Outbrain Takes Out The Trash With New Content Guidelines

Outbrain has decided that it’s time to work with a better class of customer – even if that means taking a short-term revenue hit.


According to an article published on AdAge.com, Outbrain has issued a new set of content guidelines intended to weed out less-than-legitimate businesses. That includes things like articles that don’t deliver what their headlines promise and publishers that promote deceitful business practices.

If you’re not familiar with Outbrain as a company, you probably recognize their product: Those “From around the web” boxes that appear on news and information web sites, usually below the main story. These are links to stories on third-party sites; the publishers pay per click for traffic referred from the links. On the other end, the publishers that host these links get a cut of the proceeds.

It’s a perfectly legitimate business, and it can be a powerful way to drive traffic to your content. A number of B2B publishers use Outbrain to promote content associated with marketing campaigns; depending upon their target market, this can be an effective way to reach buyers.

I spoke with a member of Outbrain’s PR team, and he made it clear that the changes to Outbrain’s content guidelines will not target legitimate content marketing: “Marketing content will always make its way into articles, blog posts and other content, but it can still be legitimate and used with Outbrain as long as it fits the guidelines.”

In fact, the changes will benefit any legitimate publisher that uses Outbrain. Take out the garbage, and you’re going to build trust with readers. It’s a sound strategy, and it’s good to see Outbrain looking past its short-term profits to make this happen.

-Matthew McKenzie


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