When numerous pages on a website target the same or similar keywords and compete against one another, the site’s organic performance suffers, which is called “Keyword Cannibalization”. Some consequences include lost site visitors, inquiries that lead to erroneous pages, changing SERP ranks, etc. It is problematic when pages with duplicate content from the same domain rank for the same keyword. It frequently goes unnoticed, resulting in a scenario where you effectively compete with yourself as much as others.
It can be problematic since search engines punish websites for keyword stuffing. It may affect your efforts to rank target keywords for specific pages as websites age and expand. Though keyword cannibalization mostly impacts large websites with many pages, it can also pose problems for smaller websites.
IS KEYWORD CANNIBALIZATION BAD?
Keyword cannibalization is frowned upon since it indicates poor page quality. Multiple pages targeting the same keyword indicate to readers that your content is likely stretched thin, hurting the site’s organic performance. Assume we have two pages that each target the same keyword. One is ranked first, while the other is nowhere to be seen. You might say this is textbook term cannibalization because one page appears to be “cannibalizing” visitors to the other.
Even if that is true for traffic from this keyword, what if each page ranks for hundreds of other keywords? In that situation, why be concerned about traffic from a single keyword? The truth is that we don’t have a cannibalization problem here because the presence of these two pages is unlikely to impair our site’s overall organic performance. Poor internal linking might result in term cannibalization; it’s critical to design a cautious plan to avoid this situation.
You would undoubtedly lose some of our other keyword positions and suffer a net loss in traffic if we merged or deleted one of them. Cannibalization of keywords significantly influences SEO, leading to drastic changes in ranking. As a result, before making any changes to your website, you should contact a technical SEO expert. Throughout the SEO journey, one encounters numerous instances where clients ranked high in search results but decided to expand different subpages on their websites.
Although flooding the page with excellent content is generally regarded as best practice, matching appropriate keywords to particular subpages is critical so that Google can easily assess them and assign specific keywords.
Aside from your overall rank in the search results, keyword cannibalization may have the following consequences:
The conversion rate – suppose a particular term is allocated to more than one subpage and initially appears accurate. In that case, it may merely confuse consumers, raise your bounce rate, and, as a result, lower your conversion rate.
Information quality – providing similarly useful content on several sites covering the same topic is tough. If the entire text or pieces of it are replicated across several subpages, the overall quality of your website content may suffer.
External linking – effective backlink development is the foundation of any SEO strategy. Suppose many external domains utilize the same anchor to link to a few subpages on your website. In that case, the link juice is passed on per subpage, which means that instead of enhancing the position of a single subpage and its keyword, links will confuse Google and provide no practical advantages.
Your “crawl budget” – Each page has an indexing budget, the number of times the search engine crawls the site in a certain time. When many sites are optimized for the same keyword, crawling and subsequent indexation of superfluous subpages occur. Although this may not be an issue for tiny websites, it can substantially impact huge pages and online marketplaces.
HOW TO FIND KEYWORD CANNIBALIZATION ISSUES?
Now, let’s see some ways by which one can find keyword cannibalization issues:
- Conduct a content audit
Developing New Intent-Focused Content. A single product page that ranks for search phrases relevant to their product range is a typical cannibalization issue in e-commerce. When this occurs, because no “range” subcategory exists, the solution is as simple as establishing a new page. When there isn’t a page that meets the intent, the “next best thing” ranking appears, so you make one. You should see that the difficulty has vanished because the intent has been met.
- Examine previous rankings
It is one of the most effective strategies for resolving keyword cannibalization. The common steps are as follows:
- Enter your domain name here
- Navigate to the Organic keyword report
- Filter for the term you wish to look into
- Select the ranking history dropdown menu
There you can see your position history.
- Run a site: search
Site search is a feature that helps visitors easily and efficiently search and locate the material on your website. While it is comparable to a standard search engine, it is unique to your site. It operates by continually indexing it, displaying all of the pages on your site that are connected to that topic.
- Conduct a Google search to eliminate host clustering
A host cluster is a collection of logical host objects that may be controlled as a group. You can, for example, construct a volume mapping that all hosts share in the cluster. The system uses internal protocols to regulate access to the volumes and assure data consistency.
- Look for URLs with multiple rankings
The steps to do so are as follows:
- Put your Domain
- Click to Organic Keywords Report
- Click open the Multiple URL’s only options
After doing this, you can easily see the URLs ranking multiple times.
HOW TO FIX KEYWORD CANNIBALIZATION ISSUES?
To fix such an issue, do the following things:
- Merge Content
If you have two websites that accomplish similar tasks, one that recommends good dog food and another that identifies terrible dog food, you may want to combine the material on one page. This technique will not always work for every case, but integrating material will typically simplify and improve your website’s search engine optimization.
- Delete Content
It’s extreme, but you might consider eliminating inappropriate online material—especially if it’s no longer relevant to your website. If your company has evolved and that earlier, less professional, personal blog post with certain keywords still ranks better than your targeted site content, delete it. The problem is no longer present if the content is no longer available.
- Remove Keywords
If you need to keep a certain text for other reasons and the existence of a term isn’t vital, you may always remove it; it is a slower, more laborious method of accomplishing things, but it has the advantage of being straightforward to execute.
- Make Necessary Changes in Your Internal Linking
If your website has web content that links to other information, the links may be features you can improve. Try adding or modifying your website’s internal linking so that less important material connects to the things you want to emphasize and prioritize.
- Modify Inbound Link Requests
Modifying Inbound Link requests will be one of the more difficult kinds of cannibalization, but it is crucial. How many other individuals have linked to your material is another aspect that SEO analyses when evaluating search results. After searching your website, you may discover that less essential information is still ranking better than newer, more relevant content because other websites are creating links.