Sad but seemingly true. I just came across this July 2013 post from Outbrain.com’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.
Image Source: Outbrain.com
As the author suggests, this may well be the result of audience cynicism and fatigue. Or else, it could be good old human shadenfreude.