Is Clickbait Getting Out of Control in the RV YouTube Space?

YouTube creators use catchy titles and clever thumbnails to attract views and win approval from the algorithm gods.

Unfortunately, some take it to the next level and use clickbait to get attention.

If you’ve watched many videos on YouTube, you’ve likely fallen victim a time or two to one of these misleading videos.

Today, we’re discussing clickbait on YouTube. Is your favorite channel guilty?

Let’s look and see!

What is Clickbait?

Clickbait is a form of online marketing that relies on sensationalism, exaggerated emotions, and theatrics.

Marketers use it to attract website traffic, ad revenue, and engagement on social media. Once you click or engage with the material, you discover it’s far from what they promised.

There’s a good chance it’s clickbait if you see phrases like “You won’t believe what happened next!” or “Shocking secrets revealed!” The creator wants to spark curiosity and make you feel like you’re missing out if you don’t click. 

At the end of the day, clickbait is when the title doesn’t match up with what is in the video. If the video has a shocking title and shows shocking footage that matches, we don’t consider that clickbait.

A closeup shot of the word clickbait in the dictionary

Is Clickbait Against YouTube Guidelines?

According to Google, the owner of the video platform, “YouTube doesn’t allow spam, scams, or other deceptive practices that take advantage of the YouTube community.”

Misleading thumbnails and titles fall into these deceptive practices. If users find a video that fits these categories, they can report it. 

However, many creators often walk the line for violating these policies. They may exaggerate or over-dramatize a situation to attract views and rack up watch minutes. The longer they can keep you on their video, the better.

Luckily, YouTube uses sophisticated software and complex algorithms to detect these situations.

Typically, videos with high click-through rates and low levels of watch time will trigger a response in the algorithm. They want to promote a video only if viewers are going to watch it.

Are RV YouTubers Using Clickbait?

Just about every RV YouTube channel has used clickbait at one point or another. They’re trying to attract viewers and stand out from the rest.

Scroll through some of the latest videos from RV YouTubers, and you’ll see titles like “SHOCKING Motorcycle Crash — Our Worst 13 Hours,” “No Campgrounds Plus RV Tow Car FIRE,” and “We SHOCKED our Family with THIS.”

If you can’t tell by the titles alone, they crank the drama up to 11 to get your attention. How can you not click on these titles? Throw in an equally dramatic and edited thumbnail, and it’s practically impossible to resist.

An example of a clickbait thumbnail with a man looking shocked and an RV with a fake bomb exploding on it and text above that reads "put your clickbait title here"

Why Do YouTubers Use Clickbait?

So, if viewers hate clickbait, why do YouTubers do it? Well, there are several reasons why many content creators engage in the practice, and the viewers hold some of the blame.

Increased Click-Through Rate

One of the biggest reasons YouTubers use clickbait is to increase their click-through rate (CTR).

YouTube rewards channels that have a high CTR. The algorithm perceives that users are extremely interested in the content.

When you win favor with the algorithm, it’s incredibly beneficial. You rank higher for search results and get recommended to more viewers.

This can result in a positive reputation, and you can watch your channel grow.

A person in their RV working on video content for a clickbait YouTube video.

Higher View Counts

Another reason creators use clickbait is that it can increase the number of views videos receive. Catchy titles and flashy thumbnails can help them rack up the views on particular videos.

As videos gain more views, it helps to provide them validity on the platform. When viewers see a video with tons of views, they trust the creator more, even if that decision is subconscious.

Boost in Revenue

Advertisers look for creators with high CTRs because they know viewers will see their ads. The higher your CTR, the more money they can make.

If clickbait is necessary to boost revenue, some will make the sacrifice. Who wouldn’t want a little more money in their pocket?

Additionally, like gambling, all it takes is winning once, and you’ll get hooked. Having a video perform well from clickbait can encourage the creator to continue to use the technique.

Before too long, it’s their go-to approach, and their content is full of clickbait.


Some content creators who use clickbait dream of breaking the internet and going viral. Does it happen? Sometimes.

Occasionally, someone will hit the lottery and have a video become very popular.

They often hope their catchy title or shocking graphic will make waves in the online community and get shared on social media platforms.

A person holding a phone checking new comments and followers on YouTube.

Pressure to Perform

Despite how it may appear, running a successful YouTube channel is challenging. It takes tremendous time, energy, and creativity to generate even a little money, let alone make a living.

This pressure can make it easier for creators to give in to using clickbait. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.

See what Dave Ramsey has to say on full-time RV life.

Disadvantages of Clickbait

While there are some benefits to using clickbait, there are also some serious disadvantages. Let’s look at some of the negative aspects of using clickbait.

Audience Distrust

When viewers tune into videos expecting one thing and getting another, they develop a lack of trust.

Remember that chicken that cried that the sky was falling? Sometimes, viewers can perceive those who use clickbait to be just like that chicken.

If viewers lack trust in the content creator, they’ll eventually begin skipping videos.

Again, the platform uses sophisticated software to detect trends long before humans notice anything. It will stop promoting and recommending videos to viewers, even if they subscribe to the channel.

A woman recording a man for a clickbait YouTube video.

Reduced Audience Retention

While a channel or video may develop a high CTR, that’s not the only metric YouTube considers. Another key metric that the algorithm considers is “audience retention.”

It’s a bad sign if viewers are quickly leaving a video. This is a sign that the video is either low quality or something is causing people not to finish it.

Viewers often move on to the next video when they realize they’ve been had.

Additionally, some creators will make viewers “wait until the end” before revealing whatever got them to click on the video.

On some channels, you can hover over the scrolling timeline and see the most watched portions of the video. This often makes it easy to pinpoint where the “big reveal” is, so you don’t have to waste time watching the fluff.

Reduced Viewer Engagement

Another negative side effect of clickbait is reduced viewer engagement. When a channel loses its sense of authenticity, viewers stop engaging. They’re going to stop viewing, sharing, and commenting on videos.

These various interactions are critical to the success of a channel. If viewers feel the drama is over the top, most will not continue to engage with the content.

The stats will often plummet quickly in these instances.

Negative Comments and Feedback

Not only will engagement go down quickly, but there will also likely be an increase in negative comments and feedback.

The comment section can be a dark place, especially if users feel the channel is too dramatic or using too much clickbait.

While some channels embrace the negative comments and see it as engagement, it can be challenging. People will say some pretty terrible things online. To them, there’s nothing off limits.

They’ll comment on someone’s looks, parenting decisions, and even their children. These can have a severe negative impact on the creator and make it hard to enjoy creating content.

A woman's hand holding a phone with the YouTube app open

Short-Term Focus

Clickbait often only focuses on and provides short-term success. In the long run, viewers get exhausted by it and typically don’t stick around. This can make it challenging for creators to form communities to support them.

A solid long-term approach is essential to be successful. Can the use of clickbait be a part of that long-term plan? Absolutely.

However, since it’s such a short-term focus, it shouldn’t be the primary emphasis of the channel.

Should RV YouTube Channels Use Clickbait?

While clickbait is inevitable, it’s sometimes unavoidable. Creators are trying to do whatever they can to attract attention to their content. Exaggerating situations or dramatics is understandable.

However, saying one thing and doing another in a video is entirely different. YouTubers, whether RVers or not, should focus on building trust with the community while growing their channels.

What RV YouTube channels should be on the list of the biggest clickbait offenders?

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