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Monday, January 14, 2008

MARKETING: Craigslist SEO

SEO is "Search Engine Optimization," and Craigslist is the quirky, uniquely Netty classifieds service. It reaches gazillions of people every 0.5 seconds and has a Google PageRank of like 1 or 2 so all the marketing gurus are freaking out about how to use it all the time. I've run across a number of blog posts claiming sneaky ways to get on it so your PageRank will explode and you'll become rich and sexy. Some guys even sell eBooks about how to do it.

But it doesn't want to be used for marketing. It's a free-for-all, but the people there have an idea of what it should be. They hate spammers, hate it when people try to screw with the system, and like it when it's just real people connecting with other real people to give away a musty couch or a lava lamp. It's not like getting 20 seconds free on ESPN.

Don't believe me? Browse the Best of Craigslist for ads selected by the users. My favorite? The one that summed it all up.

So, even though the SEO gurus say Craigslist is where it's at, think twice before diving in there. It's too much like showing up at a circus in admiralwear.

As a bonus, check this out, from the New York Times:

Craigslist Meets the Capitalists

If Craig has a cat, I bet it's not monetized at all!

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