Outbrain Review: Best Content Discovery Platform for Publishers

Outbrain is a content discovery platform that customizes its services based on the search queries of the audience. It helps publishers to monetize their content and make money by attracting readers, who wish to keep reading at all times. It does not matter if people stay on a website and read related posts, or simply click on an ad and leave the site, publishers are able to make money with Outbrain.

About Outbrain Content Discovery Platform

Outbrain was founded in the year 2006, by Yaron Galai and Ori Lahav and is headquartered in New York City. They are into content marketing and content discovery and monetize the contents of their publishers with relevant ads of their advertisers. According to them, content is any video, article, social media, slide show, infographic or podcast that offers either information or entertainment value to the reader about a particular product or service.  It partners with reliable publishers and agencies who are passionate about creating an excellent user experience through clear content and transparent reading experience.

source: Outbrain.com

source: Outbrain.com

Outbrain values the importance of bringing its audience and content together, it delights its reader, drives their engagement, breeds customer insight and creates revenues for its publishers. Outbrain is a platform that brings marketers of all sizes and premium publishers on the same platform.

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Outbrain is a potent and vibrant content marketplace in the online advertising system and has more than 557 million global audiences every month. Its network reaches 200 billion recommendations every month and more than 80% of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain to reach their target audience.

Requirements for a Publisher to Join the Outbrain Network

It is easy for a publisher to get incorporated with Outbrain as long as their websites feed their audience with quality content. It is mandatory for websites to attract 10 million US article page views every month to get qualified by it. Websites could be in any language and there is not language restrictions laid on publisher’s sites.

It prohibits websites containing information on financial services, health services, subscriber only content, non-government approved medicines and supplements sites, sites containing hate, scams, adult content, malware and bad user experience.

Implementing Outbrain recommendations are easy and quick, especially for WordPress Publishers which is pretty easy to install and use. Outbrain offers widgets for blogger, TypePad, Squarespace as well. Its javascript code is to be manually inserted on websites of any platform and after the plugin is installed and configured, recommendations begin to et displayed within an hour of integration. It supports only internal recommendations on the first day and takes it time to support recommendations from external web links. It offers differed sizes of display Ad units either as thumbnail images or text only links. Its ads are compatible with Google AdSense as well, helping publishers to generate additional income.

Outbrain Widget

Outbrain Widget

It holds the right to reject any content if it feels it compromises the quality and safety of the Outbrain network. Distribution partners of Outbrain  also hold the right to block a few sources and specific pages if the advertiser or publisher was found to violate their guidelines repeatedly.

How Does Outbrain Work

A majority of consumers feel better to partner with a company that delivers quality content about the product. Content marketing is known to generate three times more leads compared with traditional marketing. Content marketing is beneficial for not just B2B companies but also for firms that sell products directly to its consumers. Clicks from share content is many times more likely to result in a purchase. Outbrain is a content recommendations search engine that engages readers of a website and generate income through them by including third party content links on the blog. It also amplifies the content and drives traffic towards a site by recommending it with other articles on the websites of leading publishers.

It is important for websites to have great content, for Outbrain to work. A publisher is required to have quality content on their site, submit it with Outbrain, allow links to appear on the publisher’s websites and enjoy traffic being driven towards the site. Links typically appear on the bottom portion of the sites, its title and location might vary as well. The algorithm of Outbrain works exceptionally and optimizes websites based on their traffic volume and quality content; it generally removed non performing websites.

Control panel of the network gives a detailed picture on site performance for the publisher along with a detailed report on their clicks volume and CTR.

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Outbrain’s Publisher Network

Outbrain is know to have partnered with quite a lot of premium publishers including sites like Guardian, Washington Post and others.

Last year marked a great run of premium partnerships for Outbrain, with the inclusion of international publishers like the Guardian, Le Figaro, Le Monde, and Rodale properties like Men’s Health and Runner’s World.

The momentum continues in 2016, with a really exciting addition to the Outbrain family: The Washington Post.

Also Outbrain has strong hold in the Indian media with websites like Network18 group, ScoopWhoop, StoryPick, MissMalini etc

source: outbrain.com

source: outbrain.com


Out brain works on a pay per click model which is similar to Google AdWords and is highly rewarding in terms of ROI. Publishers are free to supply as many copies of the content as needed along with multiple head likes to generate maximum response. The account engagement system of Outbrain is excellent and publishers are offered regular updates on site performance. Publishers are free to log in to their online system and view their statistics all through the day. Therefore, they could modify the content they promote and swap headlines for better revenue. It offers an excellent opportunity for businesses to enhance their brand and have their content served on big publisher’s names. Content marketers could maximize their campaigns based on pre-determined objectives. Traffic driven towards a website improves its SEO as out brain links are not shown up on Google.


Optimization within Outbrain is not satisfactory, ads are not set on a constant rotating basis, so it is not possible to judge which content performs best. Publishers are able to alter budget and CPCs, but not ad placements and ad frequency. It is not possible to get site impressions and site lists manually. Ads are not ranked, geo-targeting; audience profiling details are not available for publishers.

Outbrain Payment Structure, RPM Rates and Payout

Out brain pays through a CPC pricing model, publishers are free to set their daily budget amount or go according to the recommended model. Out brain will not exceed that daily budget amount and limits its geo-targeting features as well. The CPC charged from the advertisers ranges between $0.15 to $0.30 and Outbrain keeps a 50% revenue share. Thus, it pays somewhere between $0.37 to $1.12 per thousand page views to publishers. This could translate into $370 to $1,120 per million page views, which is meaningful revenue for publishers.  To partner with Outbrain, websites need to hold ore tan 10 million page views a month. A simple formula to calculate revenue from Outbrain is as follows,

Visitors to the site x % of visitors who see sponsored content x click rate on sponsored content x (average cost per click – commission)

Outbrain Referral Program

Unfortunately Outbrain doesn’t have any referral program and publishers cannot make any money if they recommend their fellow partners. This is particularly relevant because Outbrain targets at only the high traffic and quality publishers who partners with this network directly and thus they don’t need the referral boost.


Outbrain is the best way to monetize a website through sponsored content, if the publisher has a right content, clear idea on what audience reaction they need and look for a CPC model, Outbrain is the fantastic way to realize good revenue.


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