Keyword Cannibalization: its Uses and Features

Dec, 09 2020
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If you analyze your articles for similar terms, your rankings might suffer from keyword Cannibalization. You will be demolishing your own chances to rank in Google! Significantly when your website is enhancing, opportunities your content will start competing with itself. Here in this article, you will know why keyword cannibalism can be unfavorable to SEO, and how you can recognize it, and what to do about it.

Let Us Know about Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword Cannibalization means that you have several blog posts or articles on your website that can rank for the same search query in Google. Either because the topic they cover is too similar or because you have optimized them for the exact key phrase. If you optimize articles or posts for matching search queries, they are eating away at each other’s chances to rank. Commonly, Google will only show 1 or 2 results from the same domain in the search results for a particular query. If you are at a high authority domain, you might get 3.

Is Keyword Cannibalism Bad for SEO?

If you cannibalize your own keywords, you are competing with yourself for ranking in Google. For example, say if you have two posts precisely on the same topic, in such case, Google cannot differentiate which article or posts should rank higher for a particular query. Furthermore, significant factors like backlinks and CTR get diluted over numerous posts instead of one. As a consequence, they will probably both rank lower. Hence the SEO expert  will give a red bullet whenever you analyze a position for a primary keyword you have used before.

Keyword cannibalism can also occur if you optimize posts for primary keywords that are not exactly, but almost the same.

How Do We Recognize Keyword Cannibalism?

Checking whether or not your website suffers from Keyword cannibalism is easy. You simply search your website for any particular keyword you are unsure of and might have manifold results. In this case, you can Google website: yoast.com readability ranks. The first two results are articles I suspected to bear from Cannibalization.

However, Googling 'site: domain.com "Keyword" will provide you with an ideal answer to the question of whether you are suffering from Keyword cannibalism. You can crisscross your findings by typing the same keyword into Google. Thus, which of your pages do you see in the search results, and what position do they rank? If two of your pages for the same keyword are ranking one and two, that is not a problem. On the contrary, if you see your posts on positions 8 and 9? Then it is ripe time to sort things out!

How to Overcome Keyword Cannibalization?

We have a wide-ranging article written by our experts that explains how to find and fix Cannibalization on your site. It evidently describes the four steps you should take to solve these sorts of issues:

● Review your content
● Act: merge, delete, redirect
● Decide which ones to keep
● Analyze content performance
● Review Content Performance

The first two steps will help you to decide which posts to keep and which ones to merge or delete. In several cases, the acting part will comprise combining and deleting articles, but also to enhance internal linking on your website.

Merge or Combine Articles

Suppose both the articles draw the same audience and basically tell the same story. It would help if you mixed them. Rewrite the two posts into one awesome, kickass article. That will help your rankings (Note: Google Loves Lengthy and well- written content) and unravel your keyword Cannibalization unrulily.

In fact, that’s exactly what we did with our two posts on readability being a ranking factor. Eventually, you will delete one of the two articles and familiarize the other one. Yoast Duplicate Post plugin is handy and one of the posts and work from there. Don’t just press the delete button, always make sure to readdress the post you delete to the one you keep! If that’s somewhat you are struggling with, Yoast SEO Premium can assist. It makes creating redirects easy as pie!

Enhance Internal Linking

You can assist Google to figure out which article is significant, by setting up a proper internal linking structure. It would be best if you linked from less significant posts to posts that are significant to you. That way, Google can figure out which ones you want to pop up highest in search engines.

Your internal linking construction could solve a part of your keyword cannibalism problems. It would be best if you thought about which article is most significant to you and link from less significant long-tail articles, to your most influential posts.

Keyword Cannibalization and Online Shops

If you have an online shop, you might be concerned about all those product pages targeting exact keywords. For online shops, it makes sense that there are manifold pages for products that are alike. It is very significant to give site structure some thought in this case. A better strategy is to link back from every product page to your category page- the page you should analyze to work. You should also be very watchful with the old product pages that could potentially Cannibalization more significant pages, and delete and redirect those- Yoast SEO Premium could assist make that easier with its handy redirect manager!

Keyword Cannibalization Will Affect Growing Websites

If your website gets bigger, your chances enhance to face keyword cannibalism on your own website. You will be writing about your favorite subjects and without even knowing it, you will write articles that end up somewhat similar. Once in a while, you should check the keywords you want to rank for the most. Make sure to verify whether you are suffering from keyword cannibalism. You will probably require to make some changes in your website construction or to rewrite some articles now and then.

