Keyword cannibalization is a common issue that can adversely affect your website’s search engine ranking and visibility. This phenomenon occurs when multiple pages on your website target the same keyword or phrase, leading to confusion for search engines and ultimately hurting your SEO efforts.
In this article, we will explore what keyword cannibalization is, how to identify it, and most importantly, how to fix it. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how to prevent keyword cannibalization and optimize your website’s content for better search engine performance.
What is Keyword Cannibalization?
When different pages on a website compete with one another for the same Google rankings, it is known as keyword cannibalization.
When two pages target the same keyword and fulfil the same search intent, i.e., have the same function, they compete. Perhaps Google perceives them to be doing so.
Keyword Cannibalization occurs when,
- Continuously publish similar content
- Publish an updated page without rerouting the previous one
- Create various routes to the same product category
It’s not enough to deploy the same keyword on several sites to trigger keyword cannibalization in SEO. If the search intent varies, you can use the same keyword on different sites.
How to Detect keyword cannibalization?
The suitable technique to spot keyword cannibalization is to make a spreadsheet with the keyword(s) for every piece of SEO content you produce.
Check your spreadsheet to determine if you’ve used the same keyword before writing a new post. If so, think about changing your content to emphasise a different keyword or make sure the new content you’re producing is significantly distinct from past postings.
Your most pertinent keywords can be quickly searched on the internet to check for keyword cannibalization. You have a cannibalization issue if numerous pages from your site appear near to one another in SERPs for the same term.
Also, term cannibalization checker tools can assist you to make sure you’re not overlooking potential overlap; it’s preferable to find out as soon as possible and adjust your content before it is pushed down the search results pages by more focused posts from your competitors.
Analyze the Impact of Keyword Cannibalization
Analyzing the impact of keyword cannibalization on your website is an important step in eliminating the problem. When multiple pages on your site are targeting the same keywords, it can lead to confusion for search engines and ultimately result in lower rankings and traffic.
- One way to analyze the impact of keyword cannibalization is to look at your website’s traffic and conversions. If you notice a decline in traffic or conversion rates, it could be a sign that your website is suffering from keyword cannibalization.
- You can also look at the number of keywords that are being used on each page. If you have multiple pages targeting the same keywords, some of those pages are likely competing against each other for rankings and traffic.
Another important factor to consider is the quality of your content. If you have multiple pages targeting the same keywords but the content is thin or low-quality, it’s unlikely that any of those pages will rank well in search results.
Furthermore, keyword cannibalization can negatively impact your backlink profile. When multiple pages are targeting the same keywords, it can result in multiple pages competing for the same backlinks. This can dilute the authority of your website and make it more difficult to rank for those keywords.
How to Eliminate Keyword Cannibalization?
The cause of keyword cannibalization will determine the best solution. The problem is usually just a matter of organising. Nonetheless, you might need to create additional landing pages or separate the 301s for exceptionally obstinate circumstances.
Here are the possible ways to eliminate keyword cannibalization.
Customize your website
The most straightforward approach is frequently to convert your most authoritative website into a landing page that links to other distinctive versions that fit under the general heading of your chosen keywords.
Develop New Landing Pages
Another possibility is that you don’t have a landing page that collects all of your product pages into one location.
In this situation, it would be advantageous to develop a special landing page that would act as your authoritative source page and connect to all of your variations.
Optimize Your Content
Consider consolidating your pages into one if they aren’t distinctive enough to merit having several pages targeting the same keyword.
This is an opportunity to create a trustworthy resource from two underperforming pages. It may also deal with the problem of thin content.
To find the page that performs the best in terms of traffic, bounce rate, time on page, conversions, etc., start by looking at your metrics. You might discover that while one page gets the majority of visitors, the other provides content that draws in more users.
In this case, the goal might be to consolidate the copy that converts to the page that receives the most traffic. Maintaining your ranking while improving traffic conversion would be excellent. Another advantage of this strategy is that you won’t have to worry about your website being punished for having content that Google considers to be weak or similar.
Discover New Keywords
Finally, if your website already has a variety of pages with a wide range of content and the only problem is a poorly thought out keyword strategy, maybe all you need to do is identify some new keywords. Just make sure the content of your page is adequately described by your keywords. Can a website visitor who used the target term in their search be satisfied with the content on each page that ranks for it?
If the result is unfavourable, you might want to investigate keyword patterns. You can find better keyword prospects for related pages by looking at your pages in a spreadsheet with the following information: Keyword & rank, the page URL, SEO title & meta description, Word count, and Organic traffic.
You should be able to identify pages using the same keywords using. From there, you may identify the most valuable pages, those that can be combined, and those that require new keywords. For all of the pages you want to preserve, you can often use your keyword research tool to determine the most relevant terms.
If you have two sites that are performing well for the same long-tail keyword, consider focusing on a related broad term for one of them to increase traffic.
Use of 301 Redirects
Utilizing 301s, you can combine your cannibalised content by directing the less crucial pages to a single, more trustworthy version.
However, keep in mind that this strategy only works for pages with comparable content and those that match certain keyword searches.
How to Prevent Keyword Cannibalization?
Publishing sites that target the same term and fulfil the same search intent will help prevent keyword cannibalization. Before developing (or optimising) content, always inspect your website.
By using your CMS, you may search. Alternatively, use Google’s “site:[domain] [keyword]” operator.
Instead of constructing a new page, optimise the one that already ranks for the same term and matches the same search intent. Instead, set up the required canonicals, noindex tags, or redirects and launch everything at once. Google won’t ever be able to become confused this way.
In conclusion, keyword cannibalization can hurt your website’s search engine rankings and overall visibility. It occurs when multiple pages on your website are competing for the same keyword, leading to confusion for search engines and ultimately resulting in lower rankings for all pages involved.
To avoid this issue, it’s important to conduct regular SEO audits and make sure each page on your site has a clear and distinct focus keyword. Additionally, internal linking can help signal to search engines which pages are the most important for a specific keyword. By taking these steps, you can avoid the negative impact of keyword cannibalization and improve your website’s search engine performance.