A lot of times when a person hears the term ‘clickbait’ they might cringe and go the other way since they don’t want to waste their time. The thing is that there are a couple of definitions of clickbait, typically labeled Type I and Type II clickbait. Type I is actually not too bad since it could actually lead to something of interest and even be beneficial to the reader in some way. This type of clickbait might be a little vague at times and not really go into the details of the work that one is being led toward, but Type II is by comparison like being led to a garbage heap because someone mentioned an ‘interesting aroma’. So in truth, one type of clickbait might be able to enlighten people, while the other will entrap the unwary that go for the vaguest but strangely enticingly worded titles. I would say be smart, but sensationalism is a popular thing among human beings and a lot of folks would gladly blunder into Type II just because they’re bored.
Words take on whatever meaning we give to them
This is a big reason why clickbait is usually thought of as such an irritating thing. It’s not necessarily bad, but many people feel that it’s essentially useless since it’s more or less just sensationalized junk that isn’t worth reading simply because it’s bound to be someone’s random thoughts pouring onto the page, or because it’s going to entice you and never give out the information you want to read. On the other hand, Type I still gets a bad reputation simply because Type II is out there in the first place. There are ways to look out for Type II clickbait if you really pay attention, such as:
- Most Type II information will be vague as hell and use words that are designed to lead a person on. Consider this title, “Most People Don’t Know They Should Be Doing This”. What the hell is ‘this’? Why should people be doing it? Type II is the type to flick your nose and run since it’s doing nothing more than giving people a reason to give a click to another site that’s looking for those clicks so that they can make money.
- Clickbait Type II is actively trying to get your attention, and while other sites will do this as well, they might appear boring by comparison but are at least telling you what the subject is and won’t dance around the issue. Most article titles won’t tell you everything, but at the very least they’ll tell you what’s interesting enough to get you to click. The thing is that it’s difficult to figure out what gets people to click on a site, especially if they’re on the internet pretty regularly anyway. Like it or not, it’s possible to get bored when sitting at a computer screen all day or for a few minutes, and those that create Type II clickbait are well aware of this.
Why Type II Clickbait is so annoying
It’s not that hard to figure out really since after going after Type II clickbait more than once a person should end up realizing that they’re simply giving the clicks to those that have done nothing to deserve them other than confuse and fool those that are willing to give them their time. This is kind of hard to avoid because some folks don’t know well enough when it comes to staying away from vague and uncertain subjects and others get excited when they see something that might be of interest to them. It’s kind of like the squirrel effect on dogs to be honest, since one moment a person could be looking at something that’s genuinely interesting from a reliable source and the next they’ll find Type II clickbait and…squirrel! Yeah, you get the point.
A lot of people don’t understand that the internet isn’t the playground that they might think it is or even the business opportunity of a lifetime. It’s a community that harbors the good, the bad, and the downright strange since a lot of people tend to use it as a dumping ground for ideas that aren’t just utterly moronic no matter how kind one tries to be but are also out to dupe people into thinking that they have something to say that’s worth hearing. That’s pretty much what clickbait Type II is, the gossip and rumors that aren’t even worth the air it might take to voice them aloud.
So what is good Clickbait?
In terms of articles, it feels as though clickbait Type I and II are a big ‘if’ waiting to happen since there are plenty of times when people simply don’t want to read that much and will ignore the articles altogether unless they actually want to read them. Good clickbait versus bad clickbait is debatable when it comes to the terms since some people will feel that one source is reliable and another is not and vice versa depending on one’s beliefs. But in the broadest sense, ‘good’ clickbait will keep you informed of something that is important to you and will adhere to your beliefs instead of taking you for a ride that leads absolutely nowhere. When it comes to something such as YouTube videos, good clickbait might not always be that enticing, or it might be, but it will reveal something that is important to you and that you might value. Or it might be something interesting you learn on a lark. But here are a few components of ‘good’ clickbait.
- The title won’t be misleading and will let you know what’s going on, roughly. If you can get the gist of what’s going on and pick it up quickly after reading the title then you’ve likely found a video that has some type of value that you can use or enjoy at that moment, or both. A title has to grab the attention of the individual or a person might just cruise on by it and not bother clicking. Plus, it doesn’t help as much as people might think to copy the title of another video simply because that video managed to get a bunch of clicks. Doing your own thing tends to work a little better so long as the title is descriptive and can catch the attention of prospective viewers.
- Thumbnails, those small images that show a single shot of what the video has to offer, need to be something else that can catch the attention of the audience since if the thumbnail is blank or if there’s nothing enticing to see then they’re bound to move along and not worry too much about why the title appeals to them in some way. Face it, people on the internet are ready to keep moving on every other second and won’t bother to fool around with something that can’t find a way to keep their attention for more than a nanosecond at times. If you’re thinking that you can have a killer title but a low-key thumbnail, your click rate is going to suffer horrendously for it.
And as much work as this might sound like, it’s not really, it’s only half of the process when it comes to getting people to view your material. You do have to be able to produce or shoot a video that will be interesting enough to last a few minutes.
You have to address (the issue) to impress
Put simply, the number of clicks a YouTube video might get, no matter if it’s Type I or Type II clickbait, will determine how popular it becomes and how many views or impressions it will receive. One thing that some folks have done and still do is change the thumbnail and the title when they need to in order to increase the efficiency of the video. This might sound a bit unethical and perhaps as though the YouTuber is attempting to fool their audience, but the truth of it is that if their numbers go up it means that it’s become more enticing to more people without having to change much of anything except the outward appearance. In other words, the present inside the box doesn’t change, but the appearance of it will get the person more excited. Now, those that use Type II clickbait might very well be using an exciting image to get you to click, while at the same time giving you nothing but hot air or a steaming pile of, well, just leave it that they’re not being honest and are still gaining clicks.
Those that are using Type I clickbait, or legitbait as some folks like to call it, will change the image and the title but will keep the information on the inside as it was, with perhaps just a few changes or additions here and there to go along with the title as needed.
Clickbait is efficient when it’s used by people that know how to deliver what people want or need in an ethical manner. But this is the internet, so ethics kind of get tossed out the window now and then.
So, is clickbait worth the trouble?
That kind of depends on whether or not you think that making money as a YouTuber is worth the trouble since as a consumer only and not as a YouTuber, clickbait gets confusing very quickly and can be a real pain in the ass if you’re not careful. It can also come with complications such as viruses and other issues that you weren’t prepared for since let’s face it, there are a few people out there who thrive on making life difficult for others simply because they can and will laugh their asses off because they think it’s hilarious. But there are plenty of others that are trying their best to educate you and bring quality videos and information to the internet that can be easily accessed. I’ll tell you this though if you can’t determine if the article or video is really worth your time, pass it on by since in real life an opportunity not taken might be one missed, but on the internet, an uncertain site not clicked is more like a bullet you successfully dodged.
Honestly and truly the one thing I’d like you to take from this is that Clickbait can be extremely annoying, but it’s not all bad. Best of luck to you when trying to divide which is which my Radasser’s