SEO Wars: Craigslist vs. Backpage


When looking for links that matter, that is links that get traction and pass-through value, it is important to know where you are posting and how that site:

  • Allows search engines to  index pages
  • Allows search engines to follow links
  • If it passes PR value how much is it passing
  • Relates to your topic

Craigslist's robots.text file

A few years ago I created a site called where I invited 25 real estate bloggers to participate. It literally took 3 months to get to a PR3 which, to me, was absolutely amazing. In fact we saw search results in the 100’s in the first 90 days. Call it a lucky storm if you want but in reality it was because so many PR4 and PR5 sites were linked to “The24: America’s 24 Chosen Real Estate Bloggers” and they were linking outbound with good content. There was no Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn back then. The moral is there were high PR links pointing to The24. (It was downed for two reasons one of which included repeated hack attacks and denial of service attacks and I was too busy to fight it, unfortunately.)

When planning your strategy to build Page Rank you should treat it differently than when you are going for links on clean sites (non-blackhat) and when you’re going for community relevant content. Click links from organic search depend on search engine placement which comes from multiple factors including PR and search relevance. Click-throughs from referring pages depend on neither search relevance nor Page Rank but they do depend on traffic and topic relevance. So, let’s look at two online ad sites which both have a high volume of traffic and how they interact with the search engine robots.

First is Craigslist

If you have not heard of Craigslist welcome to Earth. Craigslist is an online ad site created in 1995 just for San Francisco. It has since gone global and now boasts a whopping 64,000,000 monthly unique visitors, 80,000,000 pages indexed, 113,000,000 backlinks and a PR of 7. Those are some powerful numbers and some everyone in SEO and online marketing would like to take advantage of. The pass-through value alone could be enormous but aside from that capturing even a fraction of a percentage of that monthly traffic is huge, too. Thus the battle.

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  • Raj

    Depending on directories for leads and traffic instead of the links is actually a good idea. Links were supposed to provide these things initially but now they are being misused to a high degree. 

  • VegasPartyPlanner

    I have recently posted to Backpage the following url Las Vegas VIP Services and it now allows URLS and does index the page as well as it is ranking in google.