The Mystery of Online Classifieds Growth

Classifieds verticals have been around for a long time, yet the classifieds category has recently seen curiously strong traffic growth. Here are the traffic data from comScore:

Traffic    Growth %

  • Total Internet Audience         173,191      3
  • Classifieds category              37,423       47
  • CRAIGSLIST.ORG                  13,804       99
  • Trader Publishing Company    10,155        15
  • AutoTrader                          6,434        14
  • CARS.COM                           4,504        -3
  • APARTMENTS.COM               2,858         24
  • LIVEDEAL.COM                    1,092        104
  • HOMESCAPE.COM                1,002          7
  • BACKPAGE.COM                   1,001        N/A
  • OODLE.COM                         909         463
  • RegionalHelpWanted.com Sites   863     -1

comScore’s definitions/categorization are strange because clearly sites like CareerBuilder and Move.com should be in here. Why are Apartments.com and RegionalHelpWanted.com but not Monster or MSN Real Estate? It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Here are the distribution of newspaper print classified revenues by category:

What should be driving online classifieds growth now (beyond the factors driving overall Internet usage)? Perhaps it’s the combination of Craigslists’ expansion and the entry of multiple new players into the market to build broader awareness of the category.

Obviously newspapers have to make some bold moves online (beyond their existing vertical relationships) to build their destination consumer traffic and/or find additional distribution for their classifieds advertisers. That’s notwithstanding the fact that they own all or part of three of comScore’s top classifieds sites.

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3 Responses to “The Mystery of Online Classifieds Growth”

  1. Dan Blank: Publishing, Innovation and the Web » Blog Archive » Web Trends Says:

    [...] Greg Sterling offers his thoughts on state of classsified: [...]

  2. Former KR Exec. Schneider Lands at Yahoo! « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] Classifieds is an area that shown tremendous growth of late and is becoming more competitive. [...]

  3. LiveDeal Becomes More ‘Vast’ « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] The world of online classifieds just keeps getting more interesting — strangely. [...]

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