Clickbait

Posted by hornlo on June 26th, 2019 filed in Daily-Grind

TL;DR: roughly 12% of the page was content

One of the lowest forms of advertising is “clickbait” sites, which FaceBook loves to inject into your feed. My current practice is that if I see a clickbait site’s “promotions” scroll by more than once I permanently block that site.

On rare occasions, in moments of weakness, I will be lured in by a new site that offers “10 Ways to Painlessly Remove Nose Hair” or “40+ Little-Known Facts About Some-Forgotten-80s-Sitcom” or similar nostalgia-invoking titles, where the “40+” means that an infinite number of ad pages will be displayed until your carpal tunnel pain or mind-numbing overload prevents you from making any more mouse clicks.

On one of these journeys I was amused at how far these sites will go in reducing content. I calculated the average screen area of one of these site’s pages: about 112 square inches (5-3/4 inches iPad screen width x 19-1/2 scroll inches).

The actual “content” consisted of a small bland image and a sentence or very brief paragraph, sometimes actually related to the image. This area was typically about 3-1/4 inches x 4-1/8 inch — about 13 square inches.

So, roughly 12% of each page was content. The rest was some minimal site boilerplate and about 10 advertisements. They need to tune their ad selection algorithm, however, because sometimes a single ad was duplicated up to 5 or 6 times (though I suppose that could be intentional).

Fortunately they put the content and the “Next” button near the top of the page, so scrolling wasn’t actually needed to read and proceed — I’m sure that will be corrected in a future revision.

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Site last updated 2019-11-06 14:26:55; This item last updated 2019-06-27 15:00:34