Ghosting on Craigslist

Ghosting: You Thought You Posted on Craigslist?

What is ghosting? You may think you have posted a vehicle successfully to Craigslist but you may not be able to find it when you search for it. Most probably your ad is "ghosted" by Craigslist. This is something they do when they think your post is repetitous or SPAM-like. This is a major problem.

How do they do it? Is some employee looking at new posts? Checking which one is SPAM? No. Craigslist has only about a dozen employees. They do not have time for it. It is a completely automated system. When you post, the system performs an analysis to determine if it should be ghosted. Pretty much every post has something like a "Ghosting Score". When it goes beyond a certain threshold your post is ghosted.

How does the ghosting score get calculated? Nobody knows. If they were to reject it out right (sometimes they do that too) it would be easier to find out the formula for it. We do know roughly what factors are considered for this score. In fact this entire website is about these factors. So, read the section about how dealers post to get past this problem.

How do you know you are ghosted? You can search for your post. It should usually appear after 15 minutes in search results. One thing to note, you should be careful with your search. Craigslist searches can be weird at times. They may not display the results you would expect. You may not find your post with a search but your post may not have been ghosted. Search for a few different keywords that appear in the title. One keyword usually works best. If after 15 minutes and no search results with a few obvious keywords you still cannot find your post, it is time to accept the sad fact.

If you track your views (like with Carsinia posts) and nobody viewed your ad after an hour, it is most probably ghosted. In fact this is the criteria we use to show our users whether a post is ghosted or not. As soon as a post is viewed from Craigslist by more than 2 different IP addresses, we conclude that it is active. Otherwise it is shown as Ghosted.

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