What is TrendMD?

TrendMD is the leading scholarly content discovery platform dedicated exclusively to the distribution of high-quality content across disciplines. With TrendMD, links to your content appear as recommendations on the web's largest scholarly content publishers and premium publisher sites.

We help publishers grow their readership and increase pageviews per reader.

TrendMD optimizes on engagement. The more interesting your content and the more traffic you drive, the more you will be recommended throughout our network. We use a complex set of algorithms to find the most interesting and relevant links for each individual reader on every page. TrendMD algorithms serve what readers want to read when they want to read it.

What is content discovery?

“Content discovery” refers to a rapidly-growing space in the world of digital media that involves the use of predictive algorithms to help people discover content they may like but never knew existed.

Social media platforms often have discovery-based features integrated into their sites, such as Facebook’s News Feed or YouTube’s “Recommended for You” section. Discovery platforms like TrendMD are built around a predictive engine that all kinds of publishers can integrate into their site, surfacing targeted recommendations for their readers.

Content discovery has become a vital platform for digital marketers, alongside channels such as paid search (e.g. Google Adwords, Bing, etc.) and social media, driving an array of results for companies across all industries.

Scholarly content is generally content that is based on original research or experimentation. The original research is written by a researcher or expert in the field who is often affiliated with a college or university, and in some cases industry. Original research often appears in scholarly journals or books that are published by academic presses and are subject to a peer-review process, which means that other "experts" or specialist in the field evaluate the quality and originality of the research as precondition of publication.

Content is broadly defined as text articles, audio or video files, slideshows, infographics, images or any combination of these content types.

How does TrendMD work?

The recommendation widget, which is free for content providers (such as publishers) to install on their website(s), generates recommendations for readers based on their reading habits. Clicking on the link might take the reader to another article within the same publishers' website(s) - or to a third-party website owned by a different publisher altogether. Each click on a link that directs a reader outside the host publishers’ website(s) earns the host publisher a new visitor back to their site in return.

Here’s a concrete example, from the reader perspective:

  1. JAMA publishes an article about respiratory disease and would like to promote it. They set a weekly budget, and the article is disseminated through TrendMD’s network.
  2. Meanwhile, you’re reading a different article on respiratory disease in The BMJ. Since The BMJ has the TrendMD widget installed, it tells you that you might also be interested in the first article published by JAMA.
  3. You click the link. Your click “costs” one credit, which is deducted from JAMA’s credit balance. The BMJ receives a half credit which can then goes towards redistributing their own content—and JAMA enjoys the increased exposure and site traffic.

TrendMD's article recommendation algorithm

Traditional recommender systems stop at semantic enrichment (i.e. relatedness).

TrendMD’s predictive recommendation engine analyzes hundreds of real-time signals to match people with the top handful of items they are most likely to be interested in consuming next. Our proprietary algorithm sifts through an array of situational factors every time the user loads a web page: collaborative filtering (relatedness, audience click behaviour (“people that read X, also clicked on Y”) and personalization (i.e. what you have read in the past)), article popularity, geography, context, referral source, social media trends and more. Operationally, the algorithm takes into consideration behavioral, contextual, and social inputs, as well as general network trends and competition.

Recommendation links dynamically pair with different articles and change locations across our network, based on where they are most likely to receive the highest click-through rate.
Our algorithms are optimized to connect the right content to the right reader, at the right time.

Bottom line: content that is generating the most user interest is given the most volume by TrendMD’s algorithm. It also pulls back on content that is generating less interest. Together, this ensures your budget is being allocated effectively.

TrendMD's reach

TrendMD is the world’s leading discovery platform, delivering over 500 million recommendations to over 80 million unique users each month on top scholarly sites. As a content discovery platform, TrendMD surfaces promoted content alongside editorial content at a critical moment, when readers are steeped in “content consumption” mode. This moment is when readers are most open to discovering something new.

