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Keyboard Cannibalization In SEO - How To Fix It Once It Happened

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Keyword Cannibalization - Keyword cannibalization is an SEO strategy that many people overlook.

Some SEO experts argue it does not exist.

But the fact is that the term cannibalization is a problem that may affect your ranks.

Keyword cannibalization is something to be concerned about since it can harm your rankings for a variety of reasons.

Keyword cannibalization occurs when the information architecture of a website relies on a single keyword or phrase in different portions of the page.

COPYRIGHT_MARX: Published on https://marxcommunications.com/keyword-cannibalization/ by Keith Peterson on 2022-05-17T09:55:58.208Z

While this might happen accidentally, having a lot of pages that target the same keyword can cause issues.

It can also happen if you don't follow Google's standards for keyword stuffing across numerous sites.

The goal of most keyword stuffing tactics is to rank for a certain term.

What Is Keyword Cannibalization In SEO?

Keyword Cannibalization with stae, calendar, arrow paintbrush, mail, gear icon, and folder
Keyword Cannibalization with stae, calendar, arrow paintbrush, mail, gear icon, and folder

Term cannibalization occurs when many pages on your site target the same keyword and purpose.

Because one of the two pages influences the other's ability to rank, neither page performs as well as it should.

Assume you want to rank for the phrase "hotels in Paris," so you write a blog article titled "7 Stunning & Luxurious Hotels in Paris, France."

After a few years, you notice that a few more luxury hotels have been erected since your last visit.

So you make a fresh post that covers those one-of-a-kind luxury hotels while targeting the same keyword.

This is an illustration of the term cannibalization.

Despite appearing on the same site years apart, both postings share the same keyword and topic.

They have the same keyword in the headline, are likely to use the same term throughout the text, and have comparable content overall.

Optimizing two or more pages on your website for the same keyword does not guarantee that they will rank.

However, if two sites with identical terms have distinct search intent, they can coexist on the same site.

Why Is Keyword Cannibalism Bad For SEO?

Term cannibalism is terrible for SEO because when numerous pages compete for the same keyword, the power you've acquired is divided and each page gets less prominent on Google.

As an SEO, your objective is to make your site as visible as possible for the keywords you've picked.

You've messed up if you have two landing pages battling each other on page 2 of results instead of a single one on page 1.

Fortunately, it is not a difficult problem to resolve.

We'll teach you how to detect term cannibalization using a variety of standard techniques.

Why Keyword Cannibalization Is A Problem?

A man holding a magnifying glass in a web results and medals
A man holding a magnifying glass in a web results and medals

The problem is that if numerous pages want to rank for the same phrase, Google won't know which one is the most relevant.

Google will crawl your site and find dozens of pages that are "relevant" for the same keyword.

However, Google will have to determine which of those pages appears to be the most relevant to the query.

You have no prospect of gaining SEO value with this method and ranking your entire website higher because of this term.

You also miss out on other excellent SEO opportunities:

  • Conversion rate: why waste time on several pages with the same aim if one of them converts better? You should concentrate your efforts on one of these pages rather than a lower-converting version aimed at the same traffic.
  • Content quality: If you're targeting many pages with the same keyword, they should all be about the same thing. You run the danger of receiving duplicate material, poor quality content, or duplicates, which reduces your chances of receiving referrals and links.
  • Internal anchor text: If you target different sites with the same subject, you are passing up opportunities to concentrate the value of internal anchor texts on a single page.
  • External links: External links can increase the SEO value of a single keyword-targeted page. However, if you have many sites targeting the same keyword, your external links will be divided among those pages. You are thereby spreading the benefit of external links over several pages rather than concentrating it on just one.

How Do You Avoid Keyboard Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization may be avoided in theory if your keyword strategy is clearly documented and your domain's position is checked on a frequent basis.

This provides you with a summary of the keywords you're already utilizing and whether additional measures might cannibalize your existing ranking results prior to each new optimization.

