Clickbait on YouTube



Since finishing my ‘blog every day for a year’ project, I’m loving blogging when I want about what I want and I’m feeling more inspired than ever! I can get inspiration from anywhere and today’s post came from YouTube.

An Alfie Deyes vlog cropped up in my recommended page and whilst I don’t follow him myself – nothing horrible, just not a fan of his style – I do follow Zoe and I’d not seen anything on her channels about a ‘big day’. I watched the entire vlog without any big day really big announced…

Videos like this irritate me – in the header photo alone you can see that using the suggestion of a wedding in the title, clickbait, got PointlessBlogVlogs over double the views than the vlog directly above it. Now I’ll be the first to say I’m not an awful big fan of (what I call) ‘The Amity Fest lot’ – I’m only subscribed to Zoe and Louise. However all 9 of them boycotted Summer in The City, the biggest British YouTube convention, in favour of an Amity Fest tour that never happened. To me, that said they boycotted an event that they probably wouldn’t have profited from for one they would have, which doesn’t say much I don’t think.

I could go off on a massive rant about the state of YouTube but this isn’t the time or place and I’d probably offend a lot of people. So I’ll try to offend as little as possible and continue talking about clickbait.

It’s a technique that is proven to work – using SEO words (search engine optimisers, I had to google it in a lecture once) to get traffic and attention is a successful way of making more people interested in the video and often they’ll watch a whole video to get to the bit they clicked on for! This often includes hints of drama or gossip or someone famous/with more subscribers that features.

Drama and gossip includes titles such as Mr Deyes’ ‘Announcing the Big Day’, suggesting he and the biggest female vlogger in the UK Zoe ‘Zoella’ Sugg were engaged when they are in fact not. Another example is a Sacconejolys vlog titled ‘WE ARE SPLITTING UP’ when they went to London for the day and did different things, rather than actually ending their marriage as the title suggests as everyone watching may have assumed!

Using people as clickbait isn’t always as bad – if you’ve done a collaboration with another YouTuber or a celebrity then crediting them in the title seems only fair but that’s not what I mean when I say using someone else’s name as clickbait. What I mean is when people put other peoples names in the video because they mention them or when they’re not the main feature of the vlog. I’ll still with PointlessBlogVlogs and Sacconejolys as my examples – Alfie uses Zoe’s name in the titles of a lot of his vlogs because her viewers are more likely to watch a video and engage with it more if they see someone they like in it. I remember once the Sacconejolys put ‘Zalfie’ in the title of their video and I had to watch it twice to check they weren’t in it! They’re clearly doing it to get more viewers and I think it just manipulates viewers and is somewhat uncreative in terms of creating a vlog title.

I get that not every vlog is going to be high energy and exciting because every day life isn’t like that, but using other people with more subscribers to get views isn’t showcasing your best ability as a YouTuber.

A lot of YouTubers do it to maximise as many viewers as they can get but I think there’s a limit where it just becomes unprofessional and clickbait-y, it bothers me probably more than it should.

But YouTube is always a good topic for starting a discussion so please leave a comment telling me your thoughts! I’d love to have a chat about the whole thing or any more examples of super clickbait-y video titles!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx


One thought on “Clickbait on YouTube

  1. This is such an interesting topic which I'll definitely pay more attention to. A lot of American vloggers do the same e.g. 'tracked by my stalker' which is actually just a random person probably walking the same way as them.. Frustrating that they make money this way.


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