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outbrain-logo.jpgOutbrain, a company that gives blog readers a way to rate and recommend news stories (see its widget at the bottom of this story), has raised another $12 million in a second round of funding.

VentureBeat first covered Outbrain in detail last year. It uses a recommendation technology similar to Amazon’s feature that offers up other items people like you have already enjoyed. While there are several such “collaborative filtering” recommendation engines on the market, few have focused solely on news. However, an increasing number of players, including Baynote, are moving to offer such services.

Outbrain comes at a time when publishers are trying to increase the number of page views they get, and many are looking to recommendation services as an opportunity to draw a wider audience. VentureBeat, for example, uses Outbrain. You’ll notice, however, that the Outbrain widget offers up articles from other sites, too, so we’re not using it merely to point to our own stories.

The latest financing brings its total capital to $17 million. The round was led by Carmel Ventures, and includes previous backers Gemini Israel Funds, Lightspeed Venture Partners and GlenRock Israel. Tamar Technologies Ventures managing partner Zohar Gilon and Rhodium Ventures also joined the round.

Outbrain’s free widget can be installed on most leading blog platforms — including Blogger.com, TypePad, WordPress.org, Drupal, FeedFlare and MoveableType. And thousands of blogs and publishers have already installed the Outbrain widget, including the Chicago Tribune, Discovery Channel and Sports Illustrated’s Golf.com.

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