Facebook (and Everyone Else) Hates Click-Bait Titles

Woman looks annoyed and disgusted by the click-bait article on her computer screenHave you ever seen the title of a blog post or article that is exceedingly appealing, only to click on the link and discover that the content of the article actually has nothing to do with its interesting title? That, my friends, is the goal behind “click-bait” titles. Content publishers aim to draw as many readers in as possible, using a catchy title as a mechanism to increase link clicks and engagement. Whether the people they attract actually learn anything or enjoy the content is a secondary or tertiary goal.

Facebook Combating Click-Bait in Its Algorithm

Facebook is notoriously secretive about how it prioritizes certain content over others in an effort to entice publishers to put their best content forward. Recently, however, Facebook announced it intended to adjust its algorithm to track and punish sites that misrepresent or exaggerate the content of the piece in their titles. “We want publishers to post content that people care about,” said Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice president of product management. “And we think people care about headlines that are much more straightforward.”

What Constitutes a Click-Bait Title?

Devising an attractive title that lures in readers is one of the fun challenges of content publication. However, titles that are grossly exaggerated or simply don’t reflect what readers will find in the body copy is another matter entirely. Examples of traditional click-bait styles include:

  • Mom of Six Sheds 30 Years with One Simple Household Item!
  • Convert 5,000 Customers Each Month with this Trick!
  • Attorney Takes On Case, What He Finds Will SHOCK and TERRIFY You!

What often follows is either untrue or little more than a (debatably) cleverly designed advertisement. For instance, the first example would usually list a questionable product with fake testimonials and links to purchase it.

How Facebook is Cracking Down

Facebook will begin tracking perpetrators of these techniques and pushing their content further and further down with each click-baity piece of content. The more often they abuse the algorithm, the less their content will appear in users’ feeds.

Striking the Right Balance

What content marketers always grapple with is finding the right balance between interesting titles and overstating the value of the body content in question. At LegalRev, we employ interest-generating SEO keywords that help our clients rank accurately. If your website or custom content isn’t attracting readers, we have a solution. Contact LegalRev today at (800) 893-2590 to learn more!

October 12, 2016