It’s not just Google where these two streams relate to though. The same concepts/streams apply to any third party aggregated classifieds sites where tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions of classified ads just like yours are listed.
Just like you can’t build a web site and expect people to find it through Google without a little work on SEO and/or SEM, you can’t just post an item on a classifieds site without considering SEO or SEM as part of the process.
Each independent website has their own default ranking algorithm which is usually based on one element (i.e. price) rather than an algorithm like Google but SEO can still be derived by having a quality ad with lots of quality photos, good description and competitive price. On some just a change up on these items in your ad can aid ranking organically.
SEM on auto classified sites such as carsales is through depth products such as Top Spot, Showcase and Top Deals (Premium for privates). If you follow the REA results you see them reference “depth products” as a growth driver – this is SEM for real estate agents and vendors on realestate.com.au.
Here’s a few examples from a carsales Performance Manager who was recently working with some dealers on their listings quality, focusing first on the SEO elements (changing the photos up, updating the description, etc) and then walking through the SEM options or Depth products.
In each of the examples below, two actions were taken on three vehicles:
1. Photos were rotated and comments updated/improved (SEO)
2. Vehicles were added to Showcase (SEM)
Dealer A: Toyota FJ Cruiser in stock for 57 days and no enquiries had been received on the vehicle for over 2 weeks; 4 enquiries generated almost immediately and sold 2 days later through a carsales lead.
Dealer A: Toyota Prado in stock for 22 days no enquiries for 10 days; vehicle appeared in 300+ search results in first 2 days and sold within 5 days.
Dealer B: Mercedes C250 Estate in stock for 289 days; sold from a carsales lead within 2 days.
When done properly, this stuff works and is cost effective on any sort of search engine.