Craigslist Personal Ad Keeps Getting Flagged
Top 5 Rules to Keep Your Craigslist Ad from Getting Ghosted …
Sr. Vice President of Sales at
Published Nov 4, 2014
(What we learned from 321, 021 Craigslist ads)
If your properties regularly advertise their vacancies on Craigslist, they have likely experienced having their postings ghosted or flagged. Having a post ghosted or flagged means that either a user of the site has clicked the ‘prohibited’ flag at the top of your post or that the Craigslist bots have removed your post due to exceeding a threshold in one of their algorithms. These activities are in place as an attempt to rein in the scammers and spammers on Craigslist, but oftentimes legitimate businesses get caught in the web.
Here are a few simple rules to follow when posting to avoid user flagging and/or algorithmic ghosting, presented in order of severity:
1) Don’t post in more than one city from the same email/account
Why? Because Craigslist promotes local connections and a common practice of spammers is posting in multiple cities from a single central location.
What to do. If your email account in Craigslist is and you post in Atlanta, then you should only ever post in Atlanta. Avoid posting in any other city with that same email account. If you must post in another city, use a different email account like
2) Don’t post identical content
Why? Having ads with identical content on Craigslist can get those ads ghosted or flagged because Craigslist forbids posting the same thing more than once.
What to do. Vary your ad content with each post. Alter the titles, the order of the images uploaded, and the body copy every time you post an ad.
3) Don’t post back-to-back ads
Why? A craigslist search results page that contains many ads with similar content and the same contact information looks “spammy. ” Technically, Craigslist even forbids having two ads in the same category, even if you are legitimately selling two different things.
What to do. Allow some time to pass between ad postings. Exactly how much time depends on the individual market. Each market has varying volumes of ad postings. With very active markets, you need only wait a half hour to an hour between postings, other less active markets, you will need to limit your postings to one or two per day. The idea is to let other ads come onto the site as a buffer between your ads.
4) Don’t use “spammy” words
Why? Craigslist is on the lookout for words and phrases routinely used by scammers and spammers. Once again, legitimate businesses can get caught in this search.
What to do. Avoid using words and phrases that tend to be used by spammers such as “free” or “credit card” or “weight loss. ” Avoid using ALL-CAPS in your titles. Also, avoid filling your ad with keywords unless those keywords are included in legitimate sentences and phrases. Finally, ensure that your ads have obvious telephone contact information. People in the Craigslist forums regularly admit that they flag ads simply because they can’t find the contact information.
5) Don’t look too commercial
Why? The Craigslist user community frequents the site because of the “free marketplace” feel of it. Corporations posting using traditional branding messaging do not do as well in this environment.
What to do. Avoid HTML tagging, like bolding and underlining. Avoid posting an excess of photos. Vary the content so the ads do not look too “templated. ”
While the rules of the game are constantly being re-written, if you follow these 5 rules you are much less likely to have your posts ghosted or flagged. Here at Rooof, we have developed a posting tool that incorporates all of the 5 rules in a single browser extension that creates Craigslist ads automatically by pulling data and images directly from your website. There is no need to rely on your already busy on-site leasing staff to create effective Craigslist ads. Let our software do all the work for you. For more information, please email me at
6 Ways to Avoid Ghosting on Craigslist – Knock CRM
5 Strategies to Prevent Getting Flagged on Craigslist
The Costs & Benefits of Craigslist Advertising
There’s no question that car dealers see huge benefits from advertising their inventory on Craigslist. Dealers who post their new and used cars on Craigslist can successfully drive direct traffic to their website and gain leads from telephone calls and online contact forms. But Craigslist marketing can also cost you: dealers have to find time to manually post their cars and optimize how regularly they re-post. Preventing listings from getting flagged is another major problem for many managers, and it becomes costly for dealerships to repost ads on a daily basis. On top of getting your posts flagged and removed by random Craigslist users, you also have to be wary of competitors who may use black hat tactics like a program to automatically flag Craigslist posts. To avoid having your Craigslist posts flagged, follow these best practice strategies.
