Clickbait is a widely used, but not recommended, marketing technique meant to generate website traffic. Clickbait could be a headline or an image hyperlinked to a web page with below expectations and low-quality content.
What is Clickbait?
Clickbait is a method of attracting new visitors to a website through attention-grabbing headlines or images. These misleading headlines or posts once clicked lead to low-quality articles or noninteresting web pages, which if it wasn’t for the attractive titles would surely get much fewer clicks.
The term itself is considered to be pejorative, but clickbait is a popular strategy meant to increase the number of views on a webpage. Although it creates frustration among viewers, and will eventually lead to distrust in a website, a lot of important websites and publications use clickbait once in a while to generate traffic.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, clickbait is defined as: “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest”
What is an example of a clickbait?
A simple, non-clickbait headline for a celebrity gossip article could be:
“See how this famous actress celebrated her birthday”
meanwhile, the clickbait version of the same article will be formulated such as:
- “You'll never guess who this actress spent her birthday with”
- “Shocking photos from this actress's birthday party”
- “Wow! Leaked photos from this actress’s birthday party
adding elements of surprise or shock to something basic.
Is it acceptable to use clickbait?
Clickbait is considered by many a form of fraud (click fraud, however, is a separate term with a different meaning), because of the fact that it over-promises and under-delivers.
intentionally mislead people
Facebook’s and Google’s algorithms often penalize websites that use clickbait, by reducing their reach and pushing them further down the results pages.