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Most Popular Categories on Craigslist

Updated on January 10, 2012

Craigslist provides mostly free classifieds in multiple categories and subcategories. While personals ads are extremely popular on the site, there are a number of other popular categories.


In the past, Craigslist had two adult-related categories that were very popular among users. The Erotic Services category was eventually shut down in 2009 and was converted into Adult Services. In turn, Adult Services was also shut down in 2010. While popular, these categories were prone to accusations that Craigslist was facilitating prostitution. There were also cases of violence as a result of ads in this category.

Craigslist finally decided that enough was enough and completely got rid of these categories. Nowadays, prostitution may still take place through the site. However, it would be done under the guise of a standard personals ad instead of a more obvious category like Adult Services.


Various categories of personals ads remain popular on Craigslist. In a study released by Compete in 2007, it was shown that the previous Erotic Services was the most popular category in terms of actual surfers for both unique visitors and page views. In the study, Women Seeking Men and Casual Encounters were also in the Top 7 for unique visitors. Men Seeking Men and Women Seeking Women joined the Top 7 when it came to overall page views. This shows that people searching under same-sex personals ads were viewing a large amount of listings.

Other Categories:

In terms of unique visitors, the Compete study had the following popular categories in the Top 7: Erotic Services, Women Seeking Men, Casual Encounters, Car Sale, Barter Sale, General Sale and Furniture Sale.

In terms of page-view popularity, the Top 7 included the following: Erotic Services, Women Seeking Men, Casual Encounters, Women Seeking Women, Men Seeking Men, Car Sale and Furniture Sale.

Erotic Services, Women Seeking Men, Casual Encounters, Car Sale and Furniture Sale were the five popular categories that were in the Top 7 for both unique visitors and page views.

Note that the study only focused on eight cities, and results vary from city to city. So you may get different results depending on the city where you are posting an ad or searching.


Although number of searches is valuable, keep in mind that ad results will also depend on the amount of competition you have for your product and the demand for that product. For example, you may have many surfers just browsing for fun but not really that serious about buying anything or meeting someone.

There are plenty of scams on Craigslist. Ideally, at least speak to someone on the phone before completing a transaction. If you need to meet someone in person (like if you are buying or selling used furniture), it is also a good idea to take someone with you.


New York Times: Under Pressure, Craigslist to Remove 'Erotic' Ads

Asylum: Adult Services Is Dead -- Where Will the Craigslist Pervs Go Next?

Compete: Craigslist's Dirty Little Secret


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