Just like in the traditional media where journalists and media houses try to lure consumer through yellow journalism, in the World Wide Web, content creator tries to lure visitors through clickbait. Yellow journalism is a kind of journalism in the traditional media, basically the print media, where the publisher tries to sell more newspaper by using shocking headlines, spreading rumours, or exaggeragating events. The birth of yellow journalism is credited to Ameican journalists Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst during the late 19th century. Yellow journalism is considered to be the father of clickbait.
What is Clickbait
Clickbait is a website link or the entire website that is specifically designed to encourage people to visit the web page or website by using sensational titles or misleading headlines. In other words, clickbait is a way to trick people to visit a site by using titles that tend to be interesting and useful, when in truth it is not. Here are a few examples.
You are checking your Facebook feed, you see the title “Brat Pitt Dies.” Whether you like Brad Pitt or not, you will surely check the link. You read the article only to discover that Brad Pitt dies in the move or someone’s dog named Brad Pitt is dead.
You are checking Twitter and you see a Tweet “How to Make $1000 Per Day.” Well, who is not interested in making money? You check the link only to find out the ideas mentioned are dubious or talked on the internet millions of times or methods that do not actually earn you a lot of money.
You will see clickbait everywhere from search engine results to social sites, forums, Q&A sites, blogs, and websites.
Why You Should Avoid Doing Clickbait
It is obvious that as a content creator, blogger or website owner, your primary aim is to bring traffic to your site. However, you should never use misleading or sensational titles to make people visit your site. Here are the reasons why clickbait is bad:
Clickbait is a way to spread wrong or fake information. Clickbait will give you and your website a bad name.
Clickbait is a Black Hat SEO practice. Using Black Hat SEO will result in the termination of your publisher account for the advertising networks like Adsense and Media.Net.
The Black Hat Methods used in clickbait will also result in your site being de-indexed from search engines.
If you are doing clickbait and promoting your links on social media, you might be unfollowed, blocked, or even reported by the users
If you are doing clickbait on social media, you might be banned by the social sites from further accessing the sites.
How to Avoid Clickbait – For Internet Users
When we spend a lot of time online, we can easily become a victim of clickbait. So, how do we avoid clickbait? Here are some tips to avoid clickbait
Before you click or tap on the link, always check who shared the link. Make sure the link is shared by a person or account you can trust or you know well.
Check on the creator of the content and make sure the person/page/account that posted the link is trusted or verified.
Think twice before checking the sponsored content on social sites. Since anyone can promote contents by paying the social sites, a lot of sponsored contents are clickbait.