When we hear the term clickbait, the first image that comes to mind is of a trap used to lure someone in. In the digital world, the word clickbait is very similar to the idea of trapping someone through a click. Clickbait is defined as any web content that is used to generate online advertising revenue. The articles have false or even exaggerated headlines that make users click out of curiosity.
The story is either irrelevant to the headline or puts in use elements that do not coincide with the hype the articles promise. Obviously, clickbaits do increase the site traffic and this in turn is used to maximize profits in the digital world. Clickbait is a form of yellow journalism and sensationalism in the online world.
Clickbait tarnishes the credibility
Currently, the characterization of words on the internet like, “You won’t believe” or “What happened next will shock you”, and unverifiable assertions thrown in by publishers to spark user curiosity into a click is clickbait.
Many publishers on the internet use this strategy and the most popular in the market are ViralNova and Distractify. Publishers use this to generate traffic and page views which then leads to profits. Many blogs and website on the internet use traffic generators like HitLeap to accomplish this task.
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Clickbaits are annoying and users after falling prey to a couple become very skeptical about it. It also tarnishes the reputation of the publishers. The articles with sensationalized headlines indicate publishers who have poor understanding of their audience. They do not know how to sell their story to the users and resort to using traffic generating widgets.
Website views or good content? it is hard to achieve both
Most websites use page views or unique visitors to bill advertisers which determines their success in the digital world. If you have a new blog or website then it takes a lot to carve out your space in the digital landscape. Facebook and Google are the two popular sources to get the word out there but changing algorithms have made it hard to market quality content. Publishers then resort to sensationalistic, attention grabbing headlines that do not actually have much quality content.
Framing is very important and how users use social distribution networks to get their content out there. Clickbait is a very unpopular way to do so because not only does it spam audience phone but diminishes the publisher credibility over time.
Generating quality web content with powerful images and a server that loads quickly is very tough work. Staying on brand is very important if you’re trying to start a new website or renovating the old one to remove clutter.
Now, that there is a simple understanding of clickbait it is important for publishers to not overdo the clickbait strategy for their distribution or traffic generation. One size does not fit all so it is better to know your audience and tailor content according to it. Trust is the key here and when you have a loyal audience hooked then the word can get out easy.