Outbrain Review: Is It Out Of Reach For You?

Joining affiliate networks and advertising networks can be a great way to make extra money with your blog. But not all advertising networks are created equal. In this Outbrain review, we will break down how Outbrain works. Can this advertising network really work for you? If you have been looking for Outbrain reviews, you’ll find out if this particular network is out of reach for you.


Who is Outbrain?

Outbrain is a New York City based company with 16 global offices and works with publishers and advertisers in over 55 countries. It was co-founded by Ori Lahav and Yaron Galai and was started in 2006 as a content discovery platform. At the time of this review, it has a positive BBB rating.


How Does Outbrain Work?

Outbrain pays publishers for posting relevant links on their websites. This is done through widgets or small pieces of code that Outbrain gives you to add to your site.

Advertisers pay on a daily pay-per-click basis or it uses behavioral targeting by putting recommended articles in front of the reader. Behavioral targeting is where relevant ad placement comes in and is based on a visitor’s browsing habits. The websites where you can find these recommended articles are for the most part high traffic and very popular sites such as CNN, Time Magazine, Newsweek, and ESPN. Sites like these have certain pages dedicated to other content from around the web which are used by sponsored networks like Outbrain.

Like TrafficJunky, Outbrain connects advertisers with publishers. There are a few differences though. TrafficJunky networks target adult sites whereas the Outbrain network is comprised of more popular news sites.


Outbrain Advertiser Features

Outbrain claims to serve up articles on over 35,000 websites and over 250 million recommendations to other articles. Outbrain’s recommended articles reach over 87% of U.S. Internet users with over 15 billion page views per month.

Reach Estimator: The reach estimator is a tool provided to the advertiser that gives a 30-day potential reach when setting up campaigns.

Algorithms: Outbrain has over 50 algorithms that work to determine what articles to recommend to readers as relevant content.

Languages and countries: Outbrain supports publishers in the most common languages including Portuguese, Spanish, German, Italian, English, Dutch, French, Japanese, Hebrew and Swedish.

All these features are to help put the best relevant content ads in front of readers on your site. These features benefit both the publisher as well as the advertiser.


Outbrain Publisher Features

So the information above is more targeted toward advertisers but what about publishers? Below we’ve listed the features that help Outbrain publishers make money.

When you are approved to join Outbrain as a publisher, you’ll get a dedicated team member to help you get started.

Publishers can create customized campaigns for their ads through RSS feeds, adding URLs or using the click tracker that tracks clicks. You can also add images and headlines to make ads stand out on your site. When adding headlines, you’ll get different variations to choose from. You can run ads on all widgets or specific sections of you site.

Also, you can add tracking codes to ads to see which ads are doing well as well as track clicks using Google Analytics. There’s also a link in the campaign where you can test your tracking code.

Setting goals in your campaign allows you to track how well your ads are doing.

So there are a lot of features that help publishers.


How Much Does Outbrain Cost?

There is no fee to join Outbrain as a publisher. But there is a serving fee that is a percentage fee to cover fraud monitoring and other serving costs associated with the Outbrain ad services. It’s not clear what these fees are or if it’s taken from what you earn.

For advertisers, the cost is whatever you want to put into your account to advertise your content on publishers website. So if you have a $50 budget you can start with that.


How Much Can You Make With Outbrain?

As a publisher, how much you make will depend on a few different factors–namely how much traffic your site gets generally; what type of widget you have installed on your site; the categories of the relevant content, and the placement of the widget.

With all that said, our research indicates that as a publisher you can expect to make between $0.37 and $1.12 per thousand pageviews. This could be more or less based on the factors I mentioned above.

Either way, if these numbers don’t move you, I totally understand your concern. Fortunately there are other networks where you may be able to earn more. Check out the networks listed below as possible alternatives or an compliments to Outbrain:

Whatever network you join, the more traffic you can get, the more money you can make. So with that in mind, you may want to check out Wealthy Affiliate. They’ll teach you how to get tons of Free traffic to your site from Google. Furthermore, they’ll also show you how to make money with your existing blog and provide you tools that will take your blog to the next level.


