Outbrain is a widget that enables you to show related posts links on your blog using their thumbnail images. The USP of the service is it’s visual appeal as opposed to plain vanilla display of the related posts. I have been using Outbrain for a while now on Inficone.
While I see decent hits from the listings that it offers, I am not entirely happy with the algorithm that it uses to find the related content. In majority of my posts, I find the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin doing a much better job from sheer content point of view. Further, Outbrain also supports listing of external content in the related posts which is enabled on Inficone. But here also I really see some arbitrary and out of context posts most of the times.
I am pretty satisfied with the look and feel of the Outbrain interface but it is letting me down wrt the selection of content. To bring the point home, do have a look at the following snapshot. It highlights both the issues that I mentioned above. The post from which this snapshot is taken is mentioning about finding free icons at IconShock. Now keeping this fact in mind,
- Notice the related posts under <You might like> indicated by Outbrain vs the related posts that are listed by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin under the head <Related Posts:>
- Further notice the first listing made by Outbrain which is actually for an external content ( Notice <Paid Distribution> in the thumbnail ). But how Outbrain concluded that someone looking for icons would also like to read this content goes beyond my understanding!!
If you are aware of any settings that can correct this, do share the same with us in the comments section. Also if you are aware of any good alternatives for Outbrain besides LinkWithin , do let us know. You can always submit any useful tools, web services and tips to us.