The BBC has posted an interesting report noting the surge in use of online classifieds website such as Criagslist and Gumtree.
According to figures quoted from HitWise visits to such sites in the US are up 84% compared to last year. This shows that while the traditional advertising market may be in decline but the online classifieds are bucking this trend and thriving.
According to Hitwise the top search term in the US in March was for US online classified site Craigslist taking over from social networking site MySpace which was the most searched for site for the previous 16 months.
It's thought that the recession has played a part in turning people from paid advierts to the free online classifieds.
The article on the BBC website quotes Hitwise research director Heather Dougherty as saying "Consumers have embraced free classifieds as a way to generate income by selling personal items, while others take advantage of the deals available".
In the UK the growth in the online classifieds has been more modest with sites such as GumTree seeing a 15% growth in traffic. As yet Craiglist is not as popular with UK internet users and so there is no nothing with as strong a brand with eBay still being seen as primarily an online auction site.
This may well change however as Craiglist will almost certainly seek to expand it's UK presense and eBay is attempting to move from auctions into a more Classifieds style of listing.
America's newspaper industry has been badly hit by the economic downturn with the rise of classified advertising websites held partly to blame.
Would you like to know more about online classifieds? If so, contact HitSearch, SEO and Google adWords qualified PPC specialists, on 0845 643 9289. Remember, its a big world out there, make sure you become visible.