Having many pages about the same topic, in the opinion of many, confuses search engines and causes them to rank the “wrong” page.
Patrick Stox called the entire concept “preposterous,”
He’s correct. There are times when having many pages about the same topic can result in rankings that are unexpected or undesired, but this does not always imply that something is wrong or has to be fixed. On occasion, though, it may indicate a chance to combine the material in order to boost organic performance and ranks.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- What keyword cannibalization is
- Why keyword cannibalization is bad
- How to find keyword cannibalization issues
- How to fix keyword cannibalization issues
- Bad keyword cannibalization solutions
What is keyword cannibalization?
Keyword cannibalization occurs when a website uses the same keyword or very similar keywords multiple times throughout the site. This can happen either on purpose or by accident. When it happens on purpose, it’s usually because the site owner is trying to optimize the site for that particular keyword and they don’t realize they’re using it too much. If it happens by accident, it’s usually because the site has been poorly optimized and the keywords have been used in different ways throughout the site without any thought given to how they might be competing with each other.
In either case, keyword cannibalization can be detrimental to a website because it can confuse search engines and cause them to rank the site lower than it would otherwise.
Is keyword cannibalization bad?
The jury is still out on this one. Some experts say that keyword cannibalization can hurt your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) because it can confuse search engines. When there are multiple pages on a website competing for the same keyword, it can be difficult for a search engine to determine which page is the most relevant. This can lead to lower search rankings and traffic for your website.
Other experts believe that keyword cannibalization isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They argue that as long as each page has unique, quality content, then there’s no harm in having multiple pages targeting the same keyword. In fact, some believe that keyword cannibalization can actually help your website’s SEO by giving you more chances to rank for a particular keyword.
How to find keyword cannibalization issues
To avoid keyword cannibalization issues, businesses should follow these steps:
- Understand what keyword cannibalization is. When two pages on a website compete for the same keyword, this is called keyword cannibalization.
- Find out which pages are competing for the same keywords. To do this, businesses can use Google Analytics and other tools to see which pages are being triggered by the same keywords.
- Assess whether or not there is a problem. If both pages are ranking well, then there may not be an issue with keyword cannibalization. However, if one page is significantly outperforming the other, it may be time to take action.
- Take steps to fix the issue. This may involve changing the content on one of the pages, altering your website’s structure, or using different keywords altogether.
How to fix keyword cannibalization issues
If you’re noticing that your website’s traffic has taken a hit, it may be due to keyword cannibalization. This occurs when multiple pages on your site are competing for the same keywords, resulting in search engine confusion and lower rankings.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to fix this issue. First, conduct an audit of your website to identify which pages are competing for the same keywords. Then, create unique titles and meta descriptions for each page to avoid confusion. Finally, focus on creating quality content that targets a specific keyword rather than cramming in too many keywords.
By following these steps, you can fix keyword cannibalization and get your website back on track.
Keyword cannibalization solutions we rarely (or never) recommend
There are a lot of different keyword cannibalization solutions out there. Some people recommend using different variations of your keyword, others recommend using synonyms and related keywords, and still, others recommend completely avoiding using certain words on certain pages.
But there are a few solutions that we rarely, if ever, recommend. Here they are:
- Using variants of your keyword on different pages: This can actually do more harm than good, as it can confuse search engines and make it harder for them to determine which page is most relevant for a given search query.
- Using synonyms and related keywords: This can also be confusing for search engines, as they may not know which synonym or related keyword is most relevant to the main keyword you’re targeting.