Discovery vs Search & Display

Content Discovery
Content recommendations are offered in a variety of ways on publisher websites and apps. Recommended stories can be placed within content streams/feeds on a publisher’s homepage or along the right side of an article. The most impactful placement often immediately follows the end of an article, though recommendations can also appear mid-article (especially on mobile).

These types of promoted recommendations are less intrusive than traditional online banner ads, and the best examples create real value for consumers by providing them with relevant and informative content. Story-driven content also enables marketers to create a stronger emotional connection with their target audiences in a way that direct advertisements cannot.

Content discovery can drive results for marketers across industries and in service of many different metrics or goals. While banners ads may only have been effective for high-level brand awareness, content can engage consumers at all stages of the “consideration journey”, driving a variety of goals, such as lead generation, email subscriptions, purchases, and more.

Search ads
Search marketing is a type of 'pull marketing'. Search customers have typed in what they want and they are in the market for your product or service. The customer is "pushing" and advertisers only need to pull them in.

These ads are specifically designed to make a 'sales pitch' to the user. In the above scenario, the user was looking for pizza in New York City. The user is more than likely to click on one of the search ads to learn more about a product or service directly - in this case, pizza.

Display ads
Display marketing is a type of "push marketing". Users are not specifically searching for your product or service when the display ad is placed in their line of site. They may be viewing a video, checking their favorite news or social site, doing research or some other action. Here the advertiser is pushing the awareness of their product onto the user.

Display ads are similar to traditional television commercials. The majority of the audience will not have any interest in the product or service (unless highly targeted or via retargeting), at least not at that time. However, it is possible that the ads foster brand awareness, imparting a visual impression in the viewer’s mind so that they may recall your ad if and when they need your product or service.

Goals with TrendMD

Publishers and content producers use TrendMD for a variety of reasons, these are some of the most common.

Grow your readership
TrendMD helps marketers generate high-quality views at scale by pushing out content on top scholarly sites. Advertisers use our marketplace to control which content is distributed over TrendMD’s network of publishers.

Read: TrendMD drives 49% increase in article readership

Drive Conversions
In order to drive traffic that converts into leads, downloads, sign-ups or other engagements, TrendMD’s recommendation engine learns and pushes relevant content most likely to interest your targeted users. You can then capture leads with engaging CTAs on-site.

Read: Elsevier’s monthly budget resulted in over 500% ROI with Clinics Review Articles (The Clinics)

Drive User Engagement and Content Usage
TrendMD’s dashboard allows you to track incoming traffic, link clicks, and other KPIs in real-time. You can analyze content performance and optimize your campaigns to meet your goals and improve ROI.

Read: TrendMD provides higher reader engagement than Google Scholar or Twitter

Increase Brand Awareness
TrendMD’s content discovery platform recommends content through high-impact placements alongside editorial on top scholarly sites across the web, matching advertisers with relevant publisher audiences across all categories, from STM, humanities, and social sciences. Your content can reach millions of viewers and gain valuable interactive exposure within a credible, trustworthy context.

Is TrendMD only for medical-related content?

Despite our name, TrendMD is a content recommender system currently used across all academic disciplines.

What will TrendMD look like once installed on my website(s)?

Both the appearance of the widget and the content presented by the widget can be fully customized using your dashboard. Here is an example of what the widget looks like on BMJ:

How much does TrendMD cost?

TrendMD can be used on your website(s) for free, indefinitely. We promote links to your content on third-party sites in the TrendMD network so long as your credit balance is above zero. You determine how much TrendMD will cost based on how many new visitors you want us to direct to your website(s). You automatically earn credits from clicks on third-party sponsored links featured on your website(s), which is used to promote your content throughout the network. Additionally, you can add to your credit balance by setting a weekly budget. ‘In-network’ recommendations are always free.
So if you want to ensure that your journal(s) get 1000 additional visitors per month, you set your weekly budget to $250 USD/week. See additional visitors acquired for more details.

What placement of the widget do you recommend?

In most cases, the widget tends to perform best if placed directly below the abstract with 2 columns or on the right hand side of the page with 1 column. The number of widget columns can be set easily by logging into your dashboard - click here for more instructions.
That said, we encourage you to A/B test to determine the optimal widget placement that yields the highest clickthrough rate.

How do publishers benefit from TrendMD

TrendMD benefits publishers in 2 ways:

  1. Grow your readership:Once our widget is installed, we begin distributing links to scholarly content from your journals and blogs in the widget results of our relevant partner sites. We send a large amount of new unique visitors from many of the largest publishers to come discover, read, and cite your articles.
  2. Increase pageviews per reader: TrendMD looks beyond just related links to help people discover, read, and cite interesting scholarly content from your journals and websites through personalized recommendations. Our recommendation algorithms continuously optimize the placements of links to your content for the right audience while readers are actively looking for something interesting to discover.

What key metrics do you provide?

Additional visitors acquired
Additional visitors that clicks on sponsored links brought to your website. Your credit balance decreases by 1 credit when a click occurs on a link to your content featured on a third-party site

Additional pageviews generated
Additional pageviews are generated when visitors click on recommended links to your content

Third-party affiliate link revenue
Credits earned from visitors clicking on third party sponsored links shown across your website(s)

Will TrendMD ever interfere with my page load times?

No. We treat ourselves as a ‘guest’ on your website(s). The TrendMD widget always loads after the page, and has been designed to never interfere with the functioning of your website(s).

TrendMD's data privacy policy

Whether you’re simply a content lover who consumes our content or an TrendMD client, your data is safe with us. We do not share it with any 3rd parties. See TrendMD Privacy Policy for more details.

How does TrendMD % traffic lift compare for small vs large publishers?

Because traffic lift is a ratio (we look at the number of additional views relative to baseline traffic) the % lift for large and small publishers is comparable. Larger publishers generally have greater quantities of baseline traffic and therefore can earn more credits , but they also need larger numbers of additional views to get the same % lift.
When it comes to paid credits , smaller publishers need to pay less to boost their traffic relatively more than large publishers.

How Does the TrendMD Module Impact SEO

Most SEO marketers wonder if there’s an SEO value or benefit in using TrendMD and content discovery.

The answer — there’s a lot of value. In fact, TrendMD can be used for two main purposes when it comes to SEO:

(1) As a publisher: Grow in-site organic traffic by using the TrendMD widget. Let your readers discover more interesting and relevant content inside your own website.
(2) As an advertiser: Distribute your content on other websites by using TrendMD. Reach users and/or potential customers and grow traffic to your web assets through content.

The TrendMD Module and SEO scoring

It is important to note, however, that our module does not impact a website’s SEO efforts directly. This means it also has no negative impact on your SEO efforts.

- The module is based on JS (JavaScript), therefore, Google can render it, but cannot index it or save a cached copy of the page. From a more technical point of view, we are not violating any Google webmaster guidelines about widgets or modules.

- The traffic that goes from site A to B (in terms of paid links) is not visible to Google because we use meta tag “noindex,nofollow” and blocking it via robots.txt. Basically, we are not transferring any link juice from site to site.

- Organic links from Site A to Site A also use the meta tag “noindex,nofollow” rule.

- Our module loads asynchronously, meaning our widget load occurs independently of the page load. They don’t wait for each other — so we won’t slow down page performance, or hurt your page load time — which can be a factor in search engine rankings and UX.

- The module facilitates the readers UX, bringing them into a browsing mode — when they can discover what’s next.

The TrendMD module ultimately improves the user experience as well as the likelihood of gaining natural backlinks. The more exposure your content is getting, the more shares and traffic your content is likely to receive.

This is why content recommendation modules are great for content discovery. They help users or readers navigate to the next article in a way that traditional navigation never could.