Ask or enter a search term here

    What are Outbrain’s QualityRating guidelines?

    What is QualityRatingTM?

    Outbrain’s platform helps publishers offer the best personalized feed experiences for their users. Now incorporated into our platform’s algorithm, QualityRating ensures that the Outbrain platform recommends the most relevant, quality content for each user.

    QualityRatings are determined based on the recommendation’s title, image, and landing page — scored on a 1-5 scale, according to Outbrain’s Quality Guidelines (below). Every marketer in the Outbrain network has the opportunity to achieve the highest possible QualityRating. Marketers who implement Outbrain’s Quality Guidelines will have the benefit of increased opportunity to reach diverse audiences at greater scale.

    Below is a summary of the Quality Guidelines that are used to determine each recommendation’s QualityRating. You can view your forecasted QualityRating as you upload creatives, before they are saved, so that you can make adjustments as needed.

    Outbrain QualityRating will begin a phased rollout mid-2021, with a full launch expected in 2022, allowing marketers sufficient time to adjust.


    Outbrain QualityRating Guidelines

    Our Quality guidelines are in addition to Outbrain’s existing Advertising Guidelines. All recommendations need to comply with our Advertising Guidelines, and must be approved by our Content Review team before QualityRating is calculated. QualityRating is separate from our existing Advertising Guidelines.


    “Quality” refers to the end user’s experience: “High-quality” recommendations provide a positive user experience, both pre-click and post-click.


    Low-Quality Ad Properties

    The following section summarizes our definition of “low-quality” properties, which will result in a low (1-2) QualityRating. Low QualityRatings may impact your serving priority and result in reduced scale.


    Content that sets the wrong expectations

    This refers to any advertising technique that may lead the user to make incorrect assumptions about the promoted content. This includes content which is too vague or lacks necessary context and/or linked content which seems unrelated to the promoted user experience. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Non-transparent claims both in headlines and on landing pages.
    • Improper use of dynamic geo and time elements.
    • Unintelligible images or images that may be wrongly interpreted at first sight.
    • Headlines and landing pages that do not clearly state what the ad/linked content is about.
    • Lack of clear relation between creatives and the landing page.


    Sensational content

    Sensationalizing any part of the ad lowers its quality since it triggers an excessively intense reaction from the user, generating engagement/clicks from overreaction or morbid curiosity rather than genuine interest. Such “click-bait” techniques include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Exaggerated, overpromising, or unrealistic claims.
    • Claims implying scarcity or emergency.
    • Negative tone in general, sensational words and phrases.
    • Images intended to confuse or disturb the user and make them click.
    • Borderline suggestive or objectifying images.


    Withholding information

    Withholding Information includes intentionally avoiding disclosing all relevant information (both in ad headlines and on landing pages) to keep users from understanding what ads are about will result in a low quality score. This is also considered non-transparent as it makes the user click just to understand the context of the recommendation, negatively impacting user experience.


    Uninformative content

    Uninformative Content results in a negative user experience by promoting a lack of substantive, trustworthy and informative content. The content of a recommendation and its linked content should be meaningful and of value to the user. 


    Disturbing pop-ups and landing-page actions

    The following are examples of poor pop-ups and landing page actions:

    • Unexpected pop-ups that prevent the user from easily engaging with linked content create low-quality experiences for consumers.
    • Unexpected required actions from users which do not produce the expected outcome (such as having to click several times to get to promoted content).
    • *This does not apply to legally required or expected pop-ups, such as age gates, logins, cookie consent forms, etc. 


    It’s important to note that you will be able to see your forecasted QualityRating in real time, as you upload creatives into the Amplify Dashboard, before they are even saved. This will ensure you can fully understand what is impacting your QualityRating and make adjustments according to our guidelines.


    Need Further Help?

    Speak to an Outbrain expert

    Contact Us