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97 of Top 100 Classified Sites Are Craigslist

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the newspapers-still-dying dept.

The Internet 193

According to a recent report, 97 of the top 100 classified sites are just localized versions of Craigslist, up from 88 just last year. Combine that with a massive rise in traffic to classified sites in general and you have a recipe for one raging behemoth. "Craigslist isn't just crushing the newspaper industry and crowding out other classified sites. It's also taking an increasing slice of total U.S Internet traffic: the site's market share in February was up 90% year over year, accounting for about 2.5% of total US Web site visits."

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Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481073)

The article correctly noted that craigslist's staggering success is not the real story here. Craigslist has been growing quite nicely for sometime. Also, it is not Craigslist that has grown drastically but Craigslist Cities custom category's number of visits went up 90% between Feb '08 and Feb '09 and all other classifieds grew 22 percent. Craigslist cities is below all other classifieds in the graph on their blog [hitwise.com] which contradicts what the article is saying. So that 90% figure is a bit misleading and I think it is a particular custom division of Craigslist.

The news is that they think the recession is causing this thrift explosion. From the article:

So it seems the recession is more or less rescuing some classifieds sites while acting as a rocket booster for Craigslist. This meshes well with last week's info about Craigslist replacing MySpace as the top U.S. search term.

And from Hitwise's blog:

Market share of US Internet Visits increased 90% to the Craigslist Cities custom category year over year in February 2009 while visits to All Other Classifieds grew 22%.Visits to All Other Classifieds had been declining for most of 2008 with visits starting to increase in January and February. This suggests that the worsening US economy may be boosting visits to classifieds websites, and contributing to the recent up tick in visits to both Craigslist Cities and All Other Classifieds.

I'm not sold on their evidence. I don't see a huge jump [google.com] since February of '08 in search popularity. Why do we do this with percentages? We break them down into categories and play the telephone game to distort them for the sole purpose of shock-and-awe reporting leading to ad revenue?

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481179)

I'm not sold on their evidence. I don't see a huge jump since February of '08 in search popularity

What? Did you even look at the graph you linked to? Sure, it's fairly steady growth, but even just a quick eyeing of the graph shows at least a 50% growth (and that's a VERY conservative estimate -- looks more like 75% to me, but I didn't want to push it).

I don't know about you, but that's pretty damn significant to me.

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481297)

Man, I just read the article title, and I was confused as to why anything on Craigslist would be considered 'classified' by any government, let alone that it would have 97% of all online classified data.

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482383)

Right there with you... I had to stare at that for a good 30 seconds before going "oohhhh!"

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27482779)

I did too, but I'm high.

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (2, Funny)

Cube Steak (1520237) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481217)

I'm not sold on their evidence. I don't see a huge jump [google.com] since February of '08 in search popularity.

You don't? It went from around .75 to at least 1.25 which is at least a gain of around 67%

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (1)

cymen (8178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481219)

By "Craigslist Cities custom category" do you mean visits to individual cities on craiglist.org (like chicago.craigslist.org)? Or is there some other feature there? I mean, that seems kind of obvious if that is what you mean because the whole point of Craiglist is localized classifieds.

I also don't think most people are going to use Google to search the local Craigslist site. That would be kind of worthless as the Google hits are often out of date (just try searching for some "odd yet valuable but can sell for less locally due to weight or some other criteria that makes ebay unattractive" type of item).

Then of course I remembered a couple years ago some people didn't even realize one could type in a web address (instead of going to a portal or a search engine for everything). Hasn't that changed?

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (2, Interesting)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481221)

Going along with the general traffic statistics are some supposed demographics [exct.net] :

Craigslist attracts wealthier households, but recent growth is visible from lower-income groups. Analysis of demographics of the Craigslist audience reveals that those earning a household income of $150,000 a year or more were 68 percent more likely to visit a Craigslist Cities Web site than All Other Classifieds Web sites in the four weeks ending Feb. 28, 2009. However, the siteâ(TM)s recent growth is being fueled by lower-income segments, suggesting that Craigslist may become less of a destination site for wealthy people and more of a necessity for lower-income groups as the economy continues to sour.

But later in that same article:

... Through relationships with ISPs around the world, Hitwise's patented methodology anonymously captures the online usage, search and conversion behavior of 25 million Internet users. ...

Exactly how do they "anonymously capture" data and determine an average household income?

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27481449)

easy. If you're a nigger, low income. If you're white or asian, high income.

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (5, Interesting)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481349)

Did anyone else notice the largest drop on that graph occurred right after this article -

Craigslist to crack down on prostitution ads [whdh.com]

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27481825)

Did anyone else notice the largest drop on that graph occurred right after this article -

Craigslist to crack down on prostitution ads [whdh.com]

Should have the opposite occurred

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27482523)

The graph is confusingly using two different scales for CL vs. other services. So although the line is below other services, it in fact much, much larger.

Re:Classifieds Traffic Up Since Recession (1)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482721)

How big is CL outside the US?

Here in NZ so few have even heard of it.

Can you say.... (1)

coulbc (149394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481099)

erotic services?

Re:Can you say.... (2, Funny)

stuffeh (1108283) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482465)

You must be new to CL. That should be ers or cas, stp is starting to head in that direction depending on your locale, and easily m4m if you swing that way. Maybe something from mcy or msg would help your odds in the w4m/m4w section. Not even going to bother talking about w4w since this is slashdot, some nice eye candy there though. Or you can just troll mis and let her make the first move. Hit refresh every 30 mins and read best of in between updates, there's about 2000 posts there to keep you entertained. And if you do actually find someone, remember to look through tix for somewhere nice to go to.

How many are scammers? (1)

altoz (653655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481103)

I wonder how much of this increase in "traffic" is just Nigerian scammers trying to get you to ship your item overseas.

Re:How many are scammers? (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481483)

Don't forget about CL likely being the center of your hometown's lovely sex trade (and there is one, bet on it.)

2.5% of all US traffic? (1)

billlava (1270394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481111)

That's astonishing! Does any other site (besides search engines and forced home pages like MSN.com) have that much of a share?

Besides Slashdot of course...

Re:2.5% of all US traffic? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481241)

I don't know. But here in NZ, one site alone accounts for apparently 90% of all web site visits.

Also, you said 2.5% of all US traffic. This is not what the article (or summary) said - they said Craigslist accounts for 2.5% of all US web site visits.

Re:2.5% of all US traffic? (1)

billlava (1270394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481299)

I don't know. But here in NZ, one site alone accounts for apparently 90% of all web site visits.

Also, you said 2.5% of all US traffic. This is not what the article (or summary) said - they said Craigslist accounts for 2.5% of all US web site visits.

My mistake. I guess Craigslist wouldn't use all that much traffic with its austere interface.

Still, 2.5% is quite a large amount for one website to be getting by itself. Out of curiosity, what ebsite in NZ gets 90% of traffic? Is it a web portal, search engine? Please tell me it's not kiwi-porn!

Re:2.5% of all US traffic? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27481417)

The other 97.5% is to www.webmd.com/do-i-have-an-std.html

Re:2.5% of all US traffic? (5, Funny)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481495)

I don't know. But here in NZ, one site alone accounts for apparently 90% of all web site visits.

www.sheepfantasy.co.nz?

Re:2.5% of all US traffic? (0, Redundant)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481623)

90%? Wow, didn't think the internet filter would be this crappy that 9 out of 10 connections land in "sorry, this page is not good for you" land...

In other news: (5, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481119)

As Prostitutes Turn to Craigslist, Law Takes Notice [nytimes.com] . Given how much of the web is devoted to porn, why is anyone surprised that the best site for marketing prostitution is doing so well?

Note to sarcasm impaired: This is (mostly) a joke.

Re:In other news: (5, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481531)

Yeah and this is the problem as I see it.

Craigslist made the economics of prostitution more decentralized so cops were busting fewer hookers even though the sex industry in a lot of towns was thriving with Craigslist. So the cops started to take notice when their revenue dropped off. In some towns over 50% of the revenue comes from fines levied against the citizens for non-violent crimes and anything that disrupts that will make politicians poke their local county sheriffs and police departments to do something about it. Look at your county coffers and see how much comes in from traffic tickets and criminal fines for my county it is nearly 30% of the revenue. Making so much of county and city budgets dependent on vice and traffic crimes has made it profitable to exacerbate problems that will encourage it while not directly encouraging it. -- See drug war, cheap alcohol and 1 second yellow lights.

We also had a massive decrease in violence against prostitutes and charges filed for pimping because craigslist made it far easier to go solo and be safe from crazies by filtering out them by email and phone before meeting. Sort of like speed dating, now these women are back out working for pimps and working the streets. This sort of action by the police community against sex workers is abhorrent and is bringing back old problems that were going away with Craigslist being used by escorts.

Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481131)

While it lasted.

