Click-baiting is when you post a link that encourages people to click, without telling them what they will see. For example, “OMG! You Won’t Believe What Facebook Just Did To Click Bait!”
And of course these examples from UpWorthy:
Tricking people into clicking? Don’t do it.
The purpose of click-baiting is to trick people into clicking.
The more people that click, the more exposure a link gets in the News Feed. Until now.
In their News Feed FYI, Facebook says that people prefer headlines that help them decide if they want to read the article before they click.
With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them. – Facebook
The Takeaway: Write headlines that clearly tell people what they’ll get after they click. And while you’re at it, make sure the content is worthy of sticking around after they click.
Don’t mess around, just post links as links
In addition to reducing click-bait headlines, the newsfeed also considers how links are posted. Is the link posted in a status update, photo, video? Or is the link posted as a link?
According to Facebook, people prefer links posted as links, over links posted in photo descriptions or status updates. Link posts display more info about an article (headline, caption, URL, image, description) making it easier to decide whether to click on it or not.
The newsfeed algorithm now prioritizes links that are posted as links, and show fewer links in photos, videos and status updates.
This update from Surfrider is an example of a link posted in a photo caption:
The Takeaway: Just post links like a normal human being.
Facebook’s bottom line is also yours
The bottom line in terms of Facebook’s algorithm is that Facebook wants to make the newsfeed useful to Facebook users so that they keep coming back. Obviously this means more ad revenue for Facebook, their ultimate bottom line as a public company.
But remember: engaging Facebook users is also your goal. And like Facebook, you can’t survive without an engaged community!