nRelate Alternatives . Blog Better

December 4, 2014 separator Blogging

nRelate Alternatives

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!

nRelate Alternatives - LinkWithin

LinkWithin

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?

nRelate Alternatives - Outbrain

Outbrain

I’ve seen recommendations for Outbrain on older blog posts on this topic, and though I can’t vouch for it personally, it seems to have a good rep. It’s popular with users and boasts some serious clients, like National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, and the Chicago Tribune.  Although most of the Outbrain website caters to high-traffic publishers or brands looking to advertise, they do have a great FAQ page for us little bloggers. You do have to register, but the process is simple and straightforward. They support more than 30 languages and have a simple installation process for all the major blog platforms, plus a Javascript option for everyone else.

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.

nRelate Alternatives - Engageya

Engageya

Engageya is a new name for me, one I haven’t really heard anything about. One thing I really like about it at first glance is the fact that they have some really nice options for in-dashboard customization without having to get into your CSS code. They also have an option to add your Facebook page to the indexing list so that your Facebook posts show up among your related content suggestions, which could be a good traffic driver to your page. You do have to register, but it’s a free service with easy install option specific to Blogger and WordPress, as well as Javascript for other platforms.

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.

nRelate AlternativesTaboola

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.

Taboola isn’t free, and unlike LinkWithin, you can’t simply install some code to make a widget show up on your site. You have to get in touch with the Taboola team to discuss traffic and other metrics, and then they’ll start talking fees before sending you some Javascript code to implement on your site.

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.

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7 comments

  1. Are you aware of any issues going on with LinkWithin? They don’t seem to be responsive to customer requests and I’ve been trying to get in touch with them since late November

    1. So sorry to hear that, Jasmine. I’m not aware of anything but haven’t been using them for awhile. Best of luck figuring it out though!!

  2. Hi, may I ask if what’s the font you’re using on your site? It’s eye-friendly. Hope you could answer. 🙂

  3. You might also want to take a look at Contextly. Our related links are quite good, and we also include trending, personalized and evergreen recommendations. We’ve got awesome controls for publishers and support languages other than English. We’re used by sites ranging from CFO.com to PBS.

  4. I, too, was shocked in learning that nRelate will be retired by the end of 2014. I used to use LinkWithin before switching to nRelate. My own blogs are nowhere near SEO juggernauts. However, nRelate did a fairly decent job with related blog posts. Your insight on nRelate alternatives is much appreciated. Thanks for providing these options and these suggestions.

    johnbmarine.blogspot.com

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