How to Tell if an Ad Is Clickbait

Author: PeopleFinders on May 21st, 2020
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The number of people vying for your attention is also slowly but surely rising as more and more companies try to build their business on the internet. That means that companies need to create more interesting ways to get you interested in their content. The desire to capture your attention, without even necessarily having to create good content, has led to what’s called “clickbait“: Clickbait is headlines and advertisements that promise an interesting article but end up being nothing but filler or unsubstantiated claims. Wasting your time on these clickbait advertisements is only giving money to people who don’t deserve it. If you’re like us, you want to avoid that as much as possible! But how do you tell when a headline is going to deliver and when it’s nothing but clickbait? Here’s a quick guide.

Look at the design of the ad

Clickbait is all about grabbing your attention. Is the ad extremely colorful? Is the article’s title partially or entirely in all-caps? Are they using contrasting colors, extremely bright neon colors, or colors that you normally wouldn’t see together? The more overstated an ad is, the more likely it’ll be clickbait. Generally, a more reputable company will use a simpler design scheme and limit their choice of colors unless they want to accentuate something specific. If the advertisement makes your eyes hurt with how many design choices they’re squeezing into the space, it’s not very likely that it’ll lead to anything worth seeing.

Notice how they use words

Wording is another extremely important part of grabbing attention. Are they addressing you directly by writing the headline in second person? Are they telling you a way you can improve your life, your relationships, your finances, or all three in a very short period? Are they using high-emotion words, such as “free,” “winner,” or “guaranteed,” or telling you to pay attention? Are they telling you that you have to act now? Some examples of using urgency could be warnings that there are only a few items left, the trick won’t work after a certain period, or it’s going to be shut down soon. Don’t be drawn in; it’s likely that there’s all the time in the world to click on that ad or take advantage of their “deal.”.

Analyze their claims

Are they claiming that this “one simple trick” will “revitalize your life,” or that they’re the only one who knows what they’re trying to tell you? Are they saying that you can cure all kinds of diseases by changing one thing? Do they mention that the mainstream medicine, fashion, or makeup industries try to hide the things they’ll tell you? If they’re saying that the thing they’re selling you is extremely hidden knowledge, don’t click! After all, it’s on the internet. If what they want to tell you does work that well, it’s likely that you’ve seen it somewhere else. If they’re insisting that it’s one simple thing that will completely change the way you experience life, there’s also a substantial amount of room to be skeptical. Changing anything in life is generally fairly difficult, and a one-step change from an ad you saw on a webpage isn’t likely to do much.

Investigate any hard evidence

Some clickbait ads give you a number to call to receive information or to order products. If you get a phone number of any kind, it’s easy to check and see if that number is registered to a legitimate business, or if it’s just a person trying to scam you. By using PeopleFinders, you can do a reverse phone lookup on any number from any device, and know instantly what that number is linked to — even if it’s private or unlisted. If you get a personal name, you can do a background check and see if they’ve engaged in shady activities before. It’s a great way to check an advertisement number quickly before calling or clicking, so you’ll know you’re getting what’s they’re advertising.


Advertisements are a part of our everyday lives, but the ones you see on TV and billboards are much more regulated than many of those you see on the internet. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for misleading ads online. It’s incredibly important to pay attention to design and wording choices, but to get the best idea of whether or not you should click on an ad, use PeopleFinders! Their reverse phone lookup will help you get information on ad companies’ phone numbers, hassle-free. The truth about an advertisement is within reach!

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Categorized in: Scams