6 Negative Effects Keyword Cannibalization Can Have on Your SEO

Several people are suffering from keyword cannibalization are not aware that anything is wrong in keyword cannibalization that has some hypothetically terrible consequences for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

They might even be happy that one page is ranking in the fifth and sixth slot for their targeted keyword, without knowing that one commanding page would perhaps rank higher and adapt better.

The real-world consequences are crystal-clear, but: lost site traffic, queries leading to the wrong page, shifting SERP rankings, and eventually lost sales.

Why? Because

1. Your Authority of the Page is Weakening?

Instead of having one highly commanding page, you are dividing your CTR to manifold soberly related pages. Significantly, you’ve turned your webpages into competitors and now you are claiming for pageviews and SERP ranks.   

2. You’re Tempering Your Links & Anchor Text

Backlinks that could have gone to an associated source of information are now being divided amidst two or more pages. Alike, your anchor text and internal links are leading visitors to manifold different pages in its place an authoritative page on the subject.

3. Google May Devaluate the More Relevant Page

Keywords are one of the major ways in which we assist Google understand what our pages are all about. If all of your keywords are the identical, Google tries to understand which page is best apt- and if your content is identical too, then it might get it wrong.

4. You’re Squandering Your Crawl Budget

Your crawl budget is the number of times a search engine spider crawls your website in a given time period. Having several pages devoted to the identical keyword results in the crawling and indexing of pages that are not required.

5. It’s a Sign of Poor Page Quality

Numerous pages focusing on a similar keyword tells your clients that your substance is likely extended slender, and it additionally signals Google that your content may not match your keywords on a particular page.

6. Your Conversion Rate Will Suffer

Unavoidably one of your pages will alter better than the rest.

As an alternative of directing new visitors to that page, and making it the most commanding page possible, you’re losing likely leads instead, when they land on less pertinent pages.

How to Fix Keyword Cannibalization

This totally depends on the root of the issue and often, the issue is simply one of the organizations, but particularly persistent cases may need you to break out of 301s or new landing pages. Below-mentioned are five likely solutions:

1. Restructure Your Website

It is one of the simple solutions to take your most authoritative page and turn it into a landing page that links to other unique variations that come under the same rood of your potential keywords. If we return to

If we return to our gym- shoe example, it might make sense to make “shoes” our official source page and link all of the more precise variations back to it.

2. Create New Landing Pages

On the other hand, you may come up short on a greeting page that solidifies the entirety of your item pages in a single spot.

For this situation, you'd profit by making an extraordinary point of arrival to fill in as your definitive source page and connection to the entirety of your varieties from that point.

In our model, we may make a page called "hiking shoes" and another called "shoes for men."

3. Combine Your Content

On the off chance that your pages aren't sufficiently novel to warrant having numerous pages focusing on a similar watchword, think about consolidating them into one page.

This is an opportunity to take two failing to meet expectations pages and transform them into a more legitimate source. It might likewise illuminate meagre thin content issues.

4. Find New Keywords

Finally, if you’re already blessed with highly diverse, content-rich pages, and the only thing your website is suffering from is a poorly planned keyword strategy, maybe all you need to do is find new keywords.

Just make sure your keywords accurately describe your page’s content.

5. Use 301 Redirects

While I generally advise against using too many 301s, they might be necessary if you already have multiple pages ranking for the same terms.

Using 301s allows you to consolidate your cannibalized content by linking all of the less relevant pages to a single, more authoritative version.

Mind though that this tactic is suitable only for pages with similar content and those matching specific keyword queries.

All these five solutions will fix most cases of keyword cannibalization, however, if you manage an ecommerce website, you should be particularly careful to note how your CMS divide products with different colors and sizes. Some CMS programs create unique pages for several product variations.

If your CMS is organizing products like this, you should either restrict duplicate pages from being indexed using robots. txt or

tags, or you should use official URLs to merge link signals for the identical content.

7 Way to Fix Keyword Cannibalization on Your Site

When you come to know that keyword cannibalization issues exist on your website, it is time to fix these.

But first things first, you require to understand that there is no ‘one size apt all’ method to do this and that the method you take to repair the issues very much depends on the individual situations. 

