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What is Clickbait? Learn All About Its Pros and Cons

Last updated: Aug 30, 2022

What is Clickbait?

Clickbait is a technique to increase the volume of traffic on a website. It is something that can often be found to optimize content. Even so, this method is generally considered unethical for readers or internet users.

Usually, the baiting tactic can be found in headlines or titles of blog content. In this case, the method works to attract the attention of users. However, the content generally does not match what was promised in the title.

Like its name, the strategy to bait users into clicking content can increase its ranking on the SERP. Oftentimes, the use of this technique successfully gains benefits for website owners. On the other hand, it is not often that such content is useless for users who wish to gain information that is relevant to their search intent.

Clickbait Characteristics

Content that involves baiting elements is intended to increase a website’s performance. Mostly, the ones who use the tactic want a high rate of engagement to prove their popularity on both the search result pages and social media.

In general, the content characteristics that involve baiting elements are as follows:

  • Sensational headlines or titles
  • Thin word counts
  • Content includes a lot of pictures or memes
  • Insistently urge users to share content on social media

Examples of Clickbait

Content that intentionally baits users usually uses titles with hyperbolic and provocative words. Oftentimes, such titles often use a pointer mark and confuse the readers. To give you a better idea of what baiting readers through content looks like, here are the examples:

  • These Unbelievable Things Can Get You Rich
  • Wow! Artist X Got Caught Again in Hotel Y!

Pros and Cons of Clickbait

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the practice of baiting readers, especially in the field of SEO. A lot of debates about its usage can still be heard whenever the topic of content optimization gets brought up.

On one hand, there are real benefits that can be gained from baiting users to read your content. On the other hand, such a strategy can harm users as it provides irrelevant information that does not fit the search intent.

Here are the pros of baiting content for business or website owners::

  • Increase the number of page views
  • Increase the traffic volume of the website
  • Add the number of Click Through Rate (CTR)
  • Expand the brand’s reach to get new audiences
  • Profit from advertising activities

Clickbait is an SEO technique that has proven to be beneficial. Even so, the content quality that often does not match its popularity on the SERP can harm the readers. Such a thing can cause brands to lose their credibility in the long term.

There are cons to baiting users with misleading headlines, which are:

  • Lose the customers’ trust or loyalty
  • Suffer from brand reputation issues
  • Penalized by Google
  • Increase the number of bounce rate
  • Lower the ranks of pages on the SERPs

Should You Bait Readers with Misleading Content?

After knowing each pro and con of baiting users with low-quality content, you need to consider ever applying such a strategy. In several cases, the title of content that catches attention tends to attract many users. Even so, the writing in the content should be relevant to the title itself.

The main thing to prioritize in producing content across several platforms today is quality. According to the Helpful Content Update, Google prioritizes high-quality content without needing to bait users. In other words, baiting is a strategy that is not advisable in SEO.

If users can not get the information they want, then they will leave the blog quickly. The bounce rate will increase, and customers will lose trust in the brand. Such a thing can affect the site’s performance badly.

There are alternative choices to using bait to attract readers, which are:

  • Using interesting titles that do not sound hyperbolic
  • Matching the writing in the content with the title
  • Choosing the relevant keywords that match the search intent
  • Optimizing content with relevant pictures
  • Sharing the links to pages on social media
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