...You'll Never Believe What Happens Next!
I’ve talked a lot about the various changes, updates, and new components of the Google algorithm, mainly because it influences so much of the Internet. But today we’re going to be talking about a change to the Facebook algorithm.
Apparently, they are going to be cracking down on clickbait in the near future to improve their user experience.
Wait, What Is Clickbait and Why Is It Bad?
If you’ve ever logged into Facebook, you’ve seen clickbait whether you knew it or not.
Clickbait is essentially some type of misleading headline that is designed to trick or fool users into clicking on a piece of content. And lately, they’ve been multiplying on Facebook like the dickens. One of the reason clickbait has been abused so much is because it’s extremely effective at driving traffic to a web page.
By now you might be thinking that you should employ some of these clickbait techniques to drive traffic to your site, but that may not be the best idea, because it can actually cause harm. You see, the thing about clickbait is that it can be extremely irritating and infuriating, which would mean your traffic stream isn’t quality.
Big traffic numbers are great for your ego, but bad for business. Oh, and a waste of time & money, too.
Here's why: a lot of mislead visitors to your site could cause your bounce rate to skyrocket, which could even hurt your organic rankings. Not only would you lose trust with your existing audience, but you could even be penalized by Facebook (as we’ll discuss later).
To put it bluntly, it’s a bad idea.
Don’t do it unless you want to risk the future of your website.
The following are all examples of headlines that could be lumped under the term “clickbait:”
- Outright lies that don’t describe the real content
- Headlines designed to make users curious, such as “Amazing Dog Saves Child’s Life, But Then, I Couldn’t Believe What Happened!”
- Withholding information such as “You’ll Never Guess Who Punched Brad Pitt!”
- Gross exaggerations of the truth
These are just a few examples, but I think you get the idea. And if you’re currently using headlines like these to drive traffic to your pages, it’s time to give it a rest. I think we’ve all run across clickbait, and even been fooled by it from time to time. Doesn’t it irritate the living crud out of you?
Sites like Buzzfeed and other similar web pages are notorious for creating this type of content, and it is getting a little old. Fortunately, the good folks at Facebook are going to take action to stamp out clickbait.