Uma Iyer explores the strange new world of click baits, why they are so effective, and how you are compelled to click on it

One click is enough to trigger a series of events.

Click baits are the new ‘pied pipers’ of news! There are teams who are able to come up with very creative click baits. Click baits are what it says on the tin, bait for the user to be lured into and either get information, or manipulate users or increase readability of web-pages. Click baits can range from headlines to pictures.

Click here to get a Rs 1000 discount coupon as you read this article!

Whether it is worth it or not, you will want to click it!

Some of the top examples are:

You’ll never believe what a politician did in a locker room!

Things you never knew about the actor or the product

The 10 best solutions for weight loss!

Benefits of clickbaits! (Image Credit: Syspree)

History of Click baits

It is an interesting story of how it started in the 1980s where the American Vice President Al Gore accidentally took credit for ‘creating’ the internet. He said “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” While he had supported the idea, the media manipulated the wordings! It was a print-bait back in the day!

For a marketing company or a website, it is easy readership. The more the clicks, the more the engagement. If you clicked on this article based on the topic, you have responded to a ‘Click-bait’!

It is used to lure people into accessing content and suck them into the vortex of information provided. YouTube shorts, Instagram reels and all short videos are good examples! A trailer in a movie is used to lure people to watch the movie by making it interesting or provocative or scandalous!

Erstwhile news headlines are now Clickbait headlines. Because people aren’t interested in long reads, this calls for instant gratification, quick read and entertainment and dopamine! It also helps with accessing other click baits of similar information that hooked one in the first place!

Show me the money!

While making money is one of the main reasons for creating viral websites, it is also a case of gratification to have shared your information. There are many people who like to share their experiences and ensure that others can also share the joy!

Blogging and influencers enjoy the process of sharing information while making money in the process to fund their adventures. Dale Philip is a famous vlogger amassing about a million followers and so does NasDaily posting one minute videos. Many of them swear by creating fast, interesting and consistent content, while creating very catchy headlines which are nothing but ‘click-baits’!

NasAcademy, not only teaches creating effective videos, but also does help people understand the value of well curated headlines!

Anuradha Srinath, a mother of twins, came up with the idea of blogging her experience via, Country hopping couple where she monetizes using AdSense while sharing her love for travel!

Image Credit: Country Hopping Couple

Anuradha says, “I was keen on creating a travel brand to create a one stop shop for travel documents, information, queries and mostly inspire everyone. Many people used to call me up to ask for details looking at my Facebook posts and travel details, and I thought it would be a valuable repository and resource for fellow travelers! One thing I have noticed is that if I am consistent in posting, the engagement is high to a tune of about 25000 hits per month! SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helped me to boost traffic to my site.

Depending on the searches in some cases many of my blogs are still on the top list despite not posting for a while! I also earn some spare cash based on the same, which is a plus!”

Why do they work?

Much like a hook designed to catch a fish, click baits are headlines which are intended to elevate the readers or the unsuspecting person’s interest!

It can range from losing 10 kilos in 10 days to a miracle cure for cancer! They normally are also accompanied by gross or provocative photographs!

Right from politicians’ views to actors’ views act as a clickbait in today’s internet.

Image Credit: Tom’s Guide

What are some of the great hooks?

  • They create anticipation by showing what an actor does in many cases
  • Things that people are normally interested in?
  • Quick result promise: Example would be increasing view count by doing this simple trick!
  • Fear of missing out!
  • List of top 10 anything interesting (Actors, weight loss solutions, festival products, etc.)

Platforms and strategy

Facebook has lots of feeds on the walls that continuously indulges you in scrolling.

The icon and notification on the new post is a clickbait!

The next video that you slide for is a clickbait!

The tinder right or left swipe is nothing but another clickbait!

So in the view of the world, anything that keeps you glued and taking a second look to spend more time on an activity is clickbait!

There are various ways in which one can view how a user engages with a site and application by tracing the clicks which helps view a consumer demographic and their behaviors!

Wiki says- A click path or clickstream is the sequence of hyperlinks one or more website visitors follows on a given site, presented in the order viewed. A visitor’s click path may start within the website or at a separate third party website, often a search engine results page, and it continues as a sequence of successive webpages visited by the user. Click paths take call data and can match it to ad sources, keywords, and/or referring domains, in order to capture data.

Clickstream analysis is useful for web activity analysis, software testing, market research, and for analyzing employee productivity.

The cons of Clickbait

For a website like, it will lose credibility if we have baits set up, where the content does not deliver. There is a level of responsibility required to be taken up by reputed websites!

Speaking on the occasion of National Press Day celebrations at the Press Council of India, Thakur dwelt on the need for the press to immunize itself against the “virus of infodemic”. “As with all things that expand with speed, expansion of media in India merits a cautionary note. Much of the media governance structure is self-regulatory. ”

Anurag Thakur

It’s a Wrap

There are definitive rules that are now set up where ‘sponsored’ content has to be specifically marked out. Products for sale or endorsements must be clearly articulated.

There are datasets and codes created to check for click baits and report on.

For example, we are clicking the count of clicks that we have had, if you click on the poll below, you will be able to see the clicks we have had! 

Click baits done right can increase viewership and also help partner with good companies while promoting good products and general well-being!

“Around 68% of bloggers make less than $5,000 per year, but most new bloggers will quit before they see those first dollars roll in. And BuzzFeed generated over $300 million in total revenue in 2018 from a mix of sponsored deals, pay-per-view advertising, and ecommerce sales.”


Making money in writing as a full time profession or side hustle has never been easy, but is also equally difficult unless done right!

Some of the top clicked and searched Sify articles below:

RBI’s e₹ – will the Digital Rupee transform or trammel India

According to AI, the FIFA World Cup winner is….

6 reasons why 6 missions are going on a trip to the Moon

Contra: A Forgotten Gem from the Arcade Age

How Unreal and Unity are changing filmmaking

The biggest ‘Money Heist’ ever and no shots were fired

The future of training is ‘virtual’

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Uma currently works as a delivery lead in a leading bank managing anti-money laundering projects. She started her career setting up and managing data centers and disaster recovery centers moving on to setting up niche healthcare business analysis teams. She would like to share her experiences and best practices across industries in view of a common user. The comments reflect the author's views and not the bank or Sify's.

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