websites, including CNN and ESPN, and can help smaller online publishes gets links to their content in front the large volume of readers that visit those sites.
The company’s website estimates that Outbrain has an audience of over 500 million every month, with their number of recommendations surpassing 200 billion. Outbrain pledges that the content you supply will be placed in front of an audience that will be receptive to it, thus “amplifying” it.
Outbrain’s engage service is designed to keep visitors on a specific website by directing them to other pages or other parts of the same site that they may not be looking for or may not be able to find on their own. A publisher may use this service to direct visitors towards parts of their site that are underutilized and lack regular visitors.
The Outbrain website lists several reasons why it’s advantageous for publishers to sign up with the company. Those benefits are:
Publisher Values – The company claims that its publishers have the trust of their audience.
Content Guidelines – Outbrain’s guidelines ensure they can provide their services while maintaining good relationships with business partners and publishers.
Editorial Resources – Outbrain offers an editorial suite that utilizes analytics to simplify the process for clients as much as possible.
Innovative Leadership – The company boasts its past innovation in terms of content discovery and believes it will continue to be at the forefront of the industry.
Outbrain also allows its clients full control over what they spend, paying only for real visits and only as many as their budget will allow. The company also accepts all kinds of content as long as they are not full-blown ads, and claims to have the tools to put that content in front of the right audience. Outbrain also has a help center for its clients, with more high-profile accounts receiving dedicated workers to manage their campaign.
Outbrain is one of the best known and most trusted brands in content discovery, and so there is little reason not to trust their expertise in this industry. That being said, there have been a few complaints levied against Outbrain, including the fact that revenue is only shared with sites that generate 10 million views every month, making it difficult to earn a significant amount of money. Some have also complained that the company is slow to report progress and make necessary adjustments.
Despite a few relatively minor complaints, the fact remains that Outbrain is one of the leaders in content discovery, and while the company may not be able to help every site, it has the resources to help a great many. There should be little hesitation from any online publisher, whether big or small, when it comes to inquiring with Outbrain about how the company may be able to help take your site to the next level.