Strategy #1: Spread Out Your Craigslist Posting Over Several Days
Depending on your target area, every one of your posts stays live between 7-45 days. For dealerships with a large inventory of cars, it’s best to set up a schedule to spread out your Craigslist posting over several days. This practice regulates the frequency of posting, and prevents flooding Craigslist with your posts, which is often the key reason why listings are flagged for removal or “ghosted”. When a post is ghosted, it means Craigslist receives the listing but does not post it live on the website. A post can also get flagged or ghosted if you list a car that already has a live ad, so it’s best to keep track of your vehicles over a period of time before you post it.
Strategy #2: Post Less Than Your Full Inventory
If you’re trying to post your entire inventory on Craigslist, then your posts will most likely get flagged. Smaller car dealers can get away with listing their entire inventory on Craigslist if they have anywhere between 20 to 100 cars and distribute their posts across different areas and over several days. Larger auto dealers using Craigslist will need to patiently post a fraction of their full inventory during each period, and list a maximum of 80% of their used inventory.
Strategy #3: Use Multiple Unique IP Addresses
Craigslist automatically monitors the IP addresses of where posts originate, so if they notice that too many posts are coming from the same IP, then those listings will get flagged for removal. Craigslist does this to prevent one person from spamming their site with too many ads at once. Many car dealers at single locations only have one IP address to work with, so using the same IP address to post on Craigslist is often the cause of flagged posts. To aggressively advertise on Craigslist, you will need use multiple unique IP addresses. You can do this manually, or make use of an automated Craigslist posting service to do it for you.
Strategy #4: Post At Random Times and Strategize for High Traffic Days
Aggressive competitors from the same area may try to use an automated Craigslist flagging program to have your listings taken down. But to use these programs, they’ll have to find and insert the specific URL of the listing into the program. When you post early in the morning or late at night, you make it more difficult for people to directly target your posts. You can post at random times before high traffic days like Friday, Saturday and Sundays to avoid getting flagged by competitors. This also helps you target the days when many customers are on Craigslist searching for cars.
Strategy #5: Use Non-Identifiable Text and Vary Your URLs
The only way an automatic flagging program works is if it has your Craigslist post URL. Others can find your Craigslist posts by doing direct searches for your dealership’s name in the body of your listings. If you include your dealership’s name in either a URL or text-based content within your posts, then those listings have a chance of getting targeted by anyone trying to flag your posts. Instead, use image-based templates that include your dealership name, phone number, and location. Car buyers searching for specific car models can still see everything in your ad, but make it harder for anyone specifically trying to search for your dealership.
The Complete Solution: Using an Automated Craigslist Posting Service
These five strategies can dramatically decrease how often your Craigslist posts are flagged. The longer your listings stay live, the less time you spend posting each and every car in your inventory. Auto dealers that have a large inventory will naturally see higher costs to listing their cars on Craigslist, because it takes more time to deploy these strategies to make sure your posts stay online. For this reason, many large dealerships have chosen to pay for Craigslist posting services. The best Craigslist posting services are systems that help make sure most of your inventory is posted without getting removed or ghosted. Larger dealers who want to optimize selling cars on Craigslist often find that these distribution services are more cost-effective compared to manually listing and monitoring posts one car at a time.
Autofusion only posts on Craigslist for car dealerships.
Frequently Asked Questions about craigslist personal ad keeps getting flagged
How do I stop getting flagged on Craigslist?
Follow these 6 suggestions to avoid your craigslist posts being flagged.Don’t post the same/similar unit more than once per 48 hours. … Don’t post repetitive content. … Don’t promote your community, instead promote your unit. … Don’t use spammy or salesy words. … Don’t leave out key information. … Don’t over-stylize your ads.
Why does my Craigslist keep getting flagged?
Craigslist automatically monitors the IP addresses of where posts originate, so if they notice that too many posts are coming from the same IP, then those listings will get flagged for removal. Craigslist does this to prevent one person from spamming their site with too many ads at once.
How do I post a personal ad on Craigslist without getting flagged?
One of the best tips on how to post Craigslist Ads without getting flagged is to avoid overposting using the same account within 48 hours. As emphasized previously, Craigslist tends to flag users that spam the website with the same ads repeatedly.Jul 15, 2021