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How To Identify & Eliminate Keyword Cannibalization To Boost Your SEO

Do you’ve gotten a number of pages in your web site rating for a similar key phrase?

Which will sound like factor.

In any case, the extra pages you’ve gotten in search outcomes, the extra impressions you’ll obtain from search customers, proper?

Sadly, that isn’t all the time the case.


Focusing on a selected time period throughout a number of pages can have the other impact. You might do extra hurt than good to your SEO for that key phrase.

The reason being easy — when you’ve gotten a number of pages rating for a similar key phrase, you pressure your pages to compete with one another.

Consequently, every web page has a decrease CTR, diminished authority, and decrease conversion charges than one consolidated web page would have.

We name this SEO misstep key phrase cannibalization.


What Is Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is named such since you’re “cannibalizing” your personal outcomes by splitting CTR, hyperlinks, content material, and (usually) conversions between two pages that needs to be one.

Whenever you do that, you aren’t exhibiting Google the breadth or depth of your data. You aren’t enhancing the authority of your website for that question, both.


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As an alternative, you’re asking Google to weigh your pages in opposition to each other and select which of them it thinks fits the matching key phrases greatest.

For instance, let’s say that your web site sells footwear, and [shoes] is the one key phrase you goal. You’re primarily telling Google that each web page is about footwear no matter whether or not they’re climbing footwear, tennis footwear, sneakers, and many others.

As an alternative of capitalizing on loads of precious longer-tail key phrases akin to ladies’s footwear, trainers, and many others., you’re competing in opposition to your self for one key phrase that could be too broad to have business intent.

6 Detrimental Results Keyword Cannibalization Can Have On Your SEO

Keyword cannibalization can have disastrous penalties to your SEO. Many individuals affected by key phrase cannibalization aren’t even conscious there’s a problem.

They may even be blissful that one web page is rating within the fifth and sixth slot for his or her focused key phrase, with out realizing that one authoritative web page would in all probability rank greater and convert higher.


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The sensible penalties are clear. Nonetheless, misplaced website visitors, queries resulting in the fallacious web page, fluctuating SERP rankings, and finally misplaced gross sales may additionally outcome, and are tougher to detect.


As a result of…

You’re Diminishing The Authority Of Your Web page

As an alternative of getting one extremely authoritative web page, you’re splitting your CTR amongst a number of moderately-relevant pages.

Basically, you’ve turned your pages into opponents and now you’re preventing for pageviews and SERP rankings.

Take into account it from the viewpoint of a reader in search of a brand new e book on Amazon. Would you quite have one, in-depth e book a few matter that demonstrated your experience?

Or would you like to have two or extra much less full books a few matter, every leaving you wishing there was extra info?

You’re Diluting Your Hyperlinks & Anchor Textual content

Backlinks that might have gone to 1 consolidated supply of knowledge are actually being cut up between two (or extra) pages.

The outreach efforts spent on buying 10 hyperlinks for one web page and 15 hyperlinks for one more may have been spent buying 25 hyperlinks for one better-performing web page.

Moreover, a whole, in-depth web page is extra more likely to be linked to than lighter, much less complete items.

Equally, your anchor textual content and inner hyperlinks are main guests to a number of completely different pages as an alternative of 1 authoritative web page on the topic.

Google Might Devalue The Extra Related Web page

Key phrases are one of many fundamental methods through which we assist Google perceive what our pages are about.

If your whole key phrases are the identical, Google tries to know which web page is the most effective match – and in case your content material is just too comparable, it’d get it fallacious.

For instance, let’s say you’ve gotten two pages rating for a similar key phrase. If the upper changing web page ranks decrease, you can be lacking out on high-value, changing visitors.

You’re Squandering Crawl Funds

Your crawl funds is the variety of instances a search engine spider crawls your web site in a given time interval.

Having a number of pages dedicated to the identical key phrase leads to the crawling and indexing of pages that aren’t wanted.


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Observe: Small websites in all probability received’t discover a distinction or ever have to fret about their crawl funds, however giant ecommerce websites or distributors with a number of merchandise could.

It’s A Signal of Poor Web page High quality

A number of pages focusing on the identical key phrase tells your customers that your content material might be stretched skinny. It additionally alerts to Google that your content material could not match your key phrases on every web page.

Your Conversion Price Will Undergo

Inevitably, one in every of your pages will convert higher than the remainder.

As an alternative of directing new guests to that web page and making it essentially the most authoritative web page attainable, you’re as an alternative dropping potential leads after they land on much less related pages.

How To Identify Keyword Cannibalization

Luckily, when you’ve recognized the issue, fixing key phrase cannibalization is simple.

Figuring out key phrase cannibalization is as straightforward as making a key phrase matrix.

Merely create a spreadsheet that lists your whole website’s necessary URLs and their related key phrases.

For instance, in case your website sells footwear, then your spreadsheet may seem like this:

Keyword Cannibalization Mapping ToolScreenshot Taken by Creator

Alternatively, you should use a key phrase mapping software, which could seem like this:

Keyword Cannibalization Mapping ToolScreenshot Taken by Creator

When you’ve listed your URLs and their key phrases, run down the record and search for any duplicate entries.


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When you spot any – particularly throughout core pages – you’re in all probability affected by key phrase cannibalization.

Now it’s time to repair these pages!

Observe that key phrase cannibalization may even happen if the meta info in your title tags appears to focus on the identical key phrase, so double-check these, too.

When you’re utilizing a rank monitoring software, you may additionally wish to take this chance to seek for skinny content material and key phrases mistakenly utilized to the fallacious web page.

It’s time to offer your website a bit of TLC.

How To Repair Keyword Cannibalization

How you resolve key phrase cannibalization is dependent upon the foundation of the issue.

Most of the time, the difficulty is solely one in every of group. However significantly cussed circumstances could require that you simply escape the 301s or new touchdown pages.

Listed here are 5 attainable options.

1. Restructure Your Web site

The only answer is usually to take your most authoritative web page and switch it right into a touchdown web page, which hyperlinks to different distinctive variations that fall below the umbrella of your focused key phrases.


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If we return to our shoe-product instance, it’d make sense to make “footwear” our canonical supply web page and hyperlink all extra particular variations again to it.

2. Create New Touchdown Pages

Alternatively, you may lack a touