click bait (or clickbait) is a term applied to links, headlines, or titles written in a sensationalistic way in an attempt to entice you to click through to read the associated article or post. The most common characteristic of click bait is the “over the top” terminology used to over-promise what the target material typically underdelivers. Phrases like “you won’t believe”, or “will blow your mind” and others have become so common as to become parodies of themselves.
Click bait exists primarily because many advertising models are based on “impressions”, or the number of times an ad is displayed and presumably seen. The more people click to visit the target page, the more the advertisements on that page are displayed, and the more money the website owner makes. It’s not uncommon for the target pages to have an excess of ads.