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Outbrain: Content Discovery Report is Out!

April 15, 2011 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: SEO 

Okay, you’re thinking who’n heck is this “Outbrain” group and why should I pay any attention at all…which is perhaps a valid query in today’s harried and hurried times. But this one is very interesting, folks…and let me explain why, eh!

Outbrain is found here…and their About Us page says the following –

“We all love how Netflix recommends movies and how Amazon gives us great recommendations for books we would enjoy reading right? Here at Outbrain, we are doing the same for blog and article content on the web. Information overload is real and growing as the amount of content on the web grows exponentially. We are committed to helping readers of blogs and media sites find the best content that is most relevant to them on a personal basis…”

What I guess they mean is that they help sites to monetize the great content found on that site, thru a variety of means and allow your website visitors to get to your great content while using sponsored links to monetize that great content. Seems like a model that has existed online for a bit, but that’s not what this blog post is about — instead, I wanted to point out the release of the new Outbrain Content Discovery trends report that you can find here…

Basically, what they did was they used their own archived data of more than 100 million sessions to distill down some very intersting stats to see  how readers are accessing content, where they’re finding it and how they’re engaging with that content. And the results are in, eh and somewhat surprising….

  • While search still reigns supreme in terms of directing traffic to content pages (41% of external referrers), social is gaining share at 11%.
  • Of the six content verticals examined, stories in the news, entertainment and lifestyle categories are the most likely to receive traffic from social sources.
  • Traffic coming from social media sources has the highest tendency to bounce.

But there’s more, eh!

Very interestingly I noted that currently, search methods (including Google, AOL Search, Bing, Yahoo and Ask) send the largest slice of referral traffic to content. Links from publisher sites make up 31% of referral traffic to content pages, portal homepages (AOL.com, Yahoo.com, MSN.com) account for 17% of traffic, and finally, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Fark.com, reddit, Digg) send 11% of traffic to content pages.

Download the report itself here if you’d like and then DO pay attention to the explanation of the above piechart….it has some very interesting numbers there that help to rationalize IMHO, the whole SEO Campaign strategy….and the coming-on-strong social media blitz too!

And my conclusions after a solid read of this report are yes, very similar to their own…”though traditional methods like search still reign supreme, we’re keeping a close eye on new trends such as social sharing and the increasing openness of content sites to link freely to one another…”

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5 Responses to “Outbrain: Content Discovery Report is Out!”
  1. Lisa L. says:

    Hi Jim,

    Glad you liked our report! This is our inaugural report where we are setting the baseline for looking at this data in the future. Will be interesting to see how it changes over time.

    Since you asked, I wanted to give you some additional insight into what we do…

    Outbrain is a content recommendation engine. You can find us below article pages on some of the top publishing sites on the web. We reach over 200 million uniques each month and are installed on sites such as CNN, USA Today, AOL, The Daily Beast, and many others. Our technology fits seamlessly into the publisher site and we do not brand ourselves within our widget, which is probably why you have never heard of us, but have probably used us. :)

    So, WHAT do we do? Well, we provide content recommendations to readers.
    Our algorithms look at several types of user behavior to serve up the most interesting and relevant links possible, which are personalized to the individual reader.

    We get paid by marketers (publishers/brands) looking to distribute links to their content through our platform. Outbrain only takes links that point to content, and we apply the same algorithms for paid links as we do on ‘organic’ links. We believe that it is possible to engage (and even delight!) with a paid link, as long as it’s pointing to high quality content from a legitimate publisher.

    http://blog.outbrain.com has several posts outlining what we do and why we do it.

    Stay tuned for more insights in the future!

    Outbrain VP, Marketing
    Lisa
    lisa[at]outbrain.com

  2. Jim says:

    @Lisa…thanks for the update on OutBrain….as I said, I had no idea “who” you were…..but most likely had yes, been a user before….

    and I’ve bookmarked your blog for daily visits too…

    thanks! oh, and great Content Report, eh…that’s the kind of thing that can be very valuable to SMBs everywhere!

    :-)

    Jim

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