When Does Outbrain Pay Publishers?

There’s a minimum payout of $50. Once you hit the minimum, you can expect to be paid based on the payment terms in your agreement which is usually net 60 or net 90 days. It’s unclear if the payments are made by direct deposit, paypal, etc.


Outbrain Requirements

  • Outbrain is available to anyone over 16 years of age.
  • As an advertiser, you need only fill in a form and add your credit card details. Your credit card address must match your home address.


How To Join Outbrain?

Creating an account is easy if you are an advertiser. Simply choose your country from the drop down list, type in your email address and create a password. You’ll receive a verification email to activate your account. You can sign up here.

If you are a publisher, you’ll need to fill out a form that includes your website URL along with how many monthly visitors your site gets. That link is here. If you are accepted into the program, you’ll receive an agreement to sign. Once the agreement has been signed and returned, you’ll receive widget codes, CSS styling guide, account admin access, and a deployment guide. A team member will be available to help you if you need it. Unfortunately, we could not find any information on how long the application process takes.


Outbrain Login

Once you’ve signed up as an advertiser or publisher, you can login into your account here.


Outbrain Support

Support is available by emailing them at support@outbrain.com and they will respond within 24 hours. Alternatively, you can try to find answers to your questions through their Help Center or the FAQ page.


Outbrain Complaints

We’ve laid out the logistics of Outbrain. Now we must discuss the complaints against Outbrain.com that you should be aware of before joining. Although the reality is there isn’t many to include here which is a good thing.


One advertiser complained that his initial $20 maximum budget for a campaign and was instead charged $20 per day wiping out his bank account. According to our research, there are many advertisers out there complaining about being overcharged.

Limited Monetization Options

Unlike affiliate networks such as Maxbounty.com, iGain.com & Traffic Jam Media where you have various ways to monetize your content with Pay per sale, pay per lead, pay per download and pay per call, you’re pretty much limited with Pay per click with Outbrain.

Lack of A Referral Program

We couldn’t find anything on their site regarding a referral program where a publisher or advertiser can get paid for referring other advertisers or publishers.


Should You Join The Outbrain Publisher Program?

Outbrain seems to be geared towards publishers with significant traffic to make it worth while. So if you have millions of pageviews and visitors it may be worth a shot.

Either way, increasing traffic to your website should always be a priority regardless if you join Outbrain or not. It can be done by applying some simple techniques to your site. Wealthy Affiliate can teach you how to get tons of FREE traffic and make more money with your site . So you may want to check it out.

If you do apply to Outbrain and get rejected, don’t worry. There are other networks out there to consider such as Maxbounty.com, Traffic Jam Media and iGain.com. These networks provide you various ways to monetize your site and there are plenty of quality advertisers that pay well for placement on your site.

Well that’s it on my end. If you’d like to know more about Outbrain, you can check out the publishers’ FAQ page here. If you have had any experience with Outbrain, I’d love to read your comments below.

Until next time,

Eddy with a y

OutBrain.com Review




On Time Payments




16 thoughts on “Outbrain Review: Is It Out Of Reach For You?”

  1. Thanks for sharing this network with me.

    Honestly, I immediately stop considering it when I saw how much they pay you for 1000 visitors, I was like: seriously? 

    So I joined 3 other ones, different ones that you mentioned, but they are also good, and I’m happy with them. 

    I won’t say that Outbrain is bad, but the payout is so low, that it isn’t enough to make a living. 

    Thanks for sharing it. 

  2. I have never heard of Outbrain and I think they definitely appear to be a company to consider utilizing once you have built up significant traffic to your website. As a member of Wealthy Affiliate I have enjoyed immersing myself in their training program. I have also used their affiliate program which may be more beneficial to sites with lower numbers of traffic.

