Topix Debuts Classifieds Service
Within the local news search at Topix.net, visitors will see local classified ads on the right side of the page and an invitation to post a free ad themselves.
Micro Persuasion blogger Steve Rubel posted his observation of the newest feature on Topix. A selection of classified ads appear alongside the news stories and Google AdSense blocks in a skyscraper section.
Listings for housing, jobs, items for sale, services, events, and local shops, and subcategories for each, are presented in the Topix classified section. Ads contain their posted date and location, type of ad and category, plus pictures, prices, descriptions, and contact information as it applies.
Craigslist does look like the obvious target, since as Rubel points out Topix is owned by the three firms getting hammered the most by classified ad revenue losses: Gannett, The Tribune Company, and Knight Ridder.
But Craiglist has a well-established hold in many markets, and draws plenty of traffic without assistance. Topix may be more of a competitor to Google Base or Windows Expo Live, both of which are new efforts looking for an audience.
Topix makes posting an ad a simple prospect. Just navigate to one’s local page on Topix, click the link, and select the type of ad being placed. The ad can be limited to the city or expanded slightly in scope.
For example, placing a ‘for sale’ ad in Orlando offers the option of showing the ad to cities near Orlando, and to Columbia or Orange Counties. Images can be added optionally, and then the ad can be posted to Topix.
Site publishers who place an ad on Topix may wish to place local Topix content on their sites or blogs. A small link at the bottom of the ad creation page invites the visitor to add headlines for the city to a website.
That involves adding some Topix code to the publisher’s website, but once it’s there it could drive traffic to the news headlines and thus to ads placed on Topix.
Local businesses can use Topix to create a listing for themselves, as one way of starting or expanding the presence they already have online. If the competition hasn’t placed an ad on Topix, that’s an even better reason to try it out for a while to see how it works.
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.