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Network NewsPrevent Your Ads from Vanishing on Craigslist

Have you noticed that sometimes your Craigslist ads get traffic and then other times, no traffic at all? This is because you were "ghosted" and your ads never really showed up.

When you create your ad and click post, to make your ad go "live" you are not aware and are given no indication that your ad is going to be ghosted. You go through the normal posting process like you would for posting any ad. In fact you are given an URL as if it did go live, but it never shows up on the main page of Craigslist.

The problem is, under certain circumstances the staff at Craigslist and/or the algorithm they have created, decides that there is something wrong with your post and your post will never go really live. There is a back room - or an underground Craigslist - where all these ghosted posts go where no one will see them.

There could be a number of things wrong that are not always obvious. In fact, many times the issues are so insignificant you would not even think there should be a problem. The rule also may seem to be applied at random rather than in a fair and transparent manner.

Below are a few general rules to help prevent your ads from being ghosted:

  • Do not post more often than once a week. 
  • Do not use the same wording in your ads. Get a thesaurus and learn how to say the same thing multiple ways. If they catch the same phrases being used too many times, you are considered a spammer. 
  • Do not use HTML codes in your posts. Linking to outside websites will make you a target for ghosting. 
  • Limit your images to only a few pictures and use approved file hosting sites. 
  • Be prepared to have to create multiple accounts and have multiple emails. Multiple emails, phone numbers, accounts, etc. can be a valuable solution. You can also use web redirects and proxies at your discretion.

E. Ashley Clark is general manager at Prometheus Real Estate Group and serves on the CAA Tri-County Rental Housing Roundtable. For more information, please contact E. Ashley Clark via email at

Property Management Associates, Inc
HD Supply
Naylor, LLC
California Apartment Association
980 Ninth Street, Suite 200 | Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 800.967.4222 | Fax: 877.999.7881
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