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Outbrain review

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Outbrain is the first content recommendation network in the world. It started in 2006 with New York as the headquarters. They are operating 11 offices in different geographical locations. Outbrain is a tough competitor of another content discovery platform Taboola. According to their company statistics Outbrain delivers 190 billion recommendations to more than 560 million users monthly. More than 100,000 sites are using Outbrain. The recommendations have reached more than 80% of the US users.

How to join Outbrain

The premium sites having at least 1,0000,000 US page impressions monthly are eligible to join Outbrain. Publishers from every part of the world could signup. Outbrain doesn’t allow sites hosting illegal content like pornography, gambling, drugs, malware, hacking, spam etc. Even affiliate sites need to follow certain guidelines like adding value to the readers without over promoting products or services. Outbrain deliberately rejects 1 page sites, call-to-action pages, games sites, sweepstakes, offers, sensationalized news sites etc.

How Outbrain works

After approval publisher need to put Javascript code on the site to show Outbrain recommendations. Outbrain has its own algorithm to deliver recommendations based on the site’s popularity, user’s behavior. Unlike Taboola’s feedback for ads filtration Outbrain filters spam prior to showing sponsored content. Outbrain ensures the clean and relevant content. Along with internal posts Outbrain widget also suggests external links.

Outbrain advertising is beneficial in lines of traffic generation while publishers get revenue for the clicks. Big brands like The Huffigtonpost, CNN etc have Outbrain recommended widget installed. One could identify Outbrain widget by the title ‘Promoted Stories’,  ‘Around the web’ or ‘You might like’. Apart from image links publishers could also have access to video recommendation widget .

outbrain review

Many publishers have agreed to have 4-10% CTR on their site. CPC is $0.25-$0.40. Thousands of publishers make millions of dollars monthly with Outbrain. Publishers could check their earnings and traffic stats on outstanding reporting system. The successful categories that use Outbrain are arts, media, entertainment, music and news. Placing the widget below the article fetch you more clicks.


  • Decent CTR
  • Installation is pretty easy.
  • High quality 3rd party content
  • Publishers could use Outbrain with other networks like Google Adsense.
  • 0% spam content
  • Responsive widget. Fits perfectly on all gadgets.


  • Small publishers and bloggers get discouraged to work with Outbrain.
  • Some titles and images might be misleading visitors.
  • Sometimes irrelevant recommended ads could be delivered.


Although outbrain doesn’t mention the payment mode, it’s clear that publishers could receive earnings on Net 30 basis.

Final Conclusion

Outbrain is a great source of income for premium publishers. The performance depends on various factors like niche, traffic, geographical location and user’s experience. The relevant and high quality images or videos of the recommendation content results in higher clicks.

Join Outbrain

Images courtesy : Outbrain recommendations on CNN and Huffingtonpost.

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Suresh is author and owner of way2earning.com. He loves to help people by teaching the ways to make money online with advertising and affiliate programs. He is also passionate about technology and love to write reviews.


  1. I’ve seen these ads all over the place, obviously, but yeah, what I noticed is a lot of times, they’re totally unrelated to the topic in the article I just read. With that, I have never clicked on these. I think if they were more relevant, it would be a winner to use. Do people really click on unrelated posts?

    • Hello Megan,

      Nice to see you here. Yes sometimes these ads are weird. To my experience users don’t give me a damn to them. These content recommendation platforms need to improve their algorithms to show more relevant ads.

  2. Hi Suresh,
    did I read correctly?

    At least 1,0000,000 US page impressions to join Outbrain?
    This is really huge!!!
    I guess monthly, right?

    I wish I can reach that level with some of my blogs, one day. 😉

    • Hi Erik,

      Yes really huge. Oops I missed the word ‘monthly’. Thanks for it. I wish you great success. 😀

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