Alessandro Diamanti scored the only goal of the game in the 57th minute to earn Bologna a deserved win against a Genoa side who rarely threatened a goal of their own.
The win lifts Bologna out of the bottom three, ahead of the remaining games in Serie A this weekend, reducing the arrears on Genoa, who have not now won in their last five, to five points.
Cesare Natali could have got Bologna off to a flying start when he was presented with a free header, somehow managing to direct the ball wide of the post from close range.
Any thoughts that the game would be an exciting, open encounter soon evaporated, though, with both sides preaching caution in the subsequent exchanges.
A volley from Panagiotis Kone, teed up well by Davide Moscardelli's header, gave Mattia Perin some work to do, and the Genoa goalkeeper clutched the ball well to his body with Moscardelli hovering in expectation of a fumble.
Genoa showed precious little going forwards and that trend continued into the second half, almost inviting Bologna to do more to lure them out of their shell.
The home team did not need such an invitation, however, and Diamanti certainly did not need to be afforded as much room as he was given 25 yards from goal in the 57th minute as he swept a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner, beyond Perin's reach.
The goal had the expected effect on Genoa, albeit very short lived. Sime Vrsaljko tested Gianluca Curci from close range, but that was the nearest the visitors came to causing any serious problems.
Conversely, Bologna had chances to wrap up victory, such as in the 66th minute when Moscardelli's volley hit the ground and looped up towards goal, necessitating a fingertip save from Perin to push the ball over.
The game opened up a little more heading into the final five minutes, but there was never any serious risk of Bologna relinquishing their first win in seven attempts.