Link Bait Headlines, Do They Work?

Floating Worm Hook

Floating Worm Hook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone has seen them. The headline screams a crazy tune, but the copy does not back it up.

Today in the Huffington Post, experts at this, a headline read; “Fox News President Makes Shocking Admission About Sarah Palin” OK, great headline, makes people want to click to read it. Problem is the only mention of the former VP candidate was one line about why the Fox news president hired her. Turns out it was for her looks and popularity, go figure.

The rest of the article was a great piece about the career of the 73 year old Roger Ailes, the head and founder of Fox news. Though I did read the article, it was not what first caught my attention.

Changing  Headlines

Another thing HuffPo is known for is changing the title of their articles frequently. This very article could have a different headline tonight or tomorrow morning. They do it all the time. In fact, I’ve found myself clicking on the same article several times thinking it was a new article, only to find out it was only a new headline.

Does Any of This Work?

By work, I of course mean does it generate a goal; more page views, advertising clicks, satisfied readers, you get the idea. I’m pretty sure you can say this gets them more page views. Advertising revenue is harder to guess. On satisfied readers you can count me as a no vote. But I’m guessing they would not be doing this if it did not increase one KPI or another.

Maybe my headline for this article should have been; “Huffington Post Invents Click Through Machine”

What do you think?

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