Skip to Content

Updated List of Free Classified Sites to Submit Your Business

Written by James Parsons • Updated April 2, 2024

image description

Free Classified Sites

As you likely well know, one of the most important elements of SEO and search ranking is backlinks. The best backlinks are the ones that come from high-value editorial content on known authoritative sites. Unfortunately for most of us, those sites only have a limited selection of links they’ll publish, and they tend to only link to other known authoritative sites. It’s hard to break into their ecosystem.

There are, to put it conservatively, probably a million different link-building strategies you can use to try to grow. These range from deep and detailed networking with influencers to earn their trust and organic links, to exploitation using private blog networks powered by AI-generated content, to malicious intrusion and link injection on sites you have nothing to do with. Obviously, I’m never going to recommend anything that’s outright illegal, immoral, unethical, or liable to get your site shut down. Stay away from those tactics.

There are, however, a lot of different link building techniques that are technically not spam, technically legal, and while they may not be the most useful or effective, they can still have a beneficial effect, especially if you’re trying to kick-start awareness and basic influence. One such technique is classified submissions.

What are classified submissions? No, we’re not talking about something top secret and limited only to the most powerful people. Classifieds, in this context, refers to classified advertising.

What is classified advertising? The origins of this term go all the way back to the early days of newspapers. Back then, if you wanted to run an ad in a newspaper, you had to pay, often by the word or by the line. Since this meant a newspaper might have a page with dozens of ads on it (or more), to make it more usable, they would sort them. Sorting them, or classifying them, meant grouping them into categories. You might have the kitchen wares category, the services category, the telephones category, and so on.

In the modern internet, other forms of advertising are much more common. But, knowing the residual value of a presence on a high-value site (as newspapers and publications tend to be), these sites often maintained some concept of classified, to allow other businesses to advertise through their venue.

Some sites focus solely on classified ads as a business model, the most well-known of these being Craigslist. Other publications treat their classifieds section as a dumping ground for ads from people who don’t want to pay for ads. Fortunately for those of you who want to use them for marketing, they do still exist, even if they are a mere shadow compared to the utility they once had.

There are thousands of websites out there positioning themselves as link aggregators and classified pages. Sometimes, they’re dedicated sites in and of themselves, and sometimes, they’re a small subsection of a larger and more authoritative publication. Finding them, evaluating them, and making use of them can be tricky, though, which is why I put together this list.

Why Free Classifieds?

If you’re a veteran marketer, you might wonder why I’m focusing on free classifieds.

It’s true: free sites like this tend to be, well, spammy garbage. If anyone at all can submit their link, you’re not exactly going to be in good company. The publishing sites know this as well, and they often set the links to nofollow or even noindex the page as a whole. There’s actually not really much value to be had directly.

So, wouldn’t it be better to focus on the more exclusive, well-monitored sites that have a paywall to submit?

Truthfully, no. Often, these sites are functionally identical. Many of them started as free sites or are hybrid free/paid models where paid submissions just get bumped to the top of the page for a day or a week. Meanwhile, you’re paying a fee for it. Most of the time, it’s a worse bargain.

Basically, if you have money to spend on link building, there are much better ways to spend it. That’s why I’m focusing on sites with free submissions. You might not get a lot out of them, but at least you aren’t putting much into them.

Geebo Community Classifieds

I’m making it sound dire, but you can actually get some value from these sites.

  • Sometimes, the links are followed and can bring some minor SEO value.
  • Google still crawls and indexes these sites, so it can be a way to boost discoverability and indexation.
  • Some of these sites do have legitimate traffic and use; they aren’t all just spammy link aggregators. It’s a low CTR and even lower conversion rate, but it’s not zero.
  • In rare cases, you can use the links to convince others that you’re bigger than you are and get links from them, which spirals up into much better links.

So it’s not a completely lost cause, and it’s not entirely spam. If it was, I wouldn’t be writing about it.

Tips for Classified Submission

There are a million different classified sites out there, ranging from little more than spam blog comments all the way up to high-quality, filtered, and vetted pages. Since we’re specifically looking for free sites, the best-classified sites are out of reach, and you end up more vulnerable to issues. So, I wanted to go over a few tips to use them effectively and protect yourself from the negative repercussions you might see.

Monitor the traffic you get. Sometimes, putting your site on a classified ads hub is going to open you up to a bunch of spam visits, whether it’s referral spam, blog comment spam, or botnets trying to break your passwords or abuse holes in your security. Always make sure your site, plugins, and security are as updated as possible, use anti-spam comment tools, and keep an eye on your analytics to filter out abuse.

Ghost Spam Referral Traffic Issue

Avoid classified submission services. Since you’re going to be going through the rote task of posting more or less the same ad on dozens of sites, it’s going to feel like something you’d rather outsource or streamline. There are also many individuals and businesses who will happily do it for you for money. I recommend avoiding them for two reasons. The first is the same as above; this is a growth hack style technique, which means you don’t want to be spending money you don’t have to. Second, many of these services don’t have the same concept of quality that you do and may be fronts for blog comment spammers and others, which can get your site in hot water. Better safe than sorry, I say.