Seriously, though, Craigslist now seems to be an unstoppable testament to the power of network effects and general benevolence. The site feels like it was dragged out of 1993, stripped of all the animated .gif flaming skulls and starfield backgrounds, and dumped on the present. However, it is fast, even on devices without the chops for horrible flash and javascript monsters, unobtrusive, no in-your-face ads, and if it exists, you can find it.

I'm not at all surprised that it has terminated the traditional classifieds, since they all sucked; but I am mildly surprised that that it seems to be crushing its online competitors so absolutely. I would have expected at least a few me-too outfits with gmail-styled "Web 2.0" interfaces to be doing OK somewhere. Network effects, I suppose. Like ebay; but without the evil.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (5, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481295)

"...the site feels like it was dragged out of 1993, stripped of all the animated .gif flaming skulls and starfield backgrounds..." which is EXACTLY why it's so successful and demonstrates nicely why other sites fail. It's straightforward, to the point, and not so junked up with marketing S**T that you can't find what you want.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (5, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481509)

Seriously. Very few sites are as easy to navigate as Craigslist. They don't force unnecessary pagination for increased ad views. They don't base their entire layout around cramming ads into the middle of content that you're trying to read. The search is helpful and effective. The community around flagging / cleaning up garbage posts is pretty good. It's a tough site to beat. I hope they never jump on the idiotic web 2.0 bandwagon.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

shlashdot (689477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482467)

I must be doing something wrong - when I try to search I can only search one city at a time. I live in a sparsely populated state with a half dozen regions, and I'd like to search them all when I'm looking for something. I can't see how to do that, short of elaborate google queries, which reduces craiglist to an idle-time waster vs. a real tool to find something, for me.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482847)

Recently, I've been getting search results from nearby locations in craigslist.

Before I would do a search and modify the city name in the link and it would do the search for that city.

But, I'm sure there's a craigslist extension for mozilla that simplifies the things even more.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481655)

Exactly, a simple interface with good, useful information is pretty much the best kind of website.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482781)


It's straightforward, to the point, and not so junked up with marketing S**T that you can't find what you want.

The other reason I think the simple design wins is simply because it's cheaper. Text is SMALL bandwidth and storage wise, easy to search, and doesn't require a lot of processing. The UI is simple, and really doesn't change much so do you don't need a team of programmers to support it. Craigslist has such a small operating cost, there's really no chance they'll go out of business.

I think the reason you don't see a lot of "me too" sites competing isn't because the UI is so great for the end user, it's really how could you possibly compete with a site as popular as craiglist? Some things tend to create natural monopolies because there's an advantage to everyone using one resource. Ebay is one of those kinds of things, craigslist is another. It's a feedback loop where both parties benefit.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (5, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481363)

The surprising thing is that all that "web 2.0" crap? Yeah, not that many people actually like it very much, especially not nerds (from what I've seen).

Craigslist is so popular because it just works there are no stupid buttons or widgets are anything that doesn't work on anything other than IE6 running on windows XP.

This is just my own experience, so bear with me here.
I remember when digg first came out, I was on that site all day, every day reading stories, posting stories, commenting on stories etc. etc. etc.
Then...well, then they changed the layout, added all kinds of gradients and 50 billion buttons that have no discernible purpose. I think I continued trying to use the site before I gave it up and migrated back to fark.
Then...and this one made me really sad, Slashdot jumped on the web 2.0 bandwagon. What was once a clean, obvious, straight-forward website was transformed into a disgusting mess of collapse/expand buttons (wtf, guys...really?), buttons, more buttons, buttons here and buttons freaking everywhere. slashdot.org/~$username/ no longer took me to my comment history, but rather to some mess of a page with no sort of explanation and, you guessed it, more fucking buttons. Also, some sort of a speech bubble with a number in it next to my latest one? What the hell is that?

So I've decreased my usage of slashdot but don't know where to turn to? There is my own website [gibsonandlily.com] which i tried to make as clean as I could. There is reddit, which is an ungodly clusterfuck of conspiracy theorist whackjobs who think that the government is out to get them and post stories like "How can I hack a satelite?" which gets rocketed on to the front page.

It seems like the only place left, really, is hackernews. Their confusing policy of not having their name be the same as their URL has kept MOST of the retards away, but I fear that they're going to discover bookmarks soon. /rant over.

What we're experience is what I call "designers designing for designers". Its what happens when a designer (or a coder in this case) changes something because it looks really cool to people in-the-know, but fucking hideous to the people actually doing the consumption. Craigslist seems to be immune to this syndrome. I have no idea why, but I suggest that if they ever hire a graphic designer we take a flamethrower to their wacom tablet and CSS manual immediately.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (5, Informative)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481625)

Change your /. prefs. Other than the sometimes lame colors they use, I don't see any of that silliness, once I'm logged in.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481945)

Change your /. prefs. Other than the sometimes lame colors they use, I don't see any of that silliness, once I'm logged in.

