Keyword Cannibalization: What Is It, And How To Fix It?

Keyword Cannibalization

The keyword cannibalization problem is a common SEO challenge.

It’s when your website has many pages with similar keywords, but they are not on the same topic. This leads to low rankings and low traffic to these pages, which in turn lowers their relevance score and can cause them to be removed from search engine results entirely. It’s a difficult problem to solve, but it can be fixed with the right strategy.

The Types

There are two types of keyword cannibalization: on-site and off-site. On-site occurs when multiple pages on your website compete for the same keyword. Off-site cannibalization happens when other websites outrank you for your target keyword.

On-site is the more common type. This happens when you have multiple pages targeting the same keyword, but they are not all on the same topic. For example, let’s say you have a website about dogs, and you have two pages that both target the keyword “dog food.” One page is about the best dog food brands, and the other is about homemade dog food recipes. These pages are competing against each other for the same keyword even though they are not on the same topic. This can be confusing for search engines and will lead to lower rankings for both pages.

Off-site cannibalization happens when other websites outrank you for your target keyword. This can be especially frustrating if you are the only website that should be ranking for that keyword.  For example, let’s say you have a website about car parts and you sell tires. You rank number one for the keyword “car tires,” but then another website starts selling tires, and they outrank you. This is off-site keyword cannibalization.

Keyword Audits

The first step to solving this problem is to do a keyword audit. This will help you see which pages are competing for the same keywords and which ones need to be fixed.

There are a few different ways to do a keyword audit. You can use a tool like Google Search Console or Screaming Frog SEO Spider.  

Google Search Console is a free tool that shows you which keywords your website is ranking for. You can use this to see which pages are competing for the same keywords and then make changes to those pages.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a paid tool that does a more in-depth analysis of your website. It will show you all the pages on your website and what keywords they are targeting. You can use this to find pages that are targeting the same keywords and then make changes to those pages.

Once you have a list of the pages that are competing for the exact keywords, you need to decide which ones you want to keep and which ones you want to remove.

You also need to decide which keywords you want to target with each page. You can use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to find new keywords that you want to target.

Making changes

Once you have a list of the pages that are competing for the same keywords, you need to make changes to those pages.

The first thing you need to do is decide which page you want to keep and which page you want to remove. If you have two pages that are on the same topic, then you need to decide which one is more relevant to the keyword.

If you have a page that is not relevant to the keyword, then you need to remove it or change the keyword that it is targeting.

Once you have decided which page you want to keep, you need to make sure that the keyword is targeted correctly.

If you are using a tool like Google Search Console, you can use the “change of address” tool to tell Google which page you want to keep and which page you want to remove.

If you are using a tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider, you can use the “canonical URL” feature to tell search engines which page you want to keep and which page you want to remove.

Once you have made these changes, you need to monitor your website to make sure that the changes are being implemented correctly.

You can use a tool like Google Analytics to see how your website is performing after the changes have been made.

If you are still seeing keyword cannibalization, then you may need to make further changes to your website.

You may also want to consider adding more content to your website so that you can target more keywords. This will help you avoid keyword cannibalization in the future.

Keyword Cannibalization

 

What Are the Consequences?

Keyword cannibalization can have a number of negative consequences.

The most obvious consequence is that it can lower your rankings in search engines. If you have two pages that are competing for the same keyword, then both pages will rank lower than if there was only one page targeting that keyword.

Another consequence is that it can reduce the amount of traffic that you get to your website. If people are clicking on one of your pages and then leaving because they see that there is another page on your website that is more relevant to their query, then you are losing potential traffic.

Keyword cannibalization can also make it difficult for search engines to index your website properly. If you have two pages that are competing for the same keyword, then search engines may have difficulty deciding which page to index. This can lead to your website being less visible in search results.

Finally, keyword cannibalization can make it difficult for people to find the information they are looking for on your website. If you have two pages that are competing for the same keyword, then people may have difficulty finding the information they are looking for.

This can lead to frustration and a negative experience for your users.

Conclusion

Keyword cannibalization is a problem that can occur when two or more pages on your website are competing for the same keyword. This can lead to lower rankings for both pages and can be confusing for search engines. However, with a good strategy and by using the right tools, you don’t have to have this problem for long.

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