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Four examples of click bait

There are loads of examples of clickbait out there and I’ve collected my top four examples below.  I would love to hear what your favourites are – just use the hashtag #contentcrimes on Twitter or post your reply below.

1. *Insert word here* is dead
A cat has nine lives.  I’m not sure how many SEO has, but I’ve seen so many 'SEO is dead' posts, I’m wondering why it’s still here.  A Google search shows 11,600,000 results.


Proclaiming “SEO is dead” is just a cheap way of telling people why it isn’t dead, and it’s getting old.

2. Hate

Can we stop with the hate? 

These kinds of posts are everywhere, but can anyone name the companies behind them?  Does anyone even know what the one thing you need to do to reduce body fat is?

They’re not impactful and they don’t build trust, so I’m out.

3. Using tragedy for profit
This is probably the worst example.

A recent example was when Robin Williams passed away.  Across all media there were articles citing him and trying to attract attention, but one that caught my eye was “Five things Robin Williams taught us about career transitioning”, written by a careers consultant on LinkedIn Pulse.

Like many LinkedIn users, I was a bit shocked at the content – it just seemed like opportunism and the comments reflected that.  Comments like this one:  

The article has since been taken down by LinkedIn, who obviously agreed it was in poor taste. The author has since uploaded the piece to his own blog, with this message at the bottom:

Reading between the lines, the reputation of the writer has been damaged by the piece, and hence the apology. I don’t think the five minutes in the spotlight is worth the long-term damage to his brand.

4. The over-promise
Some articles are just over-promising and can’t possibly deliver. Crucially, users are getting better and better at spotting click bait, and titles like this seem lazy. I mean, it doesn’t even tell me what changes I can make:


In this particular case it was an email campaign.  I confess, I opened it.


But I haven’t opened another one from that sender since.  Once that trust is gone, you may never get the chance to rebuild it.


Over to you...


What are the worst examples of clickbait you’ve seen?  What punishment do you think we should bestow upon those who commit this crime?


Let us know by commenting below, or add to the hashtag #contentcrimes