Have you ever made it to the end of an article online and seen “From Around Web” or “Recommended Content?” Usually the headlines are incredibly shocking, and the images eye-catching. Often they’re just plain weird.
Those are probably OutBrain ads, or Taboola ads – OutBrain’s main competitor. Technically though, they aren’t ads. They can’t be ads. OutBrain is a “content discovery platform” that specializes in putting paid links where readers are looking for something else to read.
OutBrain/Taboola ads are underused by advertisers because they are new, a bit odd, and hard to do well. They are neither ads nor the result of PR…so they don’t really fit into a typical online marketing model.
But they are cheap and give you normally expensive access to premium online publishers, and they appear exactly when readers are looking for something else to click on.
Back in 2014, when OutBrain was just getting started, I ran a few experiments, which I share below. In revisiting the platform, I had hoped that it would have matured over the course of 5 years, but it’s still basically the same.
Here’s guide to OutBrain Ads, how they work, along with a few examples.