It has now become almost impossible to read news online without encountering recommendations for related content.
In the main, it’s garbage. Clickbait articles which will lead your viewers to some very low quality sites. News I noticed this week suggests it may become worse.
The Taboola and Disqus deal
Disqus, which provides the comments functionality on this and many other websites has signed a deal with Taboola to bring content recommendations to Disqus users.
As the release states:
Partnering with Disqus allows Taboola’s platform to reach long tail sites that up until now could not have leveraged Taboola’s capabilities. The Disqus platform extends to more than 3.5 million publisher sites globally in over 190 countries.
In short, more sites will now show these related content recommendations. What wonderful news that is.
It also seems that this will be opt-out rather than opt-in for publishers, so this will appear unless site owners remove it.
In a similar way, Disqus recently started displaying ads like this underneath comments on ClickZ:
I disabled it as soon as I figured out how to, but I wasn’t impressed with the fact that these ads were implemented without any warning. So heres a warning to look out for this.
Content recommendations, it’s not all bad
Now there’s nothing wrong with the concept content recommendation in itself. Indeed, you’ll see some at the foot of this article.
Hopefully, they’ll be relevant, some people will click on them, and spend a bit more time on this site. (And reduce our bounce rates).
This, to me, is how content recommendation should be done. I.e. related content relevant to the page the user is on. It should be a tool …
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