    So do you think that an affiliate program such as Wealthy Affiliate would be ideal to use for someone with low levels of traffic to their website and that Outbrain would be more suitable for someone with a more established website and high volumes of traffic?

    • Yeah, I agree that the outbrain seems to be more geared towards sites with way more traffic. WA affiliate program can work even with minimal traffic provided its targeted. At the end of the day more targeted traffic tends to mean more money. So regardless of how you monetize your blog, you want to focus on that aspect. Thanks for chiming in.

  3. Seems to me like you need to build a lot of traffic to your site, within the range of thousands, before leveraging from a tool like Outbrain. I’ve seen a lot of their links on news portal and magazine sites and honestly, I think they are a bit of a distraction. Not sure if my readers will like something like that on my site. Thanks for the review. This is something that I will need to look into further before putting my foot in. 

    • Yeah I agree with you about needing a lot of traffic to make this worth your while. The annoyance is part of the web experience now. The fact you still visit your news sites with these ads on it proves that you value the information the sites provide. In return you deal with the ads. I use to be concerned about annoying my users as well with ads. But the bills have to be paid and if I provide value in the content, they will deal with the ads. So just something to keep in mind. 

  4. Thanks for this honesty and thorough review about outbrain. Personally speaking, I have come across this program in the last few months. However, I wasn’t 100% sure what it really is.

    But reading your post has given me some clarity about this program. It’s seems it a fantastic opportunity to make great deal of money out of it. And the great thing is, it takes less money to start with. Thanks again for this review Eddy. 


  5. Thanks for the article, I find it very useful, I am just about to create a website with wealth affiliate, I believe this your article will be of help when I want to monetize my blog. Thank you once again for this useful post it has been very helpful, I will definitely share this site with my friends and family i believe this article can help them too.

  6. What an interesting platform to promote and grow a business. Since reading this article I’ve done a bit more research on Outbrain, and it looks quite promising if used right. They definitely have their ethos established, and their campaign management is impressive. I think my online business could benefit heavily from this. I also like their live support, as that’s crucial when optimizing your business goals. Thanks for the informative article! You will be hearing from me in the future.~Koda 

  7. Hello Eddy with a y 🙂

    Thank you for sharing this information. I had no idea Outbrain was a word!

    I think the key to joining a company like Outbrain would be to already have a ton of traffic in place already.  I notice in their FAQ’s that they don’t specify a minimum traffic requirement but they would ‘help’ you get more traffic. No doubt this would be an upsell cost.

    I too would be concerned with the budget. I paid for advertising on a social media platform and had issues with them automatically taking money out of my bank account when I thought it was a one time payment for a particular campaign, so you do have to be careful.

  8. Thank you for your review of Outbrain.

    I might used outbrain as advertiser since they reach high percentage of US internet users. I have to be careful about my budget, so I won’t be overcharged.

    I will check out the other networks that you mentioned above as a comparison to Outbrain. As a publisher, I think it is not easy to make much money unless my site has huge amount of traffic.

  9. Hi Eddy,

    It would be interesting for me in the future to work with affiliate networks and thus try to monetize my site.

    I’m doing the first articles of my blog, I do not have traffic yet. 

    It is very important to have a good relationship between the advertiser and the editor. 

    These ad networks are also another interesting way to earn extra money.

    Excellent article, thank you very much!


  10. I am really confused on the way I should be monetizing my site. I recently was kicked out from the Amazon affiliate program because I hadn’t made three sales after their 180 days grace period, I was frustrated. Looking at Outbrain, its a good alternative but $0.37 and $1.12 per 1000 page views  seems a non-starter for a website that is still having a thousand or so views per month. Let me look at Maxbounty, I just signed up and I will be looking at how the payment structure goes.

    I will look at each one of the method you mentioned to come out with the best

    Thank you so much 


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