The paper 'Sensational Headlines on News Websites and Their Influence on the Increase of Click Through Rate' is an attempt to answer the question whether the sensational content of headlines may influence visitors' decisions as to which news to read. The analysis of the sensational content of news headlines-links (their intensity, form, location on the website) suggests that such headlines may in fact be a well-prepared marketing tool, which aims at attracting the highest possible number of visitors, since reaching a guaranteed click through rate and a certain number of sub-page views allows one to acquire and bind advertisers to the website. The survey described in this paper is a preliminary research study. Although it appears that the use of emotion-affecting headlines is not incidental, the initial analysis cannot yet prove that it is a premeditated strategy of website operators. Therefore, the presented paper should be considered a starting point for further necessary research.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.