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Craigslist Keeps Flagging My Ads

Updated on September 16, 2013

Craigslist Becomes Impossible To Post On.

Lens Updated On September 16, 2013

Why does Craigslist keep flagging my ads? Here are some important facts, tips & answers that will help you. Welcome to my lens and please pardon me if it is not all fancy with pictures and stuff, I am more of a facts person than looking at fancy pictures. Please leave your feedback if you have something to say on the matter so others will know. I know that a lot of people are experiencing this problem so I wanted to throw in my two cents. I have been a full time poster on Craigslist for 3 years until early this year. I cut my CL posting schedule way back after they stopped showing dealer listings when people search from the homepage in the search results. I now having all my ads getting flagged and I finally decided Craigslist would not be my choice of place to post ads any longer. I decided to put this lens together figuring someone might find it useful.

Why are my Craigslist Ads Getting Flagged & Deleted?

There is no single answer but the same thing happens to me. After taking a closer look at this for a while I have come to this conclusion. CL is really cracking down on similar content now, not just duplicate content. If I place 2 similar ads in the same region many but not all ads get deleted. The more similar ads I place in the same region the more get deleted. I suspect that they are removing a certain ad count for each violation. Let say you violate the similar content in the same region once they remove 10 ads, violate it 3 times they remove 30 ads. I have been posting on CL since it went national and always found a way around their CL police but things are getting real bad now.

Are you placing the same Craigslist Ads But Getting Much Less Traffic?

If you noticed Craigslist now has a By Owner & By Dealer on all categories. They did this for a reason, if you are a dealer Craigslist does not want your business and this is what they did to hurt you. When someone visits the Craigslist homepage in any region and searches for something from the homepage search box only listings by owner are shown in the search results. Craigslist omits all dealer listings and because of this change traffic to dealer ads has dropped by 80%, mine dropped 90%. Seeing this kind of loss of income I started searching for other ways to make up the loss.

Why do my ads ghost in certain categories but not others?

This is one of the things that puzzle me the most. I make a living posting in one category and it is not the jobs category. I post legitimate stuff that people want. One day I decided that I needed to hire 3 or 4 more people for my biz so naturally I decided to put a free help wanted ad on CL. I live in an area where posting in the jobs category is free so I thought great, I should get a good response. Well much to my disbelief CL will not let me place any job ads at all, not a single one. Sure I can post the ad but it will not go live, a term known as "ghosting". Here I am trying to hire 3 to 4 people and teach them how to make good money for themselves and their families and CL will not let my ads go live. I truly believe that CL is more sophisticated than we think and they analyze a persons posting habits and if they post outside of that category then they stop you by ghosting your ads. I also think certain words in an ad will trigger the ghosting.

UPDATE Feb 15, 2013 I was able to post a job using an anonymous listing account on Craigslist so this may be the way to go if you are having these same issues.

Does this mean the end of making money on Craigslist as a pro?

I believe the days of making great money on Craigslist is over and will only go downhill from here. CL is hell bent on being a local classifieds site and does not want advertising from businesses. There are many other ways to sell your product or service on other sites but you need to know a little SEO. When I get done with this lens you will know a little SEO.

What is SEO and how do I do it?

When I first came upon the term "SEO" I was mystified. SEO or Search Engine Optimization may seems mysterious to some people because there is a lot of stuff about it online but in all reality SEO is very simple to understand and use right away in your listings. By correctly using SEO in your listings you will get more free search traffic when someone searches for your product or service online. Most of the population does not use Craigslist so learning SEO will open yourself to more business customers who will find your ads naturally listed on Ask, Aol, Google, Yahoo, Bing & Baidu search results.

SEO is nothing but the proper use of keywords in the title and ad description. Think of how you search for something online yourself. If you were searching the internet for a 1999 Toyota Camry 2 door with low miles in Boston, Massachusetts you would probably enter these words into the search "1999 Toyota Camry 2 door Boston". When you view the search results you might find one or two relevant ads that match your search term.

Meanwhile Joe from Boston is selling his 1999 Toyota Camry 2 door online but no one responds and he can't figure out why. Well, Joe did not know how search engines return results, because of he did the title of his classified ad would read "Nice Car For Sale". You see, when someone is searching for a new car the last thing they enter into the search in " Nice Car For Sale" they enter what they actually are looking for so always try to have the title describe what you are selling. and it is best to repeat those same title words in the first line of text in your ad for double SEO.

Basics of Search Engine Optimization

SEO can double your sales

I have been using ClassifiedsEarth and making steady money month after month. It is fairly new but I don't care about how much traffic a site gets anymore, I care about how much traffic i can get directly to all the ads I place on any site using SEO. You can make more money with much less work using SEO. I used to post ads 8 hours a day 7 days a week for almost 2 years before I started to learn SEO. Now I post ads about 10 hours a month and make more money than I ever did working 7 days a week.

SEO = Keywords of what you are selling.

Multiple keywords put together are called a Keyword String so your ad title is nothing but a Keyword String.

Ad Title -Your ad title should not be longer than 70 characters or it will get cut off when displaying in the search results so make sure your title is less than 70 characters, I prefer to use about 60 characters. Make sure you use all the major keywords for what you are selling in your title. You do not need to count your title characters because there is a tool for that here at this link >> , just paste your title in and press the button and it will count it for you.

Ad Description: The first 150 characters of your ad description are the most important and should contains most of your top keywords, the reason for this is because in the search results Google will only show 150 to 160 characters in the search results description and will most likely show the first 150 characters in your ad description. Remember that a space is a character so that is why it is best to use the free character counter above.

