What is Clickbait in SEO | Pros & Cons

clickbait

If we analyze the term “clickbait”, we would surely understand the meaning of it. This is kind of a process that is used to entice readers to click on a particular link. In this case, the title is the medium of that process. The intention is pretty clear that is not to provide value rather providing a misleading vibe to the visitors.

Before going into the deep, let’s start with the literal definition with an example.

What is clickbait?

Clickbait denotes the content specially created to attract visitors. The titles of these content are arranged and crafted in such a way that the visitor is forced to click on the content. Clickbait is more used in newspapers than blogs.

A few days ago, there was a news published that titles just like “again Khaleda Zia has become a mother,” and like many others, based on curiosity, I was surprised and clicked on that news. It was later found out that one of the leaders called Khaleda Zia as his mother.

Let’s put another comparative example to make you understand better in the context. Suppose – if I use a non-clickbait headline like “Get to know how x celebrity lost 10 pounds last month”.

Ok, if you see the same topic with a clickbait headline, this would be as follow: “Unbelievable secrets of x celebrity’s diet plan which is resulted in 10-pound loss” or “Finally x celebrity’s weight loss secret has revealed”.

These are a couple of instances of clickbait that denotes a curiosity gap that discovers when users click on the link. A perfect example of clickbait would be YouTube; on YouTube, we see that vide titles and thumbnails are provided in such a way that visitors are likely to click on the video link based on their instance curiosity.

But it’s never satisfying to bring a visitor to the site by clicking such a clickbait; it increases the page’s bounce rate. So you should be careful about using clickbait policy on your writing.

Why do people implement it?

Simply I want to put only two words: page views. Most of the sites counts numbers of page views that happen by the visitors. They want to bill advertisers and measures the temporary success of their site. Clickbait is a kind of trapping that is used to promote fancy stories in a curious way so that visitors are likely to click on the link you put on your website.

Publishers who are using clickbait are guilty and constantly challenged by the changing algorithm of search engines. This could provide a temporary solution as it’s providing the page views but in the end, there is nothing long term benefits using this tricky process.

Now, I think you have got an idea about the real meaning of clickbait with its intension and why it’s used so much these days.

Pros and cons of clickbait

Most of the people think that clickbait does more harm than good, that’s why it’s important to discuss the pros and cons of clickbait.

Pros:

Let’s take a bit of details observation of the pros and cons.

  • Gaining more page views
  • Considerable social shares
  • Brand awareness could be increased
  • Instant satisfaction
  • Great idea for a link building

1. Gaining more page views

This is the prime aspect of implementing the clickbait. Sometimes the more pageviews are the cause of the more clicks. And the more click you have the more you earn from AdSense. So for this type of website where more pageview is the only goad, then I should say, clickbait is an excellent way to achieve the goal.

2. Considerable social shares

Social sharing has become a craze these days. The more you have the social shares on different channels, the more you can expect page views.

3. Brand awareness could be increased

If your pages are viewed more through the clickbait, it’s like your brand will be exposed as it spreads across the internet. So, in that sense, it will let you know the people about your brand.

4. Instant satisfaction

As you see that people are tempted to click and view what the pages bear; so that you will get a rich volume of instant page views.

5. Great idea for a link building

Using clickbait, you can extend the accessibility to the internet. That’s why you will get an opportunity to build a relationship with the people. If your content is full of quality, ultimately you can collect more leads using this technique.

Cons:

Let’s take a bit of details observation of the pros and cons.

  • Damaging brand value and trust
  • Increases bounce rate of the pages
  • Always pageviews aren’t important but trust matters
  • Risk of Google penalties

1. Damaging brand value and trust

If your content is not based on quality, then there is a high chance of failing the brand value of your business. Because misleading information will irritate your audience and erode their trust faster than ever.

Moreover, if you intentionally deceive them with false information for the sake of pageview, the visitors will probably not only bounce back immediately, but they may also take your brand in a negative way. So, think about the consequences before applying the clickbait in your writing.

2. Increases bounce rate of the pages

As the intention is clear here if people will not find the exact information about what they are looking for, they will likely quit the pages instantly. That will increase the bounce rate of your website.

This is so bad though!

You know that high bounce rates damage your ranks on SERP. In this case, more click doesn’t mean better results. You might come up with an enticing title that catches the readers attention if they ultimately find the content doesn’t match the title, they’ll bounce faster than record-breaking rope jumping session.

3. Lowering trust value

As I said in the previous para that all the time pageviews aren’t good for your website. Creating trust and establishing a brand value is far more important than that of page views. If you present false content, your brand will lose the attention of the target audiences.

People will simply start avoiding your brand if they find something unexpected from their perspective. So think over the trust issue as it’s the main aspect of any kind of business.

4. Risk of Google penalties

If you see the latest update of Google algorithm that is called the BERT update that is released on 25 October 2019. After Panda and Penguin, this impacted much on the web. Clickbait would be the prime victim of this latest algorithm update.

This update ensures better user experiences by making the algorithm most compatible with the search queries. If the search queries don’t match with the content provided on your page will not work and ranking on SERP. Google will simply avoid that type of content. So, here is a high chance to have Google penalties if you use clickbait.

Final Words

We, content writers, are responsible for providing value to our readers or users. So, on top of everything, we should keep in mind that how much value we’re putting on while writing a piece of content.

Apparently, clickbait can be used as fun for content marketers. Creating a witty content and sensationalize it with the headlines is obviously a skill, but it should be in a proper order that ensures value to our readers.

 However, as we’ve seen, there are pros and cons of using clickbait, you should be careful about your content marketing strategy. In this case, only you can decide whether the potential gains are worth the risks.

I think this article helped you much in knowing about clickbait and it’s pros and cons. Feel free to share anything regarding the topic. I would love to cooperate with you in the best possible way.

Sazzadul Bari

Digital Marketing Strategist

Sazzadul Bari is the man behind BlogCD, A Compact Disc of Blogs. He is also the owner of WPFame and a digital marketing strategist at WPManageNinja, specializing in content writing and lead gen.

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4 thoughts on “What is Clickbait in SEO | Pros & Cons”

  1. Great information here Sazzad bhai! Solely, the click baits are a bad tactic to get clicks and visits unless we have the value in the content.
    The content inside must address the title of the blog post.

    Thanks for talking on this.

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  2. The toughest part Sazzadul is the trust issue. Folks learn not to trust clickbait producers because in most cases….they are lying outright LOL. If you lose trust, your online career ends. Fabulous post.

    Ryan

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    1. Well said, Ryan! Past experiences have made modern folks aware of it and they have been facing the issue every now and then. Of course, trust matters the most in any kind of relationship. Thanks for stopping by and appreciating the post.

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