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How to Stop Getting Flagged on Craigslist – Small Business …
Top 5 Rules to Keep Your Craigslist Ad from Getting Ghosted or Flagged
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
Frequently Asked Questions about how to stop craigslist flagging
Why do I keep getting flagged on Craigslist?
Ads are often flagged because they fail to meet Craigslist’s Terms of Service and other guidelines. … Ads offering prohibited items, such as weapons, alcohol, tobacco, drugs or hazardous materials are also flagged. Additionally, Craigslist requires that you post in the correct category.
Who keeps flagging my post on Craigslist?
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.Nov 4, 2014
Does flagging on Craigslist do anything?
A Craigslist flag marks Craigslist advertising as inappropriate, and if enough people flag the ad, it will be automatically removed. You can also contact Craigslist about inappropriate content – or recommend posts for Best of Craigslist, a kind of Craigslist Hall of Fame.