I was reading an interesting article on the Apple 2.0 blog and much of the discussion focused on Click Bait. The Urban Dictionary defines Click Bait as, “An eye catching link on a website which encourages people to read on. It is often paid for by the advertiser (“Paid” click bait) or generates income based on the number of clicks.”
Wikitionary take the definition one step further adding, “Website content that is aimed at generating advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines to attract click-throughs.”
I’m not sure how much click bait is out there but my guess is the percentage is high – very high. Sensationalistic headlines are not new – just take a look at the tabloids on a weekly basis – but that tradeoff of article quality or accuracy for quantity of eyeballs is pushing web sites to aim for the lowest common dominator just for the sake of revenue. These links/web sites do not generate much value (or none at all) and it’s only a matter of time before consumers are totally attuned to these tricks and therefore, tune out.
Very soon, I will be announcing a new something something from the realm of DigNuggetville, and it will be as far removed from click bait as one can possibly get.
Associate Professor of Marketing
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University