What Is Click Bait? How The Huffington Post Will Ape For Your Clicks

What Is Click Bait? How The Huffington Post Will Ape For Your Clicks


That ^^ was click bait. Shibas stuck in funny places. Very funny. Very clickable, shareable, and vacuous. Click bait is fine, it’s what we do when we need a break from all the seriousness around us. Click on!

Buzzfeed is click bait. That’s what they do. They don’t have news stories, or special interest stories. They’ve got cat pics, dog pics, people pics, Darwin award pics, they’ve got memes for just about everything, but no news. And that’s just fine. That’s what click bait is. Just driving clicks. You know, the I Can Haz Cheeseburger model.


See, they know what they are…

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Huffington Post, on the other hand is a news site. Well, okay, a news and entertainment site, but it’s becoming more like ClickHole/BuzzFeed every day. Let’s take a peek at a few of the HuffPo’s click-for-click-sake posts on the front page this morning.

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It’s mainly T&A type soft porn and celebrity sexy pics. That’s where HuffPo goes. And I suppose there’s no harm in spicing things up a bit. But these posts are not news or news worthy, they are pure click bait. Clicks for dollars. Puff. Pabulum. Junk food.

And it’s right there on the masthead:

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It’s that third tag, “Entertain” that covers just about half of what the HuffPo does these days. I have to admit I get distracted browsing down the HuffPo page. I’ve got my ad blockers on, so I’m not seeing the marketing stuff, but the sexy stuff always takes me off track. I used to use the HuffPo as a current news source. Recently I’ve been looking for somewhere else to catch up. Facebook? NYTimes? God forbid I tried CNN or MSNBC.


So even my online news is getting click baited. And sure, they’ve got to make a buck to stay in business, I just wish we could do it with fewer boobs and abs shots. But then again, the millennials are running the asylum. Ho hum.

And I’ll admit to a little secret too. I wrote this post as a sort of click bait. See the image of the cat. That’s funny. It’s my “featured image.” I’m hoping a lot of people will click on this post and read my brief (thankfully) thoughts on the failing of The Huffington Post and then find something here of more substance or value. Let’s see how this one turns out, when I report back on the metrics, shall we?

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

And yes, I even have my own collection of memes and stuff Social Media Funnies, to see if I can generate meaningful traffic with my own click bait. The jury is still out, but I did write a funny piece and create an infographic on the Return On Cats, or ROC.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Oh man… HuffPo isn’t the only one, unfortunately. My LOCAL NEWS station has started doing it. Seriously… the same people you look to for what’s going on in your local city… and they’re posting random crap with clever click-bait headlines… it’s a new form of spam, I tell ya!

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