The following Outbrain Publisher Guidelines describe the standards applicable to any distribution partner of Outbrain. In order to use the Outbrain service, distribution partners agree to abide by the Outbrain Publisher Guidelines set out below. Any violation of these guidelines is subject to enforcement (that may include removal from network) at Outbrain’s discretion. Outbrain reserves the right to update the Publisher Guidelines from time to time.
Outbrain publisher guidelines are in place to deliver the best possible user experience and trust in publisher sites on which recommendations served via Outbrain technology may appear. These guidelines must be adhered to ensuring the reliability, legality, and quality of publisher partners we work with.
- User ExperienceTo ensure the best possible user experience, all pages of the publisher website must:
- Host content (slideshows, infographic, articles, video, quizzes, etc, offering value for the reader)
- Have functioning navigation
- Social Media icons should link to the relevant pages
- Site Menu buttons should link to relevant sections of the site
- ReliabilityTo provide site reliability and transparency, websites must have:
- An About us/Contact us section
- Mentions of the articles’ authors/references
- Provide robust site infrastructure such as not linking to broken pages, non-functional page elements, or pages that link to further pages that break our publisher guidelines
- LegalityWebsites must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, and not include:
- Fraudulent behavior/content
- Content that may be reasonably considered to be illegal, unlawful, or infringing under any applicable laws
- No breach of confidence or infringing any other right of any third party
The publisher must maintain the necessary authorizations/consents from 3rd parties and/or any relevant licenses (as applicable)
- QualityWebsites sites must not and/or content on websites must not include:
- Adult/ Sexual Content/ Pornography
- Content Deemed Invasive to Privacy
- Defamatory, Indecent, Seditious, Offensive, Harmful Content
- Fake News
- Hate/ Violence/ Discrimination (racial, ethnical or other)
- Promotion of or Advocacy for one religion over another
- Extreme political views
- Weapon (or ammunition)/ Drugs (or paraphernalia)/ Alcohol Sales
- Content targeted at children under the age of 16
Outbrain reserves the right to reject any publisher whose content is deemed inappropriate and not meeting these guidelines at its sole discretion.
- Proper labeling for disclosure requirements
In order to maximize full disclosure and abide by FTC labeling requirements, all Outbrain paid widgets (where paid recommendations are shown) must include the Outbrain branding logo in the header at the top of the widget. Also, all widget headers for paid recommendations must clearly denote that the links are “Sponsored” or “Paid.” For placements that contain both Editorial and Paid recommendations within the same widget, each Paid link must be clearly labeled “Sponsored” or “Paid” on the individual link level.
Outbrain does not allow publisher partners to install the same widget JS code more than once per page. Each widget code should be placed in a unique location on the page. If you’d like more than one widget per page, please request a separate widget ID for multiple installations by contacting your Outbrain Partner Manager or Outbrain Publisher Support (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Placement on Page
In order to maximize monetization opportunity and reader engagement, it is recommended that you place the Outbrain widget code on your page right rail (aka, sidebar), immediately below your site content (aka, footer) or within the content. Outbrain can also power recommendation widgets across a broad range of page types such as Homepages, section fronts, mobile applications, etc.
When installing Outbrain widget code on photo gallery pages, you must ensure the code is only called once on the page and not with every gallery page advance.
For slideshows, paginated pages, casual games, and other experiences that require the user to click “prev/next” or similar buttons to move through an experience, the Outbrain widget code must not be installed immediately above the “Previous” or “Next” button, unless the user has an option further up the page to click “prev/next” or “skip” or there is sufficient space between the widget and the “prev/next” to avoid accidental clicks. Violation may lead to removal from the network.
- Authorized Digital Sellers / Ads.txt
Outbrain recommends that all publishers update their ads.txt file to ensure a more confident buyer experience. Please visit our Ads.txt Product Update for instructions on updating your file and additional information. Our full Ads.txt partner list can also be found within the Engage publisher dashboard.
You must (i) at all times satisfy the requirements for an appropriate legal basis for the processing of personal data; (ii) disclose Outbrain to users via an appropriate privacy notice, which is updated from time to time and in accordance with applicable laws (iii) where required, it collect consent via a consent management platform using the IAB Transparency and Consent Framework (the most recent version or successor thereto) and pass Outbrain a clear consent or no consent signal (i.e. you must not send Outbrain a null or invalid signal); (iv), for purposes of the CCPA, you shall pass opt-out signals to Outbrain using the IAB’s CCPA framework; and (v) you shall provide a user choice mechanism such as the opt out page(s) of the Network Advertising Initiative, the Digital Advertising Alliance, the European Digital Advertising Alliance.
Do not install Outbrain on a site unless you either own or operate the site and apps or the owner of the sites and apps has given you exclusive third-party rights to monetize the inventory.
Outbrain publishers may not display Outbrain recommendations on pages with content protected by copyright law unless they have the necessary legal rights to display that content. If you believe a page participating in the Outbrain program is displaying your copyrighted material without the rights to do so, please report it using our contact us form.
Publisher’s Website or App must provide users with a positive experience, designed to discover content they seek and not deliberately conceal content or deceive users.
- The site or App should be designed and developed using best practices to avoid a poor user experience.
- Publishers should not recommend the same story multiple times on a homepage or landing page to seem like it has more content than it does.
- Pages should load quickly even in low bandwidth areas. This is not only to avoid an inferior user experience, but also to minimize accidental clicks.
- Content should be current and have sufficient options.
Do not display Outbrain on apps or sites that are not fully functional or that provide a misleading or troublesome user experience.
- Don’t place ads where people are likely to accidentally click (ex: placing ads where people randomly click or place their fingers, such as near buttons).
- Don’t include ads that cover up or hide any area of interest during typical interaction.
- Ensure ads are clearly distinguishable from other content within your app.
- Ensure that clicking an ad is not the only way to exit a screen.
- For general guidance on what ad units are not allowed, please visit https://www.betterads.org/standards.
- Interacting with advertising within Outbrain widgets should not be financially incentivized.
For questions please contact your Outbrain point of contact or Outbrain Publisher Support (email@example.com). Further to these guidelines Outbrain also operates Advertiser guidelines which can be found here
To learn more about the latest updates from Outbrain why not check out our blog.