Promoted Discovery F.A.Q.

Discovery allows you to more deeply engage your audience and monetize your site’s content at the same time.  Read more about Discovery in our blog post and the FAQ below, which includes information on the following topics:

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What is Discovery?

What is Discovery in Disqus?

Discovery helps people find new and interesting discussions and stories from within Disqus.  Discovery also helps publishers drive increases in internal recirculation and external referral traffic, resulting in increased advertising revenues. Discovery is not just one feature - it is woven throughout Disqus and a driving principle behind our entire platform.

What is the Discovery box?


The Discovery box is a native place for users to find new discussions, stories and other content on your site and from other sites across the web.

We find that users are very engaged when they arrive at the discussion thread because they are either engaging in the discussion or thinking through where they want to go next. However, this real estate is commonly underutilized by publishers because it’s below the fold. By placing the Discovery box alongside the discussion thread, we help your most engaged users discover new content while also helping you best optimize your audience monetization.

Why is Disqus moving into content discovery?

We developed our Discovery features (e.g. Community view, the Discovery box) based upon feedback from both our users and our publisher partners. Users trust Disqus and are looking to Disqus to recommend other interesting conversations and stories. Publishers look to Disqus to increase engagement and traffic on their sites. By recommending compelling content to users, our Discovery features keep users on publisher sites longer and, in the case of the Discovery box, also generate revenue for publishers.

How Discovery Works

How is content recommended to users within the Discovery box?

The Discovery box presents highly relevant and personalized content recommendations. We base these recommendations on a few things:

  • The current story and discussion that’s on the page.
  • What we think would be most interesting to the specific reader.
  • What other users on the page have expressed interest in.
We have a deep and wide perspective on trending topics and engagement across the millions of websites that use Disqus. Also, we have rich insights into our monthly users who view Disqus-powered pages, including what interests them and engages them to comment. We use these data sets to make the best content recommendations for our users.  
We are always working to improve our targeting algorithms in order to provide the highest quality editorial experience for publishers and most relevant recommendations to users.

Why am I not seeing Promoted Discovery even though it is enabled for my site?

Promoted Discovery will only show when our targeting algorithm determines we have promoted content that would interest your readers. If Promoted Discovery isn't showing, we'll still point to interesting and relevant content that appears on your site through Internal Discovery.

How Do I Earn Money?

Can I earn money via Discovery?

Yes. The Discovery box generates additional revenue for publishers in two distinct ways because it is comprised of two core components: Internal Discovery and Promoted Discovery.

Internal Discovery makes content recommendations specific to the site your users are on. Internal Discovery leads to increased page views and therefore more opportunities to generate advertising revenues.

Promoted Discovery points users to content that marketers are looking to promote to your audience. As a publisher, you earn a revenue share from Disqus for each click on a promoted content link. Our advertiser partners pay us to distribute this content in relevant places. Disqus has strict content guidelines to make sure we only select high quality stories that are interesting and well written.

Our goal is to provide readers with links to great content, whether Internal or promoted.

How much should I expect to earn with Promoted Discovery?

The short answer is, it depends. A number of variables (e.g. click-through rate, your traffic, the type of content you create, what advertisers are looking to promote, etc.) will impact your monetization. We are constantly adding new advertisers who will be interested in your audience and inventory. Our goal is to build a strong advertising and monetization ecosystem for publishers and advertisers consisting of a highly liquid marketplace.

What is the pricing model with Promoted Discovery?

Publishers who participate in Promoted Discovery earn money on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. For each click on a Promoted Discovery link on your site, you will earn a percentage of the revenue.

What revenue share percentage will I earn?

There is no standard revenue share percentage as these percentages vary depending on costs, content and performance. We will continue to ensure publishers get optimal revenue and traffic benefit.

How and when will I get paid?

Payments are currently issued electronically within 2-3 days of the end of the month on a monthly basis. Before a payment can be issued, you must first complete the required payment forms.

Is there a minimum in order to be paid?

Yes. Your site must have earned a minimum of $100.

How do I get Promoted Discovery on my site?

Every Disqus forum that is created goes through an evaluation period that lasts anywhere between 1 and 3 weeks. During this period, we gauge both the size and engagement of the site's audience (e.g. comments, visits, internal discovery, etc.).

If a site looks like a good candidate for Promoted Discovery, the primary moderator of the shortname will receive an invitation email to their registered email address.

Discovery Analytics

What metrics will you be reporting on?

We will report on the following key metrics per site:

  • Your upcoming payout amount (must be over $100)
  • The amount of revenue you are building up over the last 90 days
  • Current monthly revenue you are generating
  • Earnings and payment history
We anticipate being able to supply more detailed reporting in the near future.

How do I access Discovery Analytics?

  1. Navigate to the Analytics tab in your Disqus admin
  2. Click the Revenue tab to view your revenue.

Managing Your Discovery Settings

What do I need to do to activate Promoted Discovery?

Promoted Discovery is currently invitation only. Newly created sites undergo a 1-3 week evaluation period after creating a forum to determine whether an invitation for Promoted Discovery will be extended. We gauge both the size and engagement of each site's audience (e.g. comments, visits, organic discovery, etc.).

How do I make changes to my Promoted Discovery (Ads) Settings?

We believe you should have full control over Disqus' Discovery features. 

To configure Discovery Ads:

  1. Navigate to the Ads tab in your Disqus admin > Settings.
  2. Choose your Promoted Discovery level and image preferences by selecting the appropriate check boxes and clicking “Save Changes.”
Ads Settings

To adjust your Ad content restriction filter:

How do I make changes to my Internal Discovery Settings?

To configure Internal Discovery when Discovery Ads are disabled:

  1. Navigate to the General tab in your Disqus admin > Settings.
  2. Enable or disable Internal Discovery by selecting the Discovery check box and clicking “Save Changes.”
Admin Settings Discovery

Where can I expect placement of the Discovery box?

Disqus will choose the placement for the Discovery box to optimize referral traffic and revenue for your site.  Practically speaking, this means the Discovery box may appear at the top and/or the bottom of the Disqus comment embed.

Advertising Information

Is Promoted Discovery designed to compete with or replace existing ad solutions?

No. Promoted Discovery is meant to be complementary and additive to other advertising on your site. The Disqus commenting environment is unique and underutilized inventory that represents a new opportunity to generate ad revenue from your sites.

What makes Promoted Discovery different than other ad solutions?

People come to publisher sites to read great content. Most advertising, however, distracts them from that activity by trying to convince them to buy a product or fill out a form. Promoted Discovery aligns publishers’ needs with that of the audience, allowing publishers to profit by showing great content that readers will find interesting and is complementary to the core user experience.

What publisher controls do you offer? Can I block individual advertisers?

We offer you several controls to ensure the Discovery box achieves your business goals, including: (i) brand safety filters, (ii) click fraud and spam filters and (iii) comprehensive reporting.

Will advertisers be able to target my site specifically?

No. Advertisers may target categories of content but not individual sites in the Disqus network. We offer about 15 such categories that represent the millions of websites that use Disqus.

How do I advertise with Promoted Discovery?

Thanks for asking! We’ll have more to say on this soon. If you’re interested in advertising opportunities with Disqus, please drop us a line at

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