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"Effective Online Advertising"
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June 17, 1998 Digest #363

"Online classified ad software"
~ Rod Aries
Subject: Re: Online Classifieds

Concerning the on-going debate about Online Classifieds: This is just another example of how fast the net evolves and how people write software to solve a problem...

Trevor Johnson wrote,
... posting an ad to only about 35 Classified Ad Sites brought no noticeable rise in visits to my site, but significantly raised the level of spam received. If you *MUST* experiment with Classified Ads, only provide a URL - not an email address for contact.

Trevor, what I have been doing is both creating a specific web page from my domain name and creating a new e-mail address (,, etc. the same can work with,, hotmail etc.) for various campaigns. This way, if one of the adds turns to out to be heavily harvested by spamming groups and has lived its useful life, I just set up a filter in Eudora to send that e-mail to trash.

I also run about 5+ spams to every valid request, but those requests, that is where the value is and, unfortunately, the spam is just a cost of doing business.

Willie Crawford added,
I regularly place classified ads on about 100 sites and get a steady flow of responses...It's a formula that works for me!

....and David Thompson commented,
I've spent some time posting to some of the classified services and then carefully monitoring log files. The basic answer is: "yes, but it probably isn't worth your time." I posted to a number of classifieds (about 200), half completely by hand and half with a utility that automatically fills in blanks for you (URL, description, etc). I found it taking 3-4 minutes per classified by hand, and 1-2 minutes with the utility.

Both David and Willie comments indicate that classifieds can possibly somewhat useful, but involved a lot of work and time. I too, before I had my website, had spent considerable time posting to the classifieds with varied success. Once my web site was up and running I quit doing the classifieds, I was just too busy to go to each URL and figure out where my name went, and if they wanted California or CA in the form...

Well, you knew it was only a matter of time before someone found a way to automate postings to classifieds and make it so easy to do a task that offers only a partial glimmer of success. The folks that developed Submit Wolf, an automated search engine submission program, have developed a new program that automatically submits to classified ads. You write your ad, and the program automatically submits it to the free and/or paid ads you select. I submitted to about 150 classified ads in about 7 minutes from set-up to posting. While the adds were posting, I was reading e-mails. Now, some of you may see the potential for abuse (ie spamming the classifieds) but the author of this program have written it so they can weed out inappropriate usage.

At your service,
Rod Aries