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Craigslist Changes: Bad News for Internet Marketers

In the last few days, Craigslist have been making life for Internet marketers very tough, first they have started stripping out IMG, FONT, TABLE, DIV, and SPAN tags, which means no more tracking of posts as the only way to track Craigslist post views is by inserting an image into the post.

The loss of tracking information is annoying but not disastrous for most Internet marketers and having to upload your photos to Craigslist isn’t an issue either, many have been using Craigslist’s image uploader for some time. But a lot of apartment community staff use Craigslist post creators on websites such as Rentlinx.com and Rentping.com which embed the property images in the Craigslist posting body, this method will no longer work with the latest Craigslist changes.

The changes also mean that formatting using;

<font face="Arial" size="4">Some Text</font>

is not possible but there is an alternative;

<p style="font-family:Arial; font-size:16pt;">Some Text</p>

which works as I write this; but that could change in the future.

The biggest change is the removal of hyperlinking, despite no mention of it, support for;

<a href="http://www.yourwebsite.com">LINK TEXT</a>

has been removed along with the previously mentioned HTML tags. Yesterday; writing the web address as you would in a browser, e.g. “http://www.yourwebsite.com” would automatically be turned into an hyperlink, but today that functionality has been removed. User’s no longer have the ability to click a link, they now have to highlight the URL and copy & paste into their browser.

I’m really failing to understand Craigslist’s logic in making these changes. It makes the user experience worse, not being able to click through to websites for more information about the property or additional tours or photos. I can understand removing images from the posting body to make a more consistent look and feel, but the hyper link removal baffles me completely.

Update [Nov, 8 2013, 18:44]: So today Craigslist has been playing silly beggars; this morning link parsing still didn’t work; yet come 3pm link parsing suddenly worked, but coming upto 7pm, link parsing is disabled once more. Sort it out Craigslist before posters decide to stop posting altogether, let’s face it; a large majority of posts are on behalf of a property management company and their IT people will look elsewhere to generate leads, I have personally wasted a day chasing my tail tying to keep up with the changes, but no more, I have better things to do!

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