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How did Craigslist Succeed

Discussion in 'General Business' started by nileshmishra, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. #1
    I have been doing SEO for quite some time now and believe me I still don't understand what Search Engines need.

    At Various Instances, I have learnt the following points.

    1. Content is King
    2. Search Engines do not like pages with only links.

    I was skimming through one of the very successful site, craigslist.com this morning and I am more than surprised to see the aforementioned points fall truly wrong with respect to this site.

    Ok. Lets see the first point "Content is King"

    I got into the site and to my surprise, there was hardly anything i found that i could consider as content. Where is the Content and still it ranks 24th in Alexa and could easily assume that most of its hits should be from search engines as it is a claissifieds site (unlike "twitter" ) which people hit directly.
    So what could we conclude if no content on the homepage is ok or not.

    Next, Search Engines do not like pages with only links.

    If you have had a chance to hit the homepage of the craigslist, you'd realise there is no single word or text which is not a link.
    SEMrush
    Now craigslist is just one example of the hundreds of successful site and the afore mentioned two factors are just few of the many conditions of the search engines which keeps us confused always.

    It is not that I don't believe that content is not important. Content is certainly most important but it just keeps me wondering when i find these sites with no content ranking well. How? There should be something in them but What? Lets discuss. Lets drag all our experiences together and see what really works.
     
    nileshmishra, Jul 25, 2009 IP
    SEMrush
  2. James_P

    James_P Peon

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    #2
    Craigslist has plenty of content. "Content" does not have to be written by the site's owner. If that were the case, forums bear no content either. Craiglist is, for all intensive purposes, 100% content.

    SEs have nothing against pages that are 100% internal links. What's important is a good link structure. Furthermore, I think you may be confusing what people mean when they say Google doesn't like pages that are 100% links. This is merely intended when sites have mostly poor quality OBLs (i.e. they link to poor quality sites) - of course, Craigslist does not do any of this.

    The reason the site is so successful is 1. because it is easy to use, 2. because it is an original idea (at the time) and 3. it's an old, established site.
     
    James_P, Jul 25, 2009 IP
  3. wayner

    wayner Peon

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    #3
    They started in the mid 90's in the Firsco area, they succeded because they were first and people had little other choice at the time, so they expanded and the rest is history.

    Check wiki for more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craigslist
     
    wayner, Jul 25, 2009 IP
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  4. motherknucker

    motherknucker Guest

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    #4
    Content is King even if you are sharing valuable links only
     
    motherknucker, Jul 25, 2009 IP
  5. dhaybach

    dhaybach Peon

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    #5
    SEO has nothing to do with craigslist being successful. It's just that every american knows about it.
    And besides, Craigslist has been around longer than google.
     
    dhaybach, Jul 25, 2009 IP
  6. eric_wahlberg

    eric_wahlberg Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Simple, sell something unique and provide good service .

    Just like google, alibaba,twitter etc.

    Once you have a market and popularity, you do not need search engine anymore.
     
    eric_wahlberg, Jul 25, 2009 IP
  7. Professional Dude

    Professional Dude Prominent Member

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    #7
    They have content, backlinks from authority sites, this is the reason they succeeded.
     
    Professional Dude, Jul 25, 2009 IP
  8. banana8

    banana8 Active Member

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    #8
    i believe that CL success is because of 3 reasons:
    1. it is almost 100% text
    2. it is very well organized
    3. it attracts gazillions of people for the adult sections it has
     
    banana8, Jul 25, 2009 IP
  9. pctec

    pctec Well-Known Member

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    #9
    Its free and it helps people sell their crap... why wouldn't it be popular?

    :)
     
    pctec, Jul 25, 2009 IP
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  10. Gazzerman

    Gazzerman Active Member

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    #10
    Despite the fact that its a good service from an SEO poin of view it breaks one big rule of Googles. It has about 100 domains all linking to each other that have been around for a while, this helped to drive serps to get the business moving to begin with. I hate the fact there is an exception to the rule and they get away with it.