Alas, it still sometimes slips through. The firehose and metamoderation interfaces are particularly lame that way.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27482817)

Or my favorite Slashdot gripe - the way it breaks up multiple pages. Seriously, wtf? Can anyone explain the logic? Most times page 2 is exactly the same stuff as page 1, etc.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27482587)

CL is web 2.0.

A web 2.0 site is one where the content is created by the users, and the entire value of the site is its user base.

ALAX and the like are just a tool, not a paradigm.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (5, Insightful)

eltonito (910528) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481385)

I recently overheard a web developer raving about this new online classifieds website he was launching in a few months. From what I could tell, it was solely focused on competing with Cragislist and they were going to achieve this by having very slick, graphical interface and unlimited sub-categorization. They were spending big money on this website and it was going to show!

Right then and there I knew their website, whatever it was called, was doomed to fail because they had missed the point. People neither need nor want a graphically slick, over-produced, banner-ad infested place to trade their toaster for a case of panty hose.

To boil your post (and maybe mine) down to a Han Solo quote "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481491)

To boil your post (and maybe mine) down to a Han Solo quote "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."

Yeah, you can find shaved pussy on craig's list.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482693)

That's not to say his site will fail. The problem with so many bad web sites is that the UI is BAD. Craigslist has a very good UI, though it's incredibly simple. If someone designed a great graphical UI, then they could blow away Craigslist. The problem with so much UI development is that the assumption is that more is more without regard for the mechanics of the UI.

I like Craiglist and I'm a regular visitor, but there's plenty of room for improvement.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481525)

Like ebay; but without the evil.

It's also fascinating to watch Ebay implode. They alienated the seller groups, and then they started alienating the rank and file once they slipped on allowing fraudsters through the net.

It's as if Craiglist flourished because of the need for the direct deal. Not everyone wants to auction their stuff, people want looser, directly negotiated deals without the bullshit of 'Buy It now' and holdback auctions with reserves ("I know what I will let this go for, but I'm not telling")...

I guess we are destinated for the get rich quickers to start updating their books on how to make a million on Craigslist, as all the how to make a million on Ebay books for only $39.99 start gathering dust in warehouses...

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481711)

I think another thing it has going is the ability to touch the stuff before buying.
Wow, that fridge sure looked a lot nicer in the photo, are you sure this is the same one?
Being able to buy items that are a pain to ship, bed rails for example, all locally.
Unless you're a complete idiot, not buying knockoff crap sold by some guy in his underwear and shipped from some warehouse on the other side of the planet.
And the last bit, the lost art of haggling over a price, and not being outbid by some computer program that is timed to the last nanosecond.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27482365)

"I guess we are destinated for the..."

Fucking STOP that! There is no such word or potential for eventuality as distinated! It's not cute or funny, fucking stop doing that! I'm not asking for perfect grammar, just don't make up stupid word mutations. Thank you for your attention, please keep our language lexicon true to rules. /end rant

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482613)

I didn't realize I did that.

Come on. Destinated. That's a fucking cool word. It's a physical destination along with the inevitability of destiny.


I'm a god damn genius.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

wizden (965907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482807)

All in favor of adding it to the official internet dictionary raise their hands.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (2, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482419)

Gumtree is a lot more popular than Craigslist in Britain.

I guess it is the network effect again. Gumtree has a lot more British ads, so more Brits visit it. People put their ads their because more people see them.

Re:Good Game, "old media", it was mediocre... (1)

demachina (71715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482729)

The only problem, in the unintended consequences category, is Craigslist is destroying one of the first bastions of democracy, newspapers and journalists whose full time job it was to root out corruption in government and business, and expose it. That is something we sure could be using more of now instead of less, and we are getting less as nearly every newspaper is cutting to the bone, for folding all together.

You could argue that bloggers and websites will fill the void but I'm skeptical. The main problem being bloggers mostly sit and surf the web and then write about what they read on the web. Maybe there are some that are actually sniffing around, cultivating sources, and doing detective work like old school journalists but I'm skeptical there are very many. I'm also skeptical they will survive in the face of retaliation from "the powers that be" if they ever do get to close to real corruption, like the blogger in Phoenix where the cops came in and took everything computer related out of his house. An integral part of big newspapers are the lawyers to insure the reporters are defended when they take on the power that be.

