Outbrain vs Adwords- Review 2018

Outbrain, over the last few years, have emerged as a top content recommendation and native advertising network that helps marketers with better ROI and let publishers earn from their premium native inventory. It has been one of the pioneers of native advertising along with Taboola. The network provides 500 billion content recommendations per month across a network of more than 80% of the world’s top publishers. It has a huge presence in the US, parts of Europe, and India. This performance-based native advertising network has been driving great results for marketers mainly because of the quality of traffic and the strict editorial of the advertisements which are running in its network. Google Adwords is the world’s top contextual ad network which allows advertisers to bid for quality ads that appear on google search and its network of publisher sites. Adwords have been the go-to destination for all marketers both big and small who are looking for more customers for their business. The success of Google Adwords is mainly achieved due to the quality of traffic, the high conversion rates, and the plethora of optimization tools available for advertisers and marketers. With the option of global targeting and keyword based bidding, the network has a base of top publishers and search visitors who are looking for products and recommendations in real time. Here, we get into a detailed comparison of Outbrain vs Adwords and see which is more beneficial for marketers aka advertisers.

Outbrain Publisher List vs Adwords Publisher List

Normally, all major publishers work with Outbrain to increase their native advertising revenue. Some of the top publishers include Mashable, People, Fox News, ABC News, Time INC, and more. If a marketer has to target premium sites for brand engagements at rates comparatively less than that of Adwords, Outbrain should be the choice. Adwords is more geared towards keyword-based targeting and as such bidding on specific sites is possible using managed placements. These placements are spaced for sale to advertisers who can bid on these placements and the auction will automatically go live. Normally, all major sites are available on Google Adwords since its publisher counterpart named “AdSense” is run by almost 100% of the top publishers globally.

Outbrain Ad Formats vs Adwords Ad Formats

There are a number of ad formats offered by Outbrain which ranges from in-stream, in-article, interstitial, and pop-up native ads. These formats, especially the pop-up native ads perform better on mobile screens and are able to pull higher rates for publishers if you’ve good volume of tier one traffic. Additionally, the recommendation widget synchronizes well with publisher’s editorial content to give it a native look and feel. As marketers, you need test out the various formats to see which one is giving you better returns in terms of conversions and engagements. Adwords offers multiple ad formats and ad styles to its advertisers. They have the option to choose from a search ad, native ads, display banner ads, link ad units, content recommendation ads and more. If you’re using DoubleClick bid manager, you can bid for native ads directly on publisher sites and can also buy video inventory from the same. The double-click bid manager is an extended arm of Google advertising business which helps premium advertisers with more control and targeting options than the already existing Adwords advertisers and marketers.



Outbrain vs Adwords: Marketers Perspective

Outbrain has grown to be one of the most prominent native advertising company. Marketers use Outbrain for generating leads for their business or use the video ads for brand awareness and brand engagement. It has a growing list of marketers who are immensely benefited by the networks optimization algorithms to show the right kind of advertorials to the visitors at the right moment, targeting on the intent of the visitors. Marketers have the option to choose premium sites like CNN, People, ESPN and other for a better ROI. With Outbrain, you can either choose to work as self-service or request a dedicated account manager who would help you with a personalized and strategic ad targeting that is geared towards maximum ROI. The network provides ad formats like native in-article, native in-feed, and recommendation widget which can be targeted on publisher websites. The network also ensures that all the ads showing on the publisher’s network are aligned to the brand safety standards.

Adwords has more than 4 million advertisers both big and small. Adwords offers detailed targeting options where advertisers can choose specific languages and also the targeting areas for their audience set. The core technology is built on helping marketers fine-tune their advertising campaigns so as the offer better conversion and ROI. The tools like keyword planner, conversion tracking, and diagnostics, audience manager help advertisers and marketers with an accurate forecast of the conversions. Also integrating Adwords with Google analytics gives a better sense of conversions happening on the website and gives the exact figure on ROI. This help marketers and businesses scale their marketing plan and budget if they see a positive ROI across the network.


Outbrain CPC Rates vs Adwords CPC Rates

The global CPC rates for Outbrain is in the range of 5-10 cents while that of US traffic is in the range of 15 cents to 20 cents. Any smart marketers will experiment with the individual geo to understand the bid competition and prices and then optimize the campaign for better revenue. Adwords CPC rates are determined by the keywords which marketers are targeting and the rates are usually at the rate of 10 cents to 5 dollars. If you targeting keyword is highly competitive, then the CPC will be quite higher. There are instances where the CPC can go as high as $20 to $30 which also depends on the conversions which the advertisers are getting for their keyword targeting ads. Normally, the CPC rates for Adwords display ads are in the range of 50 cents to a dollar while those of the search ads are in the range of one dollar to two dollars. However, if you’re targeting countries like India, the CPC rates will be around 20 cents to 30 cents for display ads while the CPC rates for search ads will be around 50 cents and above.