    Alo they have content updated on a regular basis which is key.
     
    Gazzerman, Jul 25, 2009 IP
  11. NewTVLinks.com

    NewTVLinks.com Guest

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    #11
    Craigslist was one of the first ones to create a classifieds website.

    This is why they have the traffic that they have now.
     
    NewTVLinks.com, Jul 25, 2009 IP
  12. FreebieJeebies.org

    FreebieJeebies.org Peon

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    #12
    I understand about the traffic, but I don't think the original question has been answered. Could it be the high frequency of new content that google loves?
     
    FreebieJeebies.org, Jul 25, 2009 IP
  13. ClassifiedsByZip

    ClassifiedsByZip Member

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    #13
    Craigslist is successful for three simple reasons:

    1. Most importantly it was the first on the block.
    2. For the most part the ads are free.
    3. It provided adult ads, which spread like wildfire
     
    ClassifiedsByZip, Jul 25, 2009 IP
  14. JeddahBikers

    JeddahBikers Guest

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    #14
    Yes the adult part is making good traffic
     
    JeddahBikers, Jul 26, 2009 IP
  15. indyguidedotinfo

    indyguidedotinfo Notable Member

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    #15
    most of their traffic is probably direct and not even from search engines. people want to buy stuff local and cheap, unlike ebay where you have to win the bid
     
    indyguidedotinfo, Jul 26, 2009 IP
  16. rhewitt

    rhewitt Member

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    #16
    My understanding is that craigslist has been around for a while. Probably before the boom.
     
    rhewitt, Jul 26, 2009 IP
  17. James_P

    James_P Peon

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    #17
    They're subdomains...which has never been suggested to be against any sort of "rule"... much in the same way as separating everything into SE-friendly folders is not a violation of any such rule.
     
    James_P, Jul 26, 2009 IP
  18. mentos

    mentos Prominent Member

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    #18
    Actually alexa ranking is not based on content.
    The ranking is based on traffic.
    So,if your site receive many traffic but no content,then your site also have low alexa ranking.
     
    mentos, Jul 26, 2009 IP
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  19. zephyr1977

    zephyr1977 Peon

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    #19
    If you're wondering why they're successful it's a pretty easy answer. They were the first major classifieds site, they're very well known, and for the average person it's completely free. They've been around since pretty much the beginning of the internet "explosion" into the home. They don't rely on traffic from search engines but people going direct to their site. If you search for an item you want in google, more than likely there won't be a craigslist add anywhere near the top. If you're asking why it has such a high (or successful as you said) page rank? I couldn't really answer that as I'm not an SEO person, but I would think a large part of it is due to the fact it's an old and well established site.
     
    zephyr1977, Jul 27, 2009 IP
  20. Gazzerman

    Gazzerman Active Member

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    #20
    INCORRECT. - and this must be looked into properly

    A quick sample just from the homepage.

    http://24hoursoncraigslist.com
    http://craigslistfoundation.org/
    http://territories.craigslist.ca/
    http://calgary.craigslist.ca/
    http://athens.craigslist.gr/
    http://bangalore.craigslist.co.in/
    http://beijing.craigslist.com.cn/
    http://london.craigslist.co.uk/
    http://madrid.craigslist.es/
    http://manila.craigslist.com.ph/
    http://melbourne.craigslist.com.au/
    http://mexicocity.craigslist.com.mx/
    http://shanghai.craigslist.com.tw/
    http://tokyo.craigslist.jp/
    http://zurich.craigslist.ch/

    Each sites homepage and more interlinks back to the homepage http://www.craigslist.org without no follows.

    I feel I am within my right to sue google for double standards! It is favoritism if this is allowed and I am not? btw.. I love the craigslist service, but I should be able to do something similar right and not get penalized?
     
    Gazzerman, Jul 28, 2009 IP