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January 6th, 2007, 05:02 PM #1Craigslist Crackdowns ...
Craigslist used to be an okay place to occasionally post for affiliate related sites or offers or products, but no longer!
Of note, a couple of recent articles from Clickz.com
Craigslist Enlists Police, ISPs, and Community to Fight "Spamvertising"
Marketers Flout Craigslist Rules to Promote Wares
Considering the availability of automated Craigslist ad posting software and even a book dedicated to marketing goods and services through Craigslist, it's no wonder some advertisers are flouting the regulations.
Here's one of the contradictions however -- even though they state that commercial (affiliate) offers and sites should be in "services offered", they are often (usually) flagged and banned even if you follow the rules!
So i think this is no longer likely to be one of the great free places for occasional marketing, huh? (and I'm not definitely NOT talking about spamvertising or porn or any of that stuff).
anybody ever used craigslist? c'mon -- be honest
And if you don't get flagged/banned, what is your secret for success on Craigslist?
January 6th, 2007, 05:22 PM #2
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
- Nunya, Business
Yeah, I don't think thats what it was for. Good for them.
January 6th, 2007, 05:23 PM #3
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
Yes, I am a Craigslist user -- most importantly, it's how I met my wife. We've also bought and sold many household items, and even a used car, through Craigslist. I've found consulting work by responding to Craigslist ads, I've had clients hire me after finding my resume on Craigslist, and I've hired a subcontractor for a project by using a "gigs" ad there. I have certainly posted hundreds of ads on Craigslist over the past ten years, and I don't think any of them has ever been flagged or deleted. I have never paid CraigsList a penny for advertising.
CraigsList.org has never been an appropriate place to post "affiliate link" advertising. Period.
I would consider the posting of affiliate links on Craigslist to be "spamvertising" or the equivalent of "forum & blog spamming."
My understanding has always been that the Craigslist for-sale listing categories are intended for people to offer items they are selling themselves, period. In some categories, such as used cars for sale, dealer listings are allowed; but in most categories, ads from retail stores would usually be flagged and deleted.
Craigslist truly functions as a community, and as you note, many posts are consistently deleted through the "flagging" system even if they do not clearly violate policies, and other types of posts are rarely removed even if they do violate policies.
I can assure you that if I saw "affiliate links" while surfing Craigslist, I would flag those posts.
Last edited by markwelch; January 6th, 2007 at 05:37 PM.
January 6th, 2007, 05:30 PM #4
- Join Date
- May 31st, 2006
- Houston TX
use craigslist for my personal posting and I get flagged.
Even listed my phone # when I was trying to sell something. It got flagged. I am assuming that it could be somebody professional that is selling something close.
There are softwares out there that will let u post mass ads
January 6th, 2007, 08:13 PM #5
good for craigslist! lots of cr--ppy "ads" on there these days... nice to see the crackdown... (IMHO)
January 6th, 2007, 08:14 PM #6
p.s. -- wow Mark on the wife find on CL!! Cool!!
January 7th, 2007, 12:03 AM #7
Good for CL if they're getting rid of the CRAP that has been plaguing their site lately. Every time I see something there it's just spamvertising and I think they'll be better off in the long run if they do away with it now. The site wasn't worth visiting lately, in my opinion.
Anyone who has a problem with the new policing was probably a cause for the new policing.
January 7th, 2007, 12:43 AM #8Originally Posted by markwelch
sorry but you are somewhat wrong -- their own policies state that commercial links are okay in the "services offered" as quoted in the article:
but glad u met ur wifey on CL -- that's a story in and of itself
January 7th, 2007, 08:00 AM #9
If you build a useful enough site, you won't need to spam it. People who are trusted will link to it on their own (without being asked), and the posts will be left. That's far more effective than spamming a site, anyway.
I know I've had hundreds (and probably thousands) of happy customers post links to my sites in places where spam is normally quickly removed. 99% of the time the customer-posted links to my sites remained, because they were regular posters who were sharing a good deal, not a webmaster spamming.
I've had a few days where I've been able to directly track $1000+ in commissions to a post such as this on various high-traffic forums or sites. Ususally a single link doesn't generate anywhere near that much, but when you consider the effect of hundreds or thousands of such links, it can really add up.
It pays to build useful sites.
January 7th, 2007, 02:49 PM #10
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
BPP wrote (in part): "sorry but you are somewhat wrong -- their own policies state that commercial links are okay in the "services offered" * * *
It all depends on what you think "okay" means. Craigslist has a very tiny staff, and does not actively police most of the free advertising categories. As a result, any formal "rules" and "policies" have little direct effect unless there is an automated solution.
Instead, the people who use Craigslist have the opportunity to "flag" any ad as objectionable, and when there are multiple "flags" on an ad, it is deleted automatically. (I don't know how many flags; one flagging never removes an ad, but I suspect it varies by category, perhaps 2 to 5 or so.)
There are some categories of "prohibited ads" which are rarely flagged or deleted; there are other categories of "allowed ads" which may be flagged by community members because they offend their sense of what should be permitted in the community.
You haven't identified what kinds of posts you are actually talking about, but since you keep mentioning "services" I'll assume you mean something like "computer services" (http://sfbay.craigslist.org/cps/).
This morning, that category contains many commercial advertisements -- for example, I see an ad for Hurricane Electric's colocation facilities (I was once a customer there, and I really like them), but the ad appears to be from a reseller of HE's services. I wouldn't expect this to be flagged, but would not be surprised if it were.
I also see an ad titled "WANT TO SELL ONLINE? COMPLETE E-COMMERCE PACKAGE F" which appears to be an affiliate ad for a questionable merchant offer. I would expect this one to be flagged (and I've just done so -- not because I think it breaks some specific rule, but because it just seems sleazy).
As you mentioned, it would not surprise me to find that some merchants actively "flag" their competitors' ads, though I doubt that would actually be a good use of the merchant's time. I suppose that Craigslist may have some automated system in place to monitor consumers' flagging behavior over time, in order to decrease the impact of flagging by people who seem to abuse the system, and to increase the impact for those who seem to flag "correctly." I suppose they might also have geo-IP tracking so that posts or flags by non-local people are treated differently.
Craigslist must reasonably act to insure that its system is not "flooded" with content that its users don't want to see. I would expect that over time, it will identify specific language and link URLs that it associates with "spam" and will block posts from those users. (I'd prefer to see Craigslist "accept" the post but not actually display it to anyone except the person who posted it, so spammers don't realize they're being blocked, since that would just let them know they need to change their tactics.)
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