<firstimage=”http://www.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/craigslistsearchthumb.png”>One of the defining characteristics of Craigslist is simplicity. In a web 2.0 era, it has refused to make major alterations to its site. It started as a list of stuff made possible by a dude named Craig, and that’s what it more or less remains as.
This has advantages, but one disadvantage is the lack of a great search function. It can be hard to find specific items on Craigslist, particularly if you’d like to search multiple locations at once. Let’s take a look at some Craigslist search engines that solve that problem.
Search Tempest separates itself from most Craigslist search tools right off the bat by providing an interface that actually looks professional instead of like something a teenager might have coded ten years ago.
Once you start using it, Search Tempest proves to be slick and handy. The front page interface lets you type in what you’re looking for, where you’re looking for it, and also define the specific category you want to look in (if any). The search results are then provided per-city listed within your search radius.
I suspect that this search engine might run slow on older computers, because it seems to have a lot going on in the background. Otherwise, it’s an excellent search engine.
The idea behind Crazedlist is that some Craigslist search engine results might be blocked because of information already stored in your browser. When you visit Crazedlist, the site actually provides instructions that will help you achieve the best search results. It’s very handy if you’ve been having issues with other search engines.
Crazedlist also features a prominent Worldwide Search feature that works essentially the same as the United States search, but of course lets you search in countries across the globe. This site could probably use some interface improvements – it makes excessive use of checkboxes – but it’s still one of the better options available.
As Craigslist itself proves, sometimes the most basic option is the best option. Search All Craig’s takes advantage of this theme by presenting little more than a plain white page with a search field attached. Put whatever you want in it, and search the whole website!
OK, so there is just a little more to it than that. Once you search you can narrow down your results further by region. But really, that’s all the features there are to be found. While this may make specific searches more difficult, the benefit is a site that returns results almost instantly.
Another fairly basic Craigslist search engine, CraigZoom is quick and has a “search all Craigslist” function, but also offers more options that Search All Craig’s.
These options are off to the left and they include things such as location (by state) category and price (when applicable). You can choose to search only titles and only posts with images, as well.
Basically, this is just a redesign of the site that makes it possible to embark on a new search in an entirely different location without hitting your browser’s back button.
I tried to cover all of my bases here, but I didn’t cover Craigslist search applications. These are not Craigslist search engines you open in your browser but instead programs you download. An example discussed here on MakeUseOf is CraigsList Reader. Although downloading an application to search a website might seem a bit odd, you should give it a shot, because it’s quite effective.