How to Identify and Correct Keyword Cannibalization – Guru Marketing
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How to Identify and Correct Keyword Cannibalization

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It’s hard enough to get organic traffic for your website without adding keyword cannibalization to the challenge. You may be committing this crime without knowing it. You want your business website to be ranked as high as you can in search engine result pages (SERPs).

Your site probably has multiple pages that you want to rank for different keywords. What happens when you have two or more pages competing for the exact same keyword? In this blog post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about keyword cannibalization–what it is, why it’s a problem, and how to fix it.

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

You run the risk of keyword cannibalization when you create two or more articles for one keyword on your site. It can be intentional (if you are trying to target a single keyword with several pieces of content), or unintentional (if the content is not targeted at the same keyword).

Keyword cannibalization can be a problem, as it can spread your domain authority and link equity across multiple pieces of content rather than concentrating them on a single page. It can be difficult for those pages to rank high in the SERPs.

Example of Cannibalization Keyword

Here are some examples of keyword cannibalization. You write two blog posts on the same subject and use the same keyword in both. Keyword cannibalization is evident in this example.

There are also other subtler examples. You might have both a category and product page optimized for the exact same keyword.

Two pieces of content with different keywords, but very similar subject matter (for instance “acne treatment” and “acne remedy”) are another example.

You may have a post on your blog that is optimized for one keyword and the homepage for another keyword. You may be unintentionally stealing your own content by using the wrong keywords.

Why is Keyword Cannibalization A Problem?

You might wonder why keyword cannibalization is a problem. If you have several pieces of content optimized for the exact same keyword, does that not increase the likelihood that one of these pieces will rank on the SERPs.

No. Keyword cannibalization is the same as splitting up your link equity among multiple pieces of content. We’ve already explained this.

Cannibalization of keywords can lead to confusion for both users and search engines. Search engines may not be able to tell which of your content pieces are the most relevant if you have several articles optimized with the same SEO keyword. This can result in lower rankings for the pages that are affected.

If users find that a particular piece of content is not relevant for their needs, it’s likely they will click back on the SERPs to try another result. This will increase your bounce rate which is also a ranking factor.

Search engines can lower your ranking if you have a high bounce rate.

How to fix keyword cannibalization

To fix keyword cannibalization, you must first identify which pages of your website are competing with each other for the same keywords. Here are some ways to achieve that:

Google Search Console

Click on Search Console > Results > Queries. Filter by impressions and clicks to see what keywords are being used in SERPs.

You may have keyword cannibalization if you see several pages of your website ranking for the exact same keyword.

Use competitor analysis tools

You can find out what keywords your pages rank for by using competitor analysis tools such as SEMrush, Moz or Ahrefs. Enter your URL in one of these tools to see the “Top Pages” reports. You can see which keywords are being used to rank each page of your website.

Use Manual Search

You can also perform a manual search on Google to find out which pages of your website are ranking for specific keywords. Enter the keyword in Google and scroll to the bottom of SERP. You may have keyword cannibalization if you see multiple pages of your website.

How to Fix it

You can fix the problem once you have identified which pages of your website are competing with each other for the same keywords. Here are a few options:

Choose One Page to Optimize for the Primary Keyword

You can optimize the page by using best practices, such as using the keyword within the title tag and meta description, or the H2 tag.

Google will penalize you for duplicate content.

301 redirect other pages to this page

Use 301 redirects once you have optimized a page for the keywords that you want to use. This will send traffic to your page from other pages relevant to your site.

It will ensure that your link equity and traffic are concentrated on one page, the one that is optimized for your keywords.

Noindex other relevant pages

It may make sense in some cases, especially if you can’t 301 redirect the traffic from one site to another. In this case, it’s best to add a “no-index” tag to all relevant pages of your website so that they are not included in Google’s search results.

It’s a good idea to consider this as a last resort, because these pages will not appear in Google for any keyword – and that includes your target keywords.

If all else fails… consolidate!

It may make sense in some cases to delete the other pages, especially if you only have one or two relevant pages on your website. This will prevent them from competing with each other and with yourself. anymore!

Consolidate all the relevant information on one page to avoid confusion when people land on your website from SERPs.

 

 

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