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Italy’s popular classified website optimizes crawling budget and achieves 84% traffic growth

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About Bakeca:

Bakeca is one of the first classified websites born in Italy. Founded in 2005 from the idea of Paolo Geymonat, Bakeca currently has more than 9 million visits per month and more than 1.5 million ads on its website. With a freemium business model, everyone can post an ad on Bakeca for free and there are several premium services for professional advertisers to gain more visibility and results for their business.

Business challenge: Increase visibility of the most relevant pages

With thousands of pages, one of Bakeca’s biggest challenges was to help Google crawl the most desirable sections of the website. It's essential to preserve crawling budget and direct Googlebot to the priority pages of the SEO campaign, especially when the website has user-generated content. 

At the beginning of the campaign, the team faced the following challenges:

  • Explicit redundant and / or not very relevant paths
  • Cannibalization of listing pages
  • Duplicate and / or low-quality content
     

The main KPIs of the campaign was increasing the traffic and the conversions of specific categories: Jobs and Real Estate.

Solution: Site audit to detect crawling issues

Due to the size and characteristics of Bakeca, none of the mentioned problems could be solved through a one-off action, so the team launched an SEO analysis, aimed at bringing out the critical issues over time. 

Semrush's Site Audit tool has gradually allowed to isolate pages that were very similar to each other or considered poor. With every new audit crawl, the team received a new list of duplicate content that was cannibalizing each other, as well as internal paths with different URLs that pointed to the same pages.

List of pages with duplicate title tags as identified by the Semrush Site Audit tool

“Semrush helped us to intercept paths that would have been much more difficult to find otherwise. Once the proper actions were taken, we saw the number of pages excluded in the index coverage in Search Console gradually decrease, until an acceptable ratio was achieved,” shares Simone Cornelio, Head of Marketing at Bakeca.

Pages excluded for duplicate content

Results:

Between May and September 2021, Bakeca achieved:

A sharp increase (+84%) in organic visibility after the crawling budget optimization was completed. And a second growth of +18% after a period of stabilization.
Bakeca’s organic traffic trend
But the most important result was the increase of visibility by 50% for the most important pages - Jobs and Real Estate.
Conversions for these pages grew by 41%.

“Semrush was very important for us when identifying technical site issues. At the same time, their Position Tracking tool was fundamental in tracking the site performance, showing us we were on the right path,” concludes Simone.

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