Title and Description rules as listed above apply to everything that is placed online. Knowing these basic fundamentals of SEO will send you on your way to discover a whole new world of marketing, one that can be very lucrative for you.

Answering Questions People Have Online Can Make You Sales

Keyword strings can be long or short. I am successful at answering questions that people have online. For Example; someone might search using this question. "Where can I Buy A Soccer Ball in Boston? In my ad title or tags if the website offers tags I would use "Where can I Buy A Soccer Ball in Boston? ", well naturally the person who is searching for this will click on my ad in the search results first because they think they might find an answer to their question. Very few people know about the value of answering questions online for people and turning it into a sale. You can use the question technique on almost anything. I answer many of these questions online that are relevant to my business and plug myself at the same time to earn some extra money. There is nothing wrong with plugging your business and answering questions at the same time. There are tens of thousands of sites dedicated to this and Yahoo is one of the bigger ones. People have a question and you answer and have a chance to make money for years on a single answer on one high traffic website. One answer on the right site can turn into major traffic to your site and in some cases make you serious income over the long term.

Another tip is to use model numbers in your title and description along with the city & state abbrev of where the item is located. Lets say you needed to buy a 3 HP Widget Motor #313and you lived in Boston. You would most likely search for "3 HP Widget Motor #313 Boston" right? Well that is a perfect title for your ad.

UPDATE May 20, 2013 : Craigslist Is Dead

No Longer Using CL For Business

I have officially quit using Craigslist. I just placed 50 ads to see how much traffic I would get and got ZERO traffic. Before they split CL into "by owner" and "by dealer" I used to get hundreds of visits and now get ZERO. Don't waste you time on CL, try the recommended sites listed below. If you are a dealer or commercial read below for the best places to post.

Craigslist Charging $5 An Ad In Tickets By Dealer - Craigslist Tries To Scalp the Scalpers

I gave up posting on CL after they divided up the entire site into By Owner & By Dealer. 90% of my ad traffic died overnight when that happen so I quit using Craigslist. Now they are charging $5 an ad in the tickets for sale by dealer categories. What next? Cars For Sale & Real Estate For Sale? It would not surprise me. Why would someone pay $5 an ad for Craigslist is beyond me, the site is no longer a useful business tool so basically you would throw your money away in my opinion by posting there. No thanks Craigs. stick your $5 in your %^*&%. CL might have a high page rank but the search engines do not index many of the listings because the ad life is to short and it is a waste to index many of the ads.

Where Do I Advertise Now?

Well things have changed for me over the last 9 months.

If you practice your SEO and post to all 4 of the sources listed below, (preferably at the same time) then you will see some major traffic coming right off the internet directly to your ads. I know it works because I make a great living doing it right now and have never had some much time to do other things. No more having to post ads 8 hours day!!!

I use to advertise on Craigslist 95% but now this is my breakdown

  • 0% of my advertising goes on or
  • 20% of my advertising goes to other (various sources)
  • 40% of my advertising goes on or and I spend thousands of dollars a month on ad upgrade on Backpage. Backpage now offers a great service to repost your ads to the top of the list. I have tested this and use this feature every time I post my ads. I found it to be an effective marketing tool especially for online / affiliate marketers such as myself who do not want to waste time reposting the same ads to the top of the list. Paid repost ads cost anywhere from fifty cents to 3 dollars and it can repost for over a year if you want to for one low cost. I also use the featured ad upgrade for when I post ads for top selling items. I usually will post a featured ad for 26 weeks because I save I think something like 40% on the ad run when i do that. Check it out
  • 40% of my advertising goes on or ,  a site with awesome SEO. Many of my ads are #1 on Google, Yahoo and Bing. If you advertise on each user account has their own rss feed so you can post ads and then put the rss feed on other sites like blogs and even Squidoo and your Facebook Wall. I will add to this lens from time to time. UPDATE: In May 2103 Classifieds Earth now has a one step / page listing process, you can place the entire ad from one page including posting the ad in multiple regions at the same time. Posting ads in multiple regions is $1 per region but the single ads are always free unless you are selling pets. The new listing process is a real time saver. Ads run anywhere from 2 months to 1 year depending the on the category..
  • I will add to this lens from time to time.
  • Thanks for reading!!
  • SAH - I am a full time affiliate marketer and enjoy sharing some of my tips and sometimes make money from them.

New Guestbook Comments

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Great information. Thank you for posting it. Do you take on apprentices?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      We Have been the most hi-tech and intelligent poster on Craigslist for many years,we are fully confident that our service will not be affected by new changes.. greenbird888 @ gmail . com

    • Wajahat2512 profile image

      Syed Wajahat Hasan naqvi 

      4 years ago from Lahore, Pakistan

      Good tips

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Find great deals on eBay for Traffic Light in Transportation Traffic Lights and Signals. Shop with confidence.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Kudos to this lens... real answers to issues I have been struggling with for some time now. I myself am also done with CL (the $5 ad fee for my category was the straw that broke the camel's back). Not a full time affiliate marketer but working on it (for some time now). Again great lens and your advertisements may mean we are doing the same things, (you of coarse better). I have booked marked this lens for future reference to keep me on tract, please keep updated (would like more info on the other 20%). Maybe some day we can chat!

    • superaffiliateh profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @rana-mia: If your renewed ads are being flagged it may be because you have similar ads. That is what happens to me. You need to make each ad very unique.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      why flagged my renew live ad?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great post! very helpful. I will check out the other site you mention


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