Category: Time-Wasters

Any time-wasters not normally classed as scammers or spammers

Are You Attracted to Clickbait?

Clickbait is the name for eye catching website links to stories, pictures etc. However, the content at the link address is carefully designed to make you click as many times as possible as the website owner gets paid per click.

The stories, pictures etc. are not new or meaningful content but a rehash of existing information in a step by step approach.

E.g. you click on a picture that shows a Hollywood star and says “See what she looks like now” but the link actually goes to a website nothing to do with the actress or maybe to a page that shows a series of 50 Hollywood stars as they used to look and you have to click repeatedly to see each next photo. The website makes money from the clicks so it makes you click a lot for each new entry. By the time you get to the one mentioned in the advert, you’ve probably wasted a lot of time.

Generally these rely on sensationalist headlines or eye-catching thumbnail pictures to attract people to click and to encourage forwarding of the material on social networks. Clickbait headlines typically aim to make people curious enough to make that click.

Why do people want traffic to their website?

You might think it is because they believe their website has something worthwhile to offer. But money is a bigger reason for many. The more traffic a site appears to have then the higher the charges that can be made for advertising.

The Most Popular Types of Clickbait

1. Lists

e.g. “The Top Ten Celebrity Haircuts” or “The Top Twenty Places in Surrey to Visit”.  The user expects this will be a list as described above, but often it’s a page full of adverts with a small reference to one of the top items and the user has to click to get the next one and so on. So, you have to visit lot of pages to see the total list.

2. Humour

Everyone likes a good laugh. E.g. How to make an iPhone case out of a pineapple

3. Nastiness

e.g. “Celebrities With Ugly Partners”.  This is just sad.

4. Sarcasm

E,g, “12 Reasons Not to Visit New York”. People who like New York want to see what they’ve missed and people who want to know about New York will click to see what to beware of.

5. Kittens and Puppies and Babies

Anything that appears ‘cute’ can make large numbers of people click to see more.

6. Pictures of Scantily Clad Women

Using pictures of women dressed in very little is nothing new, but it still attracts the attention.

7. Controversy and Shock

Some people will use a falsely controversial headline to lure people in, and then backtrack on the headline in their article. e.g. “You’re Going to Lose All of Your Customers”. Even if the content is interesting, this just annoys people.

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