Negative headlines are 30 per cent better – @outbrain

Sad but seemingly true.  I just came across this July 2013 post from’s Alex Bennett based on their analysis of 65,000 paid links. 

Titles containing negative superlatives had 30 per cent higher click-through rates than those with no superlative.  Titles with containing positive superlatives had, with a neat symmetry, 29 per cent fewer click-throughs.


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As the author suggests, this may well be the result of audience cynicism and fatigue.  Or else, it could be good old human shadenfreude.


About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (
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2 Responses to Negative headlines are 30 per cent better – @outbrain

  1. It might be schadenfreude. Or maybe we’re just more tuned to look out for things that could harm us. Our attention is drawn more to threats to our wellbeing than to things that could possibly improve it.


  2. Andrew Munro says:

    Absolutely. That’s a great perspective.


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