Outbrain Minimum Spend vs Adwords Minimum Spend

The minimum spends required for Outbrain is $50 with a minimum spend threshold of USD 20 a day with Outbrain which gives smaller marketers ample opportunity to try this network in comparison to the ones like Taboola and Revcontent. This is particularly beneficial for self-served models where advertisers can create ad campaigns and need not go through an account representative. The minimum spends for Adwords depends on the country of the advertiser and varies from USD 50 to USD 100. The good thing about Adwords is that you don’t have any minimum ad spend limit. Advertisers can choose to spend any amount on a particular day. The AdWords Express is a streamlined version for newbies with lesser options to get started. Additionally, Google offers promotion credits which can be used on new accounts and sometimes on existing ones.


Outbrain Billing Cycle vs Adwords Billing Cycle

Outbrain works on a monthly billing cycle where the money will be automatically deducted once you’ve crossed the spend of USD 50. You need to add your credit card to your Adwords account to get started. The initial threshold is $50 which increases to $200 and then $500 as your ad spend rises.

Say you’re just starting out with your AdWords Express account, and your initial threshold is $50. If you accrue $49 in costs within 30 days, you’ll be charged after 30 days, and your threshold will stay at $50 in the next billing cycle.

However, if you accrue $50 in costs within the 30-day billing cycle:

  • You’ll be charged immediately.
  • Your threshold will increase to the next threshold amount, for example, $200.A new 30-day billing cycle will begin immediately.

Outbrain Traffic Quality vs Adwords Traffic Quality

Outbrain works with 80% of the top publishers across the world. The minimum traffic requirement to get started with Outbrain for publishers is one lakh page views a day. Much like the stringent quality control that Outbrain maintains for its publishers, the editorial team at Outbrain reviews every creative and double check to ensure that the content quality and the landing pages to ensure that the advertisements meet Outbrain quality standards. This ensures that the ads and promotional materials where the advertisers are driving traffic to is of good quality and are not highly product-centric. This essentially builds an ecosystem of quality and trust among the visitors, publishers, and advertisers. Since the publishers know that the visitors won’t be landing to some obtrusive website by clicking on Outbrain ads, and the genuinity of Outbrain and the publisher website is maintained. Adwords is also known to have the quality of its advertisements seriously. It needs to be mentioned here that Google Adwords doesn’t allow any affiliate links and cheap product promotions mainly in the health niche. If you’ve ownership of your products, then only you can promote the products on Google Adwords. This step is taken by Google to preserve the quality of the ads and their visitors.

Over the last 5 years, native advertising has grown to new levels. The adtech industry now has plenty of players mainly because each of them is solving an industry problem and the technology is still expanding. We are seeing an ever-increasing growth in the list of native ad network or content recommendation networks. Some of them have been instrumental in making a presence globally like– Taboola, Outbrain, Content.ad, Revcontent. While there are quite a number of other networks which are slowly expanding their offerings in the same space like Connatix, AdYouLike, Adnow etc. Native advertising will continue to grow and all the major players are currently competing to take a share of the pie. As we wrap up our discussion on Outbrain vs Adwords, listing here the takeaways from this comparison:–

  • Both the network is known for their high-quality traffic.
  • Adwords has more targeting options and provides tools that can better describe the ROI and campaign profitability for advertisers and marketers.
  • Outbrain has a comparatively lower CPC rate and works well for premium products which appeal to the masses. While Adwords is more tuned towards niche visitors who are looking for specific products and the intent is ‘Right now’.
  • Both the companies have the self-serve model and are easy to get started even if you have limited money on your kitty.

Hoping that our Outbrain vs Adwords comparison was useful and you’ve meaningful takeaways from this post. Keep visiting Blognife for more interesting comparisons, adtech news, and monetization tips.  

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8.5 Total Score
Overall Review: Good

Both Outbrain and Adwords maintain the quality of traffic to ensure the highest returns for advertisers. Advertising at Outbrain is comparatively cheaper when compared with Google Adwords.

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Works as an ad optimization specialist helping publishers increase their ad revenue in display, video, native, and high impact ad formats. You can contact him on skype (skype id: ronniedey) to increase your ad revenue immediately or hire him for a consultation. If you're an ad network owner, do get in touch for sponsored reviews.

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