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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Classifieds Bigger But Not Better

The number of people visiting Craigslist nearly doubled in the last year, pushing the organization past Trader Publishing Company as king of all classifieds, according to a new study by comScore Media Metrix.

The data showed that the number of overall unique users to classifieds sites grew 47 percent between July 2005 and 2006. An omission from the list is eBay, which according to this article had more unique users than comScore's entire classifieds category. Even though eBay has auctions and stores, it basically serves the same function as classifieds and should be mentioned.

But classifieds could get even bigger if they made better use of RSS, like Amazon and eBay are already doing. Classified listings that meet specific criteria could be run as ads like a contextual ad network. For example, bloggers talking about Mustangs could run classifieds with the latest cars for sale. Ad On Q is doing something like this, but it doesn't appear to be real-time postings. Or, if classifieds publishers offered feeds, users could look for keywords within the RSS stream to find the product.

Perhaps classifieds companies don't want to risk the loss in ad revenue if people can find what they want more quickly, but that would be doing there readers a disservice.

By John Gartner at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

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