Be prepared to disavow links if they hurt you. Sometimes, classified submissions can leave you in trouble with Google for link spam. Whenever you’re using a technique like this, keep an eye on your backlink profile and your search console, especially the manual actions section. If you notice a penalty or you have links that are hurting your traffic and visibility, either remove them (if you can) or disavow them.

Spend some time crafting your ads to match the site you’re using. While this may be a semi-spammy technique, and you’re not really expecting it to be as valuable as more traditional link outreach, it’s still worth putting a little effort into your ads. Take a look at the site you’re submitting to, see what kinds of ads are already there, and try to one-up them. It probably won’t be too hard.

Be careful of primarily personals sites. Some sites, like the former Backpage, were primarily focused on personals ads (and sex work). While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with legitimate work in that industry, it’s illegal in many places, but more importantly, it’s often very abusive. Backpage itself was shut down because of human trafficking, for example. You don’t really want to be using or promoting a site like that, even if you’re nowhere near the problematic industry.

The List

Now let’s get into the list of classified sites. I’m not going to spend a lot of time describing these; just click through, give them a look, and decide if you want to submit. I’m only putting commentary on them if there’s something noteworthy about them as well.

Individual Sites

As always, your mileage may vary with these. I’ve tried to put the best options at the top, but whether or not they suit your needs is another story. Either way, they exist, and they’re free, so they might be worth a try.

The Gumtree Website

These sites include:

  • Gumtree – Originally focused on the UK, pretty much anyone can use it now.
  • Craigslist – Try to focus on major metropolitan areas and your local area (or local exclusively if you’re a physical business.)
  • Geebo – Make sure you’re in the right location at the top.
  • Oodle – This is frequently used primarily for real estate, vehicles, and other high-value items, but there’s room for businesses to promote services as well.
  • Sale Spider
  • Pennysaver – They mention a print service as well, though I don’t know where it is.
  • Quikr – I don’t normally put foreign markets in my top lists, but this one is one of the best in India, and, if you have a web-based business, you may be able to make good use of it.
  • Locanto
  • Ad Vertigo
  • Yookalo
  • OLX – This one is non-USA, but it’s great if you’re marketing to regions like Brazil, eastern Europe, or Portugal.
  • USNetAds – Pretty spammy and may no longer be active; YMMV.
  • Wall Classifieds
  • H1Ad
  • Hoobly
  • Trovit – Not actually a classifieds site itself, it’s a search for many others, but you can use it to find opportunities.
  • WorldFreeAds
  • Expatriates – Classified specifically to help expats network with one another.
  • Just Landed
  • Classified Wale
  • Classifieds Factor
  • Finder Master – While they have a USA section, it’s largely empty from my cursory searching.
  • Advertise Era
  • Rectangle Ad
  • Zimtro – They claim to be the world’s biggest classified ads site, though I have my doubts.

Lists of Lists

Since there are thousands of classified sites out there, and I don’t have the time or the resources to test and vet all of them, I’ll also post some of the largest lists I’ve found and let you be the judge.

Free Classified Submission Sites List

This list includes:

  • Warrior Forum #1 – This list is from the gray/black hat SEO site Warrior Forum and it’s over a decade old, so many of the items on the list are dead or no longer classifieds. There are a few big posts with a lot of sites, though, so you can dig through them and maybe find a gem.
  • Warrior Forum #2 – This one is an actual editorial from someone on Warrior Forum, rather than just a forum thread where half the replies are “Google it,” so it’s a lot more useful, if basic. They are still old, though, and some of them are long dead.
  • TheWebHospitality – This list at least helps out by listing the domain authority for each site they list, though some of them are very limited, hard to use for free, or segment off their classifieds section away from the actual high-DA parts of the site.
  • WPressBlog – One of the biggest lists around, this one lists DA and a spam score to help you avoid the worst of the sites.
  • Blogging Den – Another nice list with added information, in this case, whether or not the link is followed. Probably one of the best resources I’ve listed, so of course I’ve put it right at the bottom, as a reward for those who made it this far.

So, there you have it: pretty much the biggest list of classified sites I can find that are usable and updated, at least as of early 2024. These things tend to have a pretty hefty churn rate, though, so let me know if any of the links are dead by the time you’re reading this. I’ll check them periodically myself as well, obviously, but every little bit helps.

Did I miss any from this list? If so, please let me know in the comments so I can add it! And if any of these are broken or stop being free, please let me know as well so I can update this list as soon as possible. 

Written by James Parsons

James is the founder and CEO of Topicfinder, a purpose-built topic research tool for bloggers and content marketers. He also runs a content marketing agency, Content Powered, and writes for Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and other large publications. He's been a content marketer for over 15 years and helps companies from startups to Fortune 500's get more organic traffic and create valuable people-first content.

Leave a Comment

Fine-tuned for competitive creators

Topicfinder is designed by a content marketing agency that writes hundreds of longform articles every month and competes at the highest level. It’s tailor-built for competitive content teams, marketers, and businesses.

Get Started