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keyword cannibalization

What is keyword cannibalization and how to fix it?

Keyword cannibalization and the corresponding landing pages is an issue that will create a particular problem for you in the ranking of your website in the search engines. Using the same keywords in multiple pages will confuse Google, and instead of ranking one page in the top results, you may have more than two pages in lower positions. You can easily spot it by searching your site for a specific keyword. If there is more than one result, then you will know that your site has an issue. Also, check how many results there are and their ranking. If all the results are in top positions, then there is no issue, but if they are in number 10 and eleven, you will have to fix it.

How to avoid keyword cannibalization?

Use a professional SEO Company that will organize your keywords properly. A map of keyword group per pages can help you understand your existing content’s impact and identify articles with no dynamic or gaps that need to be filled with content.
Sometimes when you are managing your own website without even realizing it, you create an article just because you have to, either because you feel the pressure of producing content or because you want to rank so much hard for one keyword with your website on the first page of search engines. Nothing else is in your mind, only your main target keyword, and you try to add that word in each page’s content, hoping that this will help for your home page to rank. Bad strategy. That is why an SEO Audit would be necessary. After fixing the findings of the SEO Audit, your site will be organized, the errors will be fixed, the content’s visibility will be better, and that will all help in your campaigns and, of course, in ranking in Google. Working with the professionals, you will know which articles, content, and keywords you should keep, merge or amend.

How to Identify and Fix Keyword Cannibalization?

  • Creating content all over your site aiming with the same keyword.

This is an old technique that will not help your site at all. When your site has similar content with the same keywords because you want to rank at least once, you fell into the cannibalization trap.

  • Inappropriate use of internal links.

When the content writer tries to link your different website pages with the identical keyword, then the search engine bots are confused, and the result is low ranking.

  • Changing search intent

As we all know, the algorithms are changing, so that people’s keyword search habit and trend too. That is why you need to monitor your keywords and change them when it is necessary. Some things just do not work forever.

  • Fix similar content issue

You have to take a very close look at your website and check if you write the same meaning in different words, using the exact keywords or synonyms. If this is the case, you should merge them, which means erasing one and enriching the other one. However, it would help if you remembered that you must redirect the deleted post to the article you have decided to keep. Do not worry; you can rank a bunch of keyword with one single page! Back in time, however, Google did not recognize keyword synonyms or keyword family (group), you had to create a page for “red apples”, a page for “green apples” and another page for “small apples for kids”. Today you can use all these keywords on one page and if you do it well, the page will rank for all keywords and synonyms and phrases.

Tools to fix keyword cannibalization

There are more target ways to check if you have cannibalization of keywords. There are a couple of SEO tools you can use to make a more detailed search.

  • Google Search Console

Google Search Console is the best for this job. Most external tools link to Google Search Console to give you the results. All you have to do is log in to the Console, choose the site you are interested in, click on the Performance > Search results, and look for your keyword. Then you click on pages to see the list of the pages that have targeted the same keyword. If there is only one page listed for one keyword, then you did a great job.

  • SEMrush

One of the most popular tools works automatically and spots the problem. It is easy to use too. You just log in, add your site, and it comes back with the results. You can create a free account for one website.

  • Data Studio

It is free and brings all the information from Google search console

  • Sanitycheck

It also takes all the data from Google, and it has a special module called cannibalization. This tool is not well known, and it is best for small or medium websites. Again you have to connect to Google Search Console.

  • Jetoctopus

This is a web crawler tool that offers a cannibalization report as well. The steps are moreover the same. You add your website and connect to the Google Search Console.

  • Ahrefs

Ahrefs is very popular and can give you a report on your keywords as well. Professionals use it mainly to check if their website got a penalty because of the cannibalization.

Concluding when you are creating your content for your site, you must be very well organized. You must make sure you use professionals to help you with the mapping, the appropriate content, and the proper keywords so you will avoid all these common issues we mentioned above. Then you will see your site rank higher in Google Searches with the targeted keywords, and you will have more traffic.

Krisztina Peter