Headlines Disappearing to Almost Nothing at the CBC

A couple of years ago I wrote about how the CBC was A/B testing different headlines on its local news website. They’re back at it again today, testing the headlines “P.E.I. plastic bag recycling cut ‘to almost nothing’ by ban” and “P.E.I. plastic bag recycling troubles disappear with ban” on this story:

Screen shot of the first headline variant

Screen shot of the second headline variant

Using the little hack I wrote back when this first appeared, you can see which headline is “winning” (which is to say “most clicked upon by readers”):

Screen shot of CBC A/B testing results

I’d love to sit in on the meeting where the results of this test were discussed: if “to almost nothing” is the winner, what would the instruction to headline writers be?


Ton Zijlstra's picture
Ton Zijlstra on October 7, 2019 - 14:54 Permalink

The fate of an entire country is to be decided with a smaller margin. If it works for Brexit it should work for headlines.