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  1. #1
    Junior Member Dan Williams's Avatar
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    I am hoping someone can help me out with a little problem I am having.
    I have somebody who wants me to apply tracking to his craigslist ad. He is constantly getting flagged by his competition, despite having a completely legit ad.
    Now, of course, tracking the traffic you get to your site from the ad is easy. But when I include any sort of tracking IN my ad, one of two things happens.
    1) It brings me to a page telling me my ad cannot be posted due to the tracking not being allowed
    2) It posts the ad, acting like it went through, but the tracking code is instantly taken out.

    Does anyone have any idea what I can do to track who clicks on the ad? Craigslist seems to remove or block anything I can think of. I have tried multiple tracking sites' code, shortened URLs for images with tracking attached, and everything else I could think of. If anyone can help me out, that would be AMAZING! I know it can be done, but I have hit a wall. Thanks!

    To be more specific, Is there any tracking service out there that will track the hits for a particular image whenever it is loaded? I need to have access to the IP Address of the hits as well. Again, Thanks!

    (I posted this in the general section also, so I hope it is okay to post here too. Not sure where the best advice would be, so forgive me if this is "overposting" or anything.)

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Create a landing page for your Craigslist ad and then link to it from the ad. Use something like Analytics to track the traffic to it. That's the easiest way.

    The harder way is to create a link something like this:

    http://www.yoursite.com/cl/2012/19/06/

    You can either use a custom 404 or possibly an .htaccess rule (I'm more familiar with custom 404s so I don't know if this is possible using .htaccess) to do it. In other words, create a custom tracking code that can't easily be detected, and be prepared to change it frequently.

    So you've got some options. But the best way is a DIY sort of thing.

    The question I have, though, is how your competition keeps seeing the ad and why they're flagging it so much? That's one of those three-sided coin kind of statements...you say it's legit, the person who flags it doesn't think so, the truth is in all likelihood in a grey area and may involve unreported information. What's your ad? Are you constantly reposting it? Does it use any of the Digital Pointless-style vernacular (E-Z eBook SEO Success for $9.99)? A lot of that depends on exactly what you're posting.
    I'm an expert in off-page SEO, social media optimization, and repeating everything everyone else says about these topics so that I sound like I know what I'm talking about.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

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  4. #3
    Junior Member Dan Williams's Avatar
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    With creating a landing page, the people would have to actually click on the link for me to track it though. The person flagging the ad is not actually clicking on any links. They are just going to the posting and clicking "flag this ad".
    I'm honestly not sure what you mean with the custom 404 and don't know how I would do it with .htaccess
    I found this
    http://thatsmith.com/2008/11/how-to-...mages-with-php
    But it is a little bit much for me. I have to admit, it is slightly over my head since it assumes you already know what you're doing before you get here.

    It is not my Craigslist ad. It is a client's. But the ad is legit. There is nothing wrong with it. He has even talked to Craigslist about it. People can flag on Craigslist for whatever reason they want, even for no reason. Like I said, it is his competition that is flagging it, from what we can tell. Because there is really no reason to flag it. Could even be a program flagging it. Who knows. But he posts an ad, and within 10 minutes to an hour, it has been flagged and removed. He is a screen printer and vinyl graphics shop, so there's nothing sketchy about his ad. It's just one of those things I guess. I see your point and why you'd jump to the conclusion of assuming it has something "flagable" about it, but in this case, nope.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    when you post a craigslist ad, you have the option to paste HTML in...

    go to a web server that you have control over and have logging turned on.

    create a small page with the ad and any images pertinent to the ad, if you don't have any images, you can use css to create a repeating backgound...

    for the ad to display properly, you will need to have the CSS you use in the head of the document... and your image paths must be full image paths to call the images from your server...

    when you can call the page in the browser, do a view source... copy the entire code ( including the head )... and post that on CL

    This is perfectly acceptable by CL...( I've run numerous ad campaigns on there doing this )...

