clickbait headlines under fire by facebook

The changing landscape of social media marketing has led to some dark places in recent years with the proliferation of spammy clickbait headlines. It’s gotten to a point where many once-credible marketers are recommending to their clients that they get on-board with this cheesy tactic. Look we get it, clickbait headlines worked for a while; but their exaggerations and misleading headlines may be coming to a close soon.

Facebook announced on May 17, 2017 via a media release that they were implementing changes to their algorithm with a focus on spam headlines. The release explained that they were working to reduce the frequency of misleading or over-exaggerated headlines that are presented in the News Feed.

The social media site specifically released three changes that are helping to authenticate content:

  1. Clickbait content is being evaluated within the individual post as well as the domain and page level.
  2. Headlines are now evaluated to determine if information is being withheld or “if it exaggerates information.”
  3. Multiple languages are being tested.

Clickbait changes for Facebook

Authentic Content is the Objective for Facebook

Facebook is looking to understand if a post is intentionally withholding information in an attempt to mislead. Examples they cite in their news release include:

“When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS…” and, “WOW! Ginger tea is the secret to everlasting youth. You’ve GOT to see this!”

Both of these examples are clearly clickbait posts that over-exaggerate their content.

How Clickbait Use May Impact Your Posts

You should have little-to-no impact if your posts are focused on quality content that are not designed to mislead. If however, you do employ the use of misleading headlines in an attempt to garner higher click rates, then you are likely going to see some changes from your referral Facebook traffic.

The best way to deal with this is to fix your article titles and get back to producing quality content that is authentic.