[content_protector password=”pavlova17″]Did that get your attention? When you were scrolling through possible articles what made you click on this one? Was it the appeal of the title? The fact that you just had to know what the world’s best AND craziest article was about. Unfortunately, this article will most likely be neither. However, that’s not important. What’s important is that you already clicked on it.

Click-bait is a way to advertise online content in which the main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page. An eye-catching link on a website which encourages people to read on. The creator is not concerned with producing quality or truthful information. They are not concerned with reader enjoyment. In fact, the only goal they have in producing this content is that it is viewed.

The more views an article gets, then the more views the associated advertisements or sponsorships will receive. As these articles are often paid for by the advertiser or generate income based on the number of clicks this equates to more payment for the creator. Essentially, clicks = money.

This will most likely be a familiar issue for most readers. If you’ve ever clicked on an article because you were curious to find out what it was about from a vague but suspenseful headline, you’re a victim of clickbait. If you’ve ever clicked on an article because the second half of the title isn’t showing up, but now it’s got your attention, you’re a victim of clickbait. Annoying isn’t it?

However, the fact is that clickbait headlines aren’t so shiny and new anymore. The startling headlines aren’t so startling when every other thing on the Internet claims to be. Clickbait had potential to be a successful tactic when it was different and unique. But because everyone is doing it now, it has led to some social media platforms like Facebook actually penalizing it.

Internet Marketers have the opportunity to be creative and to come up with headlines that compel visitors to click. There is no good reason not to be honest and provide content that delivers on the promise the headline teases. Ultimately, a good headline doesn’t just get clicks. It gets the RIGHT CLICKS. The right clicks convert. At the end of the day… that’s the goal!

As a student on the internet, make sure you are careful about what you click on. If we manage to avoid these irritating and misleading headlines, then eventually they will disappear altogether. Don’t be a victim to bad internet marketing! Raise your standards, and they will raise theirs.

Critical Thinking Challenges:
1. Have you seen clickbait on the internet? Which websites?
2. Think of three solutions for this issue. Decide which one will be the most effective and explain why.
3. Find a clickbait article on the internet and examine whether or not the content lived up to the promise of the title.

Practical Tasks:
1. Find something similar to click-bait article that isn’t on the internet (For example, a misleading book title) Judge whether or not it has the same effect.
2. Research when clickbait on the internet began? Has it been a successful tactic?
3. Think of the most interesting, attention-grabbing, mysterious article title you can think of. Leave it in the COMMENTS BELOW and see if others would want to click on it…


13 Responses

  1. It started in 2014, I think and has obviously been successful since I got click baited here

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