If you use one of the nRelate plugins, then you probably noticed a sad little message from the founders this morning:
Dear nRelate User —
As they say, all good things must come to an end. As of Wednesday December 31, 2014, the nRelate service will officially be switched off – forever. Please deactivate, and delete all nRelate plugins from your site before then, as they will no longer work. Thanks for the memories, the great content, and coming along for the ride. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. For more details, please visit our blog.
Bummer, right? Especially since I just spent several hours trying to customize my widget. Oh well… I’ll chalk that one up to a learning experience. The next problem, though, is what to use instead of nRelate now that it’s on its way out the door. I don’t want to give up my related content widget, since it’s great for a few different things:
- Reduces bounce rate (the number of people who leave your site without visiting a second page)
- Brings old content back to the surface
- Keeps readers engaged since you can only create a fixed amount of new content
I know I’m not the only one who’ll be shopping around for great nRelate alternatives this month, so I’m sharing my research with you to help you find the perfect related content fit for your own blog. If I’ve missed any good ones, let me know in the comments, and be sure to let me know if you’ve tried any of these!
LinkWithin is probably the most common among nRelate alternatives. It’s really user-friendly for any blog platform, and it’s free. It sets up and installs pretty much instantly, and there’s no registration. It’s really streamlined, which is a great thing in some ways, but that also mean it lacks some of the bells and whistles of other nRelate alternatives.
Bottom line: LinkWithin may be the average blogger’s best bet because of its simplicity, user-friendliness, and relatively simple customization. Plus, we all like free, right?
Bottom line: Outbrain is a little more involved but has great options, especially if you blog in a language other than English, and it’s free.
Bottom line: Engageya seems to be about a half-step ahead of LinkWithin for functionality. It has a lot more built-in customization but requires registration.
Taboola, at first glance, looks to be a decent contender with nRelate alternatives like LinkWithin. They’re good at what they do, with high click-through rates and a proven track record. They’re popular with some big names, too: USA Today, The Weather Channel, The Atlantic and Fox Sports. So what’s the catch? Well, it looks like they aren’t necessarily the best option for the little guys. They have a strong focus on monetization, and they have minimum traffic requirements before they’ll work with you.
Bottom line: Taboola, though a well-respected service, isn’t a good fit for the average blogger. Go with one of the other nRelate alternatives.
P.S. Don’t forget to enter today’s 24 Merry Days giveaway. This one’s hosted by Gloria of Little White Whale, the creative genius who designed the project site! Click the banner below to enter the giveaway for $300 to Uncommon Goods.