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Random Wanderings and Wonderings

How to destroy your page view rate

By , November 6, 2012

To help drive traffic (and thus ad revenue), a lot of websites tease their stories on the front page either by cutting off the story just before the salient part or by writing an ambiguous headline. Here’s a perfect example from the Star’s website this morning, teasing the results of last night’s Over the Rainbow on CBC:

Teaser headline in the Star

Who could have won? I must click through.

See? In an actual newspaper that was more concerned with telling you the news than selling your eyeballs to advertisers, that headline would be sporting a name in place of the ellipsis. (Indeed, the story’s URL gives it away, but many people wouldn’t notice.) Instead, you have to click through just to see the headline, right? Except that someone forgot to tell the Star’s advertisers how this whole teaser thing works:

Spoiler on page 1

Never mind, I got it.

If anyone at the Star noticed the incongruity of a teaser headline with a spoiler right underneath it, they just doubled down on the ad instead of losing the coy headline:

The Star giveth away

I said I got it.

Someone really needs to tell a Star editor that there’s no point in teasing the headline if it’s surrounded by the story. Okay, a semi-silly teasing headline on a website, no big deal. That would have been that, except that the Star did the same thing in today’s dead tree edition, placing the spoiler not just on the same page as the teaser, but in a wraparound that covered the teaser up:

The Star is giving it away.

Want to find out who won? Please buy this paper and turn to page E1. Try not to look to the left.

Neat.

4 Responses to “How to destroy your page view rate”

  1. Tux says:

    Iceweasle on XCFE or Gnome2? Impressive.

  2. CaligulaJones says:

    Is this the sort of thing the Star thinks people will actually PAY for?

    Funny: due to my use of Firefox and an ad blocker, I don’t see the ads. And due to my lack of interest in shows like this anyway, I don’t care who won…so I guess that’d be a triple-HELL NO to the paywall.

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