    Then you can look at your server log files to get the IP addresses of everyone that is viewing the ad, the last couple of IP addresses to access the ad will be the ones flagging...

    Problem is, the IP addresses will probably point back to proxy servers ( which might help you )... if you can prove that flags are coming from a group of proxy servers... CL will probably work with you to block their access as Intentionally Flagging content for this purpose is against their policy, but they don't have the resources to do reverse DNS on every connection...

    If they can track all the flags back to a particular ISP, you can probably report them to their abuse address ( but doubtful they will do anything )... and with the explosion of smartphones... it's easy enough to find 4-5 people with smartphones that you can send them a link to the ad and tell them to flag it...

    Again, if you can prove that the same IP blocks are constantly flagging your AD's... CL may work with you on stopping this.

    Especially if the same people flagging are also posting ads... then it's just a matter of associating the AD's they posted to an email address and block of IP's....

    CL prides themselves on managing such a massive site, and expects people to flag content... but they also know there are people out there flagging ads that are their competition...

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    What he said. The problem with your particular scenario is that you're missing information, valuable information, that you'll need to step out of what is obviously your comfort zone to acquire. I've created images on the fly (using ASP.net, not PHP) and CL is fine with them. They don't care.

    If it is indeed over your head, what you'll probably want to do is get a developer who has dealt with things like this in the past and knows what (s)he is doing (which will be a lot easier said than done...the good developers are generally pretty busy).

    The other thing you'll want to consider doing is rewriting your ad completely and then reposting it. If it doesn't get flagged, then you're good. Sometimes ads get flagged because they're cross-posted across several categories and/or regions.

    A custom 404 is basically a page that you can use whenever a page doesn't exist on your website (hence the 404...it's called whenever a 404 response status is returned). I prefer it over .htaccess because 1) I work mostly in Windows technologies and 2) a custom 404 can be made to look and feel like the rest of your site, guide users, and do other things...so they don't get the default ugly 404 Not Found page. Your exact usage of a custom 404 is...well, custom. So it depends on what you're doing. But that's the idea.

    Show us the ad, though...before it gets flagged. Or throw up a page containing the content of the ad (make sure it can't get indexed, though). Let's see if there's something simple that was missed.
    I'm an expert in off-page SEO, social media optimization, and repeating everything everyone else says about these topics so that I sound like I know what I'm talking about.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link. Some of us are really insecure and need those likes so that we feel important and smart, so come on, help us out, huh?

  7. #6
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    Here is an idea. Why don't you worry about your own business and not get involved with the nice people who are clicking on your ad's personal business?
    If they wanted you to know their ip address, they probably would have made it obvious for you to see in the first place. What do you need their ip address for???? So you can bug them all the time and try to get them to buy something from you? Or for identity theft? You trying to steal their personal information from them??? Keep an eye on them and see what they are up to on their computer????
    ITS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHAT THEIR IP ADDRESS IS. GO HARASS YOUR FAMILY OR SOMETHING. LEAVE THE INNOCENT PEOPLE ALONE.

  8. #7
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Ummm...you can't get all that information from an IP address.

    This is also a 2-year-old thread.
    I'm an expert in off-page SEO, social media optimization, and repeating everything everyone else says about these topics so that I sound like I know what I'm talking about.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link. Some of us are really insecure and need those likes so that we feel important and smart, so come on, help us out, huh?

  9. #8
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGAME1264 View Post
    Ummm...you can't get all that information from an IP address.
    Sure you can! The guy who sold me the Brooklyn Bridge gave me a toaster that can do it! It also makes great expresso... or it could if I could read the instructions which are in some language called Klingon?
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  10. #9
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Hey, if there are Nintoasters, then toasters can retrieve personal info from IP addresses. It's all connected.

    STUPIDFINGERS - Projects (Nintoaster)
    I'm an expert in off-page SEO, social media optimization, and repeating everything everyone else says about these topics so that I sound like I know what I'm talking about.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link. Some of us are really insecure and need those likes so that we feel important and smart, so come on, help us out, huh?


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