Put simply, the way to resolve one cannibalization issue probably won't be the same as another. There are common fixes for you to turn to when it is the right time to do so. These include.

In a simple way, the technique to resolve one cannibalization subject probably won’t be the same as another. There is a major solution for you to turn to when it is the right time to do so. These include:

Eradicate and Redirect Cannibalized Pages:

If you come to know that your website has manifold pages that are directing the same intent, but that you only require to keep one of these live, the ideal way to clean up the problem is usually by putting in place 301 redirects.

When you have identified the strongest of the pages that are cannibalizing (reflect inbound links pointing to the pages, organic visibility across the terms and conditions, and historic traffic as indications to assist make your decision), simply eradicate the other 301 redirect their URLs to the page that is remaining.

This is commonly the meekest method to solve cannibalization issues.  

Be sure to also update any internal links that pointed to the pages that you eradicate, but beside that, you should see the removed URLs drop out of Google’s index over a period of few weeks.


There are times, you don’t have the ability to eradicate the cannibalized pages and keep just as it is. However, this might be a page that is dedicated to a PPC landing page, and is simply a great piece of content from a user-experience standpoint, or the CMS restrictions are causing page duplication or any other reason entirely.

However, when this is the situation, consider using canonicalization to assist you sort the problems out.
Doing so will mean that you are able to select one page as the primary one, hence signalling that as the one that should rank on the Search Engine Ranking Page, as well as ensuring that ranking indicates, such as link equity, are attributed to the canonical page.

None of the pages will require to be eradicate, and they can still be opened by users.

No Index:

Just like with using canonicalization, if, for whatever reason, you are unable to delete and redirect the problematic pages, implementing rel="noindex" tags (or an HTTP Response Header) on all but the page you have chosen as your primary page can often be just as operative.

Taking this tactic means that all pages can still exist on the website, yet all except one page will be de-indexed – hence resolving the cannibalization issues.

That said, canonicalization should be used in preference over no -index given that ranking indicates are attributed to the canonical, while they otherwise won’t be.

Re-Optimizing Pages:

Often, you find that you have unintentionally caused cannibalization at the metadata level simply by not optimizing for keyword differences.

As an example, let us say you run an eCommerce store and sell a product in three different colors.

Time and time again, it is common to see product variations on unique URLs but with the same title tag, H1 tag, and no clear differentiation between the variants excluding the image.

Hence, you can re-optimize the pages to target clear variations and resolve cannibalization issues.

Reworking Your Internal Linking Structure:

In certain circumstances, you can add to fixing cannibalization issues by enhancing your inward connecting structure, particularly when you are utilizing precise match anchor text that focuses to various pages.

Modifying interior connects to guarantee that these are set up accurately to highlight the correct page (not a tore up rendition) can assist with tidying up issues. Notwithstanding, all alone, it is generally insufficient to fix the issue altogether. Adopt this strategy related to tidying up pages that go after goal to see better achievement.

Merging and Consolidating Pages

In situations when you find that you have (at least two) more fragile pages that are tearing up each other due to contending on aim, it bodes well to blend and combine these into a solitary page. Basically, you are making one more landing page from different more weaker ones.

Though when you have one clear essential page, because of one bit of substance being a champion, having joins highlighting it, or previously accepting traffic when you can't recognize an essential page, this is typically the best way to deal with take.

It might likewise imply that you need to add new substance to improve the last page, and you need to ensure that 301 redirects are set up for any pages that are erased or URLs that are changed to ignore any positioning signs.

Creating New Intent-Focused Content

One basic cannibalization issue seen with web-based business stores is that a solitary item page positions for search terms identifying with their item range. Also, when this happens on the grounds that no 'range' subcategory exists, fixing the issue is as straightforward as making one.

When there isn't a page that coordinates the expectation, you will locate 'the following best thing' positioning, so you feel free to make one. You should then find that the issue vanishes due to having the option to fulfil this objective.

Author Bio

The author is SEO Expert, working with Best SEO Company in Delhi. He helps in building value-conscious traffic on several businesses sites. In his articles, he has given tremendous ideas related to SEO and how to increase the user base, and boost web sales and customer satisfaction. There are thousands of tricks and techniques he follows. Get in touch with him @ info@jeewangarg.com

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