For a very long time now, Craigslist has topped the charts when it comes to online classifieds advertising networks. It is no surprise that the website is still on top in this category, but what might be a bit of a surprise to some is that Backpage (Craigslist competitor-in-chief, if you will) is on the fast track to one day leapfrog Craigslist as the top online classifieds network. How long, you ask, may it take for this to occur? Not too long at all. I predict, by 2015 Backpage will be ranked higher in the Alexa Top 500 Global than Craigslist. It's five years from now I realize, but this is still a bold statement, since at the present time Craigslist is in the top 50 and Backpage has not even cracked the top 1000 list. Backpage must climb 1000 spots just to catch up to Craigslist!
Here is the reasoning behind my semi-ludicrous thinking. Craigslist has evolved into a haven for scam artists, prostitutes, frauds, money launders, criminals, and even murderers. This is not pure speculation on my part, it has been well documented and covered by all the major media outlets around the globe. This negative publicity for Craigslist has led to a frenzy of new rules and regulations, put in place by the site's administrators. These ultra-strict crackdowns are beginning to alienate members of the large online community, especially those posting the ads. In fact, many of Craigslist's most loyal advertisers are bolting in favor of the up and coming online classifieds network, Backpage.
Backpage is strict as well, but seemingly only when necessary. If a stalker is suspected of prowling Backpage in search of potential victims, and the admins of the site get wind of it, obviously they are going to intervene and take action. The attractive nature of Backpage stems from the fact that it isn't overloaded with cut-throats who use automated software programs to "flag" their competitors ads by the thousands. Believe it or not, this is one of Craigslist's biggest drawbacks currently. The worst part of this debacle is that the Craigslist brass is well aware of the tactic, but they refuse to do anything about it because they feel that the community as a whole don't want the ads posted in the first place. They see the automated flagging bots as a good thing, if you can believe that one!
These days it seems that Craigslist is nothing but a hassle for sellers and marketers. If you post an ad which has a fair amount of competition, chances are your add is going to be flagged and removed for absolutely no reason whatsoever. If you do manage to get your ad to stick for any length of time, don't be surprised if it gets ignored. The site has become such a firestorm for controversy and skepticism, practically each and every ad posted on the site is now being dissected and over-analyzed by the community. More and more legitimate, upstanding ads are being wrongly deemed "scams" just because the community is so cynical these days. Think about this, many of the cynics have probably been scammed at least once on Craigslist. They aren't about to let it happen again.
Do yourself a favor. If you use Craigslist for internet marketing, wholesaling, affiliate marketing, trading, buying/selling, or whatever, give Backpage a whirl some time. You might be surprised just how refreshing it is to not have to keep checking your account for fear that your ad has been deleted or flagged. Hey, you might even jump ship like many other Craigslist faithful have. After all, even the mightiest fall, especially when they don't heed the red flags waving right in front of their noses.