You could argue citizens will mass together in iReport and Twitter and fill the void but again I seriously doubt many average citizens will stand up the way the NY Times did in exposing the Bush administrations warrantless wire tapping, its very dangerous for a single citizen to do that much or often.

You could argue TV reporters will fill the void. HA.... HA. They don't seem to do any reporting, they just sit on the air regurgitating old news and running their mouths.

All I can say is I will dearly, dearly miss the Washington Post and NY Times if they go under or turn in to a eviscerated shadow of their former selves. Their web sites are AWESOME, they just haven't figured out a way to monetize them.

Craigslist is taking all the gravy out of the journalism business model, and not returning the priceless service journalism does for society. If you want some more and worse repetitions of the Bush administration in future years, just keep destroying Journalism, of course since they let the Bush administration happen in the first place, maybe Journalism is already dead.

If you like dictatorships and oligarchies, just wipe out Journalism.

Craigslist... (1)

skathe (1504519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481143)

is window shopping for the lazy. And you can shop for hookers without actually having to drive to that seedy part of town.

Re:Craigslist... (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481465)

You say that like it's a bad thing...

The truth revealed! (2, Funny)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481145)

97 of Top 100 Classified Sites are Craigslist

So THAT's the top secret info Uncle Sam puts on SIPRnet hmm? People going through the trouble get get a government security clearance must be really disappointed.

Classified? (2, Interesting)

Baranovich (522871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481149)

Did anyone else see 'Classified' and think something else entirely?

Re:Classified? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27481271)

In spy movies they do things like "accept our demands by running the following ad in the classifieds:" Perhaps DTBBBJTC(CIM) isn't the only coded message being sent through Craiglist.

Re:Classified? (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481277)

I can't tell you unless you get the proper security clearance.

Count again (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481189)

when the adult section is removed.

It's nothing new folks, everyone knows the most popular search word on the Internet.

Finally indexed (3, Insightful)

imajinarie (1057148) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481245)

I may be off here, but part of the reason of the reason Craigslist may be gaining popularity is because its listings are finally well indexed by search engines, where as of a year or so ago, they weren't [searchenginejournal.com] - now when I search for an item or service, Craigslist actually shows up in the relevant hits! The more users who see Craigslist in google results, the more likely they maybe are to list with it.

Re:Finally indexed (2, Interesting)

imajinarie (1057148) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481269)

I may be off here, but part of the reason of the reason Craigslist may be gaining popularity is because its listings are finally well indexed by search engines, where as of a year or so ago, they weren't [searchenginejournal.com] - now when I search for an item or service, Craigslist actually shows up in the relevant hits! The more users who see Craigslist in google results, the more likely they maybe are to list with it.

Sorry - SearchEngineJournal.com link here [searchenginejournal.com]

Re:Finally indexed (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481703)

As of a year ago they were indexed pretty well. Google at least seems to crawl craigslist very well.

I was selling a stove, with some triple-wall duct. After I posted the ad, I wanted to find out more about triple-wall duct, and my ad was the first hit for something I just mentioned in the ad once.

What are the Remaining Three? (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481261)

Post links to a blog which links to a PDF "report" that's basically a press release. None of which do anything other than fawn over Craigslist.

So what are the remaining three sites?

Newspapers would like the ads back, please (1)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481301)

Don't worry, the newspapers aren't phased by this news - in fact, publishers are meeting in San Diego this week to ponder their fate and one of the items on their agenda [blogspot.com] is "How to recover some of the classified advertising business that has been usurped by Craig's List and others."

Good luck guys!

Re:Newspapers would like the ads back, please (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27481395)

newspapers aren't phased by this

Fazed.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fazed

Re:Newspapers would like the ads back, please (1)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481585)

No no, phased is correct. Like in that Star Trek: TNG episode with Geordi and Ensign Ro [startrek.com] .

Duh. The newspapers are still perfectly visible and touchable.

Re:Newspapers would like the ads back, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27481729)

the newspapers aren't phased by this news

In what sense are they not "phased"? Phase of growth? Wave phase? Phase of the moon? Or did you perhaps mean "faze"? Do they truly no longer teach homonyms in school these days?

Mostly unrelated.. but No Banners/Web Advertisment (1)

madsheep (984404) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481359)

One thing that has always baffled me is that they don't put up any web advertisements for the purposes of bringing in income. They are pretty low budget in terms of operating and only really charge for certain [commercial] listings. Why not put up some ads though? Even if you want to be modest and don't need the money, you could at least donate it to charity or build a big stack of 100 dollar bills, put two eyes on them, and tell people this is the money you could be saving with Geico. Come on!