Never forget the most crucial SEO rule of thumb: one major keyword per URL.

This will assist guarantee that just one URL ranks for a certain set of keywords or keyword combinations.

How To Recognize Keyword Cannibalism?

Keyword cannibalization with url and mouse cursor
Keyword cannibalization with url and mouse cursor

It's simple to see if your site is suffering from keyword cannibalism.

You just do a search for your website for any specific term that you feel may provide many results.

In my situation, I'll look up readability rankings for site:yoast.com. The first two results are the items I thought were cannibalized.

Googling'site:domain.com "keyword" will provide a simple answer if you are suffering from keyword cannibalism.

You may double-check your findings by entering the same phrase into Google (through a private browser or a local search result checker, such as https://valentin.app/).

Which of your pages appear in the search results, and where do they rank?

Of course, if two of your pages rank first and second for the same keyword, that’s not a problem.

But do you see your articles, for example on positions 7 and 8?

Then it’s time to sort things out!

How To Fix Keyword Cannibalization?

The solution to keyword cannibalization relies on the cause of the problem.

Most of the time, the problem is simply one of organization.

However, in very difficult circumstances, you may need to use 301 redirects or create new landing pages.

Restructure Your Website

The most straightforward answer is to convert your most authoritative website into a landing page that connects to additional unique versions that fit within the scope of your chosen keywords.

Returning to our shoe example, it could make sense to make "shoes" the canonical source page and link any more particular versions back to it.

Merge Or Combine Articles

If two pieces appeal to the same readership and essentially convey the same story, they should be combined.

Rewrite the two pieces into one awesome, badass article.

This will improve your ranks (Google-like long, well-written content) and fix your term cannibalization issue.

In fact, we accomplished just that with our two postings about readability as ranking criteria.

Finally, you will eliminate one of the two articles and adapt the other.

Remember to always redirect the post you remove to the one you maintain, not simply delete it!

Create New Landing Pages

Alternatively, you may lack a landing page that aggregates all of your product pages into one location.

In this scenario, building a unique landing page to act as your authoritative source page and linking to all of your variants might be beneficial.

In our example, we might make a page for "hiking shoes" and another for "men's sneakers."

These should enable you to target broad keyword phrases with your consolidated pages as well as long-tail keywords with your variants.

Use 301 Directs

While I normally advocate against using too many 301 redirects, they may be required if you already have many sites ranking for the same searches.

By connecting less relevant sites to a single, more authoritative version, you may condense your cannibalized material.

However, keep in mind that this strategy is only appropriate for pages with comparable content and those that match specified keyword queries.

People Also Ask

Why Is Keyword Cannibalization Bad?

When you cannibalize your own keywords, you are fighting with yourself for Google ranking.

Assume you have two postings on the same topic.

In that circumstance, Google is unable to determine which article should rank first for a given query.

Furthermore, essential criteria like backlinks and CTR are spread among several postings rather than one.

As a result, they will almost certainly both rank lower.

What Is Keyword Canonicalization?

Keyword cannibalization happens when there are too many same or similar keywords scattered across your website's content.

As a result, a search engine like Google is unable to choose which material to prioritize.

This implies that it will occasionally provide a better rating to a web page that you do not want to prioritize.

What Is SEO Cannibalism?

Term cannibalization occurs when many pages on your site target the same keyword and purpose.

Because one of the two pages influences the other's ability to rank, neither page performs as well as it should.

Conclusion

As your site grows in size, your chances of seeing keyword cannibalization on your own website rise.

You'll be writing about your favorite subjects and, without even realizing it, you'll wind yourself penning pieces that are quite similar.

That is exactly what happened to me. You should examine the keywords you wish to rank for the most often on a regular basis.

Check to see whether you're suffering from keyword cannibalization.

Every now and then, you'll probably need to make some adjustments to your site structure or rewrite some content.

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About The Authors

Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson - I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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