Ghosting on Craigslist

Article Details
URL: /help/tickets/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=15
Article ID: 15
Created On: 08 Mar 2010 9:05 PM

Answer There may be a number of reasons for ghosting.
First of all, you need to understand that there is no one single reason that causes ghosting problems.
Craigslist filters work in such a way that they account for multiple criteria and add up those.
When the sum has reached certain threshold - they will ghost your ad(s).
Therefore, you will need to check for multiple things to determine the reason for ghosting.

First of all, please refine/change your content - that is the most probable cause of your ads getting ghosted.
In some sections on Craisglist, you will get ghosted when using image links or hyperlinks, sometimes Craigslist will ghost ads with certain keywords. Most oftenly, you will get ghosted because of overposting similar or identical content. CLAD Genius has lots of features to randomize your content (tokens, mutations, random words, hidden text, character substitution, image resizing etc.), please make use of those. 

If you were able to post fine, with over 60% success rate, and at some point Craigslist suddently started to ghost 100% of your ads and you did not change anything, then, most probably Craigslist has added some keywords from your contents to their black list. Most oftenly, this happens with domain names. For instance, if you have direct links to your website in your ads, Craigslist may add your domain name to the black list, which may cause ghosting. In this case, you need to use URL shorteners like (the service will not work on Craigslist, because it is banned too. We are citing tinyurl here as an example, so that you can search for similar services on the internet, there are plenty of them), or you can set up your own URL shortening script (search for $spinurl in our FAQ)

If you use ready-made templates (especially when posting to real estate sections, but this also may be applicable to other sections), please read this paragraph very carefully. Craigslist filters are tuned to let the template-based ads through, but they are also tuned to ghost template-based ads that undergone template modification. So for instance, if you usually use template generator like or similar when posting your ads manually, your ads will go live and will stick. But if you try to edit the generated HTML in any of the HTML editors and then post the resulting ad - Craigslist will ghost it. Now the most important part: If you paste your template based ad in CLAD and then try to post that ad with CLAD, it will be ghosted with the probability of 90%. Why? Because CLAD will modify the underlying HTML of the template, unless you set it up to avoid HTML modifications. So, for template-based ads you need to check the following:

The next thing to check is geo-correspondence. Ideally, the following things must match:

If all of the above match, you may be sure that your ghosting issues are not related to Geo-IP filters.

Next thing is the quality of your IPs. If you use the same IP address to post 30+ ads every day, that can be the reason for ghosting. Even if you use your IP to post only one ad per month, you still cannot be sure that IP is not an issue, because someone else may share your IP and abuse it (that is possible under some network topologies). To check whether your IP is the issue, try use different IP pool from different provider

Next is account usage. Make sure you do not abuse your CL account/PVA by posting many ads frequently. The safest is to have 1 post per account per 48 hours. When you feel confident with that, you can experiment with different settings, for instance 2 ads per 24 hours per account

Next is your browser. If you use Internet explorer in CLAD, try switching to Firefox plugin downloadable from our site, if you use Firefox plugin already - try to switch to Internet explorer

The last thing is CLAD Genius settings. The safest is to use default settings in CLAD - they should not cause any problems. However, if you have already changed your settings and not sure if that affected ghosting, try this:

Also there may be some exotic mis-configurations that we have encountered when examining customers' setups, such as:

Also please understand that we do not provide services to determine what is the reason for ads getting ghosted in your particular case. We have tested the software many times and we are quite sure that there is nothing in the software itself that may cause ghosting. It is your posting technique that is most probable cause of ghosting. You can verify that by trying to post you ads manually.