Re:Mostly unrelated.. but No Banners/Web Advertism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27481405)

There is nothing so good that it can't be ruined by the addition of advertising.

Re:Mostly unrelated.. but No Banners/Web Advertism (3, Interesting)

pileated (53605) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481505)

Well maybe,just maybe, that's the very reason that they're so popular! They give users what they want, not what someone in marketing/advertising thinks users ought to want, or what will give them a few more ad dollars but drive users off. They're old cliches but it seems silly to argue with success or fix what's not broken.

I'm going to make a very broad statement here: the most successful parts of the internet give users content, not advertising. Advertising revenue is a byproduct and it's a mistake to make it the priority as many sites have done, all the while arguing of course that they haven't.

Re:Mostly unrelated.. but No Banners/Web Advertism (1)

madsheep (984404) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481533)

Maybe but I don't think advertising ruins everything. Look at all of the sites that are more popular than Craigslist. Show me which ones don't have ads. Hell look at the top of the screen as you read this.. what's that? An ad! Just make it small/low key and do more with it. Not might site, so who cares but it would be nice with their amount of traffic.

Re:Mostly unrelated.. but No Banners/Web Advertism (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481761)

people don't come to /. to do a quick search for a toaster. Instead, they come to chastise those who can't see the difference between a discussion forum, and a classified ad site ;) /. also doesn't (as far as they admit, at least) charge for making postings in any areas.

Want a comparison? www.google.com [google.com] . Go on, look at it. pretty simple and to the point, isn't it. Compare it to www.yahoo.com [yahoo.com] . All that busy-junk, wall-of-text crap on yahoo's site? Yup, that's why they aren't doing as well as google. Amazing stuff.

Re:Mostly unrelated.. but No Banners/Web Advertism (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482169)

There is an ad at the top of the screen?

Re:Mostly unrelated.. but No Banners/Web Advertism (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481569)

Because ads are annoying as all get out and they'll reduce traffic. I've enjoyed using craigslist almost since the day it was started for my city. Half of the reason for that is the simplicity of its interface and the lack of garbage. Will you greedy people please stay quiet and let craigslist continue to be awesome? We don't need another flash menu / ad / web 2.0 / rss / twitter filled pile of junk.

Re:Mostly unrelated.. but No Banners/Web Advertism (1)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481757)

Ya, because looking on Craigslist for, say, a up right freezer on the cheap, then having ads shoved in your face from Maytag trying to sell the latest, greatest, four figure dollar amount fridge is gonna get people to click on it.

Check the date (1)

jdunlevy (187745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481471)

... on that news story and the Hitwise report it links to.

Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (5, Informative)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481477)

Top scams I've had to deal with on Craigslist:
  1. Bogus job postings to get personal info for identity theft (This is also happening on Monster, CareerBulder, etc...)
  2. The overpaying for items and asking for balance to be sent back via Western Union
  3. Bogus checks
  4. Folks overseas saying they have homes for rent.

The old Western Union trick:

You're selling an item for $1,000. Someone wanting to buy it sends you $2,000. They say "Oops!" could you send me the balance back to me via Western Union and I'll pick up the item later. You do so. Their original $2,000 check bounces and they have your $1,000. You're out $3,000 and YOU OWE IT, baby!

The scam works many ways but it usually involves you sending a Western Union money gram or some other method where, once you send the money, it's gone. The renting overseas homes works similar to this.

Jobs. Do not give personal information, DOB or SSN, until you've met them and you have verified they are actually an employer.

Some employers, such as governments, insist on a SSN so they run you through Choicepoint, the credit bureaus and other Big Brother corporate entities before they will consider you for employment. I only get those forms when I'm on the interview. I wouldn't give the information to them unless you get an interview.

You need to be very careful on Craigslist.

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481671)

You need to be very careful when answering any ad from just about anywhere.

FTFY.

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481677)

You need to be very careful on Craigslist.

You need to be very careful online.

The problem is that Joe User doesn't understand infosec, and trusts too much. Period.

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (1)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481683)

Dunno about most of you, but unless the money is in my bank account (a.k.a. the check has cleared), I haven't received it.

The SSN one probably gets a lot of people especially those desperate to get a job. Again though, people need to simply be untrusting as a rule while on the interweb.

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27482437)

Dunno about most of you, but unless the money is in my bank account (a.k.a. the check has cleared), I haven't received it.

Then you are an ideal candidate for some of these scams.
Despite the terminology, checks do not clear. They just fail to bounce.

By law, US banks are required to make funds available within 5 business days from deposit of a check. When people say "the check cleared" they really mean that the 5 days passed and the check did not bounce. But under various circumstances, the check may bounce after 6 days or 10 days or in some cases involving forged cashiers checks, a month later.

So a sufficiently tricky scam artist will set up the right circumstances such that their bogus check won't bounce in the first 5 business days and it will appear to have "cleared" to their unknowing mark. The mark will feel confident that the check was valid and will proceed to get scammed. Then a few days later the check does finally bounce and the bank takes their money back and the mark is screwed.

the oddly relevant captcha for this post was "outlast"

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27481699)

Their original $2,000 check bounces and they have your $1,000. You're out $3,000 and YOU OWE IT, baby!

It would seem to me that you are out $2000: $1000 for the item (assuming the receiving party gets it), and $1000 balance that you sent back via Western Union.

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (1)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481815)

As long as their is someone who wants to sell something to someone else, the old adage will always ring true, Buyer Beware.

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (4, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482141)

NEVER use Western Union.
NEVER accept cashier's checks as payment.
ALWAYS wait a week after the payment has "cleared" before processing any refunds or "oops I paid too much!".

The trick you describe is more commonly done with cashier's checks. The bank you take it to will say it's valid and give you the money. But all they're really doing is checking to see if it points to a real bank. Once that bank receives it for processing, they look at it and say "what the fuck is this shit you're trying to pull" and demand the money back from your bank.

Your bank then thinks you're a counterfeiter. You face not only the debt of the original check, the loss of the sent back "over paid" money, the loss of the item (if you've sent it), but you also face criminal charges if you can't cough up the original amount in a couple weeks.

Yes the bank knows about the scam.
No, they don't believe you - they think you're in on it.

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (3, Interesting)

RincewindTVD (1011435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482791)

I thought cashier's cheques were guaranteed by the originating bank?
Last time I made one they took the money out of my account, then handed me the cheque. I no longer had the money, I had a note guaranteed by the bank. I could hand this to someone else and they would get the money from the bank, not from me.

Does anyone know if NZ banks have this issue?

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (1)

pz (113803) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482217)

The most common scam on Craigslist I've seen is that someone responds to a for-sale listing with a request to ship the item because they are indisposed in another country / on business / on assignment, and want to buy the item for their sister / nephew / cousin, and they will send you a substantial extra amount of money for your trouble to ship the item, if you give them your PayPal information.

I get these scam offers at least once for every item posted.

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (2, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482563)

You're selling an item for $1,000. Someone wanting to buy it sends you $2,000. They say "Oops!" could you send me the balance back to me via Western Union and I'll pick up the item later. You do so. Their original $2,000 check bounces and they have your $1,000. You're out $3,000 and YOU OWE IT, baby! I hate to question your math, but it seems to me like you're out $1000 if you haven't shipped the item yet, or $2000 if you have shipped it.

Re:Craigslist has a HUGE amount of scams. (4, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482621)

The problem that I have with craigslist is that they're refusing to scale their staff and procedures in accordance with their popularity. In some categories, the spam/scam level is as high as 90% so clearly whatever they've been doing for the last few years isn't working. If you're a legitimate user whose IP has been marked on their system as suspicious and try to post an ad, they tell you to jump through a bunch of hoops (including creating an account, verifying the account, etc) that lead absolutely nowhere. They have no technical support and do not respond to emails.

I like the idea of craigslist, but I fear that the site is going to collapse under the weight of its own success unless they start engineering some practical, scalable solutions to the problems of spammers, scammers, as well as legitimate users.

shi7? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27481487)

Premiere place for (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481543)

Hookers and blow!

It's Ebay from... (2, Insightful)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481555)

the year 2000. Everybody had to be on it. It will explode into this huge mass, consuming everything, for the next 5-6 years. It will be bought for over $2 billion(USD). It will turn to crap shortly there after, and by 2016, a new online overlord will rise from the IPv6 pit of doom to consume the next generation of online users.

It just doesn't add up... (1)

burris (122191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481675)

Something is very fishy about all these Craigslist success stories. Everyone knows you can't have a successful web site without lots of blinking flash ads staring you right in the face. I mean, look at Craigslist, it hasn't even had a bit of Search Engine Optimization added. Just think about how much more money they could be making if they replaced every <a> tag with a Javascript function.

quote (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481727)

A CEO's quote upon firing one of the salesmen:

"It takes no particular talent to sell a dollar for fifty cents."

When craigslist starts charging for all of its ads, not just a handful, then its high rankings will impress me.

Missed Connections (4, Funny)

qpawn (1507885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481769)

Where else can I tell that short, brunette woman in the purple shirt who barely made eye contact with me in the bookstore that I would like to see her again?

Hooray (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27481925)

I'm happy for Craigslist to destroy the newspaper industry (at least in the English speaking world), so long as it takes Rupert Murdoch and his empire with it.

Newspapers still do not get it (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482067)

Newspapers want lots and lots of money. Who doesn't? But, newspapers want you to re-arrange your life in order to try and post online (register for an account, go through 10 screens to try and post something, talk to a representative, etc) and charge you for the privilege. They will charge you even more if you want it in newsprint. Craigslist on the other hand is easy, does not fight the user, and is not greedy. Craigslist makes lots and lots of money. News at 11.

Re:Newspapers still do not get it (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482629)

That's true for all industries. Some will charge you a lot because they only got a few customers and want to get their return on investment by the time the next quarter turns around. They usually grow very quickly, gain investment capital, get some customers and then disappear. Why: because there are few customers that can afford their services and they can't afford to lose a customer. If they do (either because they make a mistake and the customers leave or other alternatives are cheaper), it's usually the beginning of a death sentence.

Then there are the small companies that charge pennies for the same service (or even free). They gain money using alternative income (support contracts, ads, enterprise versions or 'featured' items) and use that to support their free services. They have bunches of (loyal) customers and can afford to lose a few.

This was true in the beginning of Microsoft where they sold DOS for $2-5 compared to IBM's solutions which were over $50 for their PC-DOS if I remember correctly. Over time Microsoft started increasing their prices and now they are ~$600 retail for their full OS while their competitors (Linux, Apple) come between free-$150. All Apple and the Linux vendors have to do (although it's more difficult for Linux vendors to increase prices because of the competition) is maintain their prices and don't make the same mistakes.

Re:Newspapers still do not get it (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482909)

Newspaper classifieds are a feature to attract readers, not a profit center.

My regional newspaper makes maybe 1.5-2 million/year on classifieds. After the cost of the newsprint, facilities, office space, and the dozen or so employees, they'd barely break even if the paper considered them as anything other than a means to increase readership.

They've decided to focus on local features and metro area online forums. They'd probably be happy if craiglist took their lunch, it'd give them the excuse to can the union workers hiding out in that dept.

Not exactly true (2, Informative)

Percy_Blakeney (542178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482445)

I think this report is misleading. It should be titled "97 of top 100 pure-play classifieds sites are craigslist".

Hitwise assigns every web site to a single category, like "classifieds" or "news". If your site spans multiple categories, then you have to choose the one that defines you best. Since many traditional classifieds providers are also large news sites, you'll find that there are a lot of major sites that are missing from this list of "classifieds" sites.

I'm not saying that craigslist isn't the powerhouse of online classifieds, but to simply ignore a wide range of classifieds providers because they also provide news is kind of silly.

Useless for apt rentals (1)

ShawnDoc (572959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482543)

I tried using the local Craigslist to look for apartment rentals. However the results were probably 1 real post for every 5 or 6 fake posts. Most were pointing you to another website that requires a membership fee, pointing you towards a housing broker, or flat out scam to get personal information.

and not once (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482561)

in 75 comments and 2 linked articles do we learn the other 3 sites :(

in fact it seems only 1 person asked

Newspapers only have themselves to blame (2, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482593)

Rather than making themselves community sites to attract the eyeballs that would generate revenue, so many online sites treat the internet like a cash register. On-line advertisements should have been as dirt cheap (or free) as Craigslist since printing costs don't warrant what most charge for on-line ads.

Also, so many on-line newspapers haven't figured out how to create a good front page. Check out my home paper's site [kcstar.com] . You're bombarded by so much data and links that you simply can't take in everything you're seeing (thus you ignore most of it).

Newspapers just failed to figure out the internet which is why so many are disappearing.

Ebay? (0, Redundant)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482625)

Sure Craigslist might be big when it comes to ... 'traditionally styled classified ads on the internet'. But classified ads are just a means to sell your crap. I'm sure the amount of crap sold on Ebay is taking a huge slice of that pie, a slice bigger than Craigslist. Amazing that this slipped by...

Functionality is Job One (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27482903)

the site's market share in February was up 90% year over year, accounting for about 2.5% of total US Web site visits.

It's amazing what you can do when you put functionality ahead of everything -- design, cashflow, tracking -- everything on Craig's List is second to plain functionality.

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