Introducing Trending Topics

Genesis Media has released a new offering that locates and targets ads to trending articles online. For advertisers looking to align themselves with cultural moments, this creates the ability to run a package that puts their brand video within content when it matters most. Here is a sneak peak into how it all comes together:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Identifying Trending Topics through Machine Learning

The idea of trending topics is not new. There are trending hashtags on Twitter, trending posts on Facebook, velocity charts, sparklines; the list goes on, ad nauseum. And yet consumers of this content are not overwhelmed by a barrage of trending keywords and articles; we instinctively accept that which a publisher tells us is important right now actually is. And for the most part, they’re right. We put our trust in the platform to do the legwork and provide meaningful content when we want to read or see it most.

That word, “when”, is the foundation on which all trend detection is built. It’s not enough to identify content that people care about; capturing that content in time to provide it to a consumer is the true measure of a successful algorithm. If we’ve learned anything about hindsight, it’s 20/20.

The Algorithm

Through the implementation of the Genesis Attention Platform, a Publisher has the unique opportunity to leverage user attention as a pioneering metric for identifying trending content.

The algorithm uses machine learning to create a baseline attention for a Publisher, to which all articles can then be compared, in real-time. The fluidity and adaptability of the algorithm allows it to acutely detect deviations in attention across an entire platform and monitor an article as it’s attention changes over time.131055-2969673-lXN0XkNXErS6O41-trending urls chart


Above: Total attention is constantly in flux. The algorithm sets a threshold for high attention and identifies outliers.

This is the true top-level view of the Genesis Trend Algorithm: identifying articles that are receiving a significant amount of attention when compared to an entire platform, and capturing such content with incredible speed.

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Why Real-Time Matters

Trends can last for days and weeks when they catch on, but often the course of an online moment only lasts a few hours. The image (left) shows an article starting to trend and the G·A·P algorithm identifying it as engaging content very early. The article is trending while its “Trend Score” is above the threshold. The window to capture the attention on this page is very small, so it must be captured quickly or the opportunity is lost.

The ability to create new inventory using a responsive ad platform is paramount when harnessing the attention of this content. The technology must be able to activate inventory in real-time and not rely on the placement of ad tags within each page to do the job. In this way, when an article passes the trend threshold, it will automatically receive video ads that have been purchased by a brand to capitalize on these moments.

Benefits of Trending Content

With integration of the G·A·P Trending Algorithm, identifying trending content is both simple and powerful; it is also incredibly beneficial for both Publishers and Advertisers. A highly attentive article is a hugely valuable resource for gaining additional page views; whether through promotion on existing article pages (thus gaining deeper user sessions) or new user attribution through organic search or social media, the benefit is clear. Additionally, by providing meaningful content front-and-center to the user, the Publisher ensures that more users will return to find content they care about in the future.

For Advertisers, the content that people care about most is where the magic happens. Trending articles are where most users want to get to, and are therefore less likely to abandon and more likely to recall a brand that they positively associate with the content they care about. The barrier (advertisement, subscription, survey, etc.) that can be placed in front of trending articles, can be incrementally increased with little to no negative impact on page performance. And by aligning with the trend early on, the brand has put themselves in an advantageous spot to stay top of mind as people continue to share and search around the topic.

For more information on purchasing the Trending Topics package, contact Rich Knopke,