PSA: If a headline ends in a question mark then it’s link bait
Let’s just deal with reality. Websites continually make speculative posts to get you to click on them, and it works. I mean, think of how many posts you’ve read about the iPad mini or the iTV in the last few months. All based on pure speculation or DigiTime’s sources. But there’s a simple rule to avoid total shit – if the headline ends in a question mark just skip it. This is Betteridge’s Law of Headlines and simply put, the question mark is there because you’re just throwing speculative things out there without any real basis, so the answer to the question posed is ‘no’. Wiki has a great excerpt from Andrew Marr:
If the headline asks a question, try answering ‘no’. Is This the True Face of Britain’s Young? (Sensible reader: No.) Have We Found the Cure for AIDS? (No; or you wouldn’t have put the question mark in.) Does This Map Provide the Key for Peace? (Probably not.) A headline with a question mark at the end means, in the vast majority of cases, that the story is tendentious or over-sold. It is often a scare story, or an attempt to elevate some run-of-the-mill piece of reporting into a national controversy and, preferably, a national panic. To a busy journalist hunting for real information a question mark means ‘don’t bother reading this bit’.
Ok glad we had this talk. Now let me get back to reading stories about the new Nexus LG please
Best PSA ever. Thank you. Though, given the evidence on our Google Analytics, I would just call it bad writing and not link bait.
LOL I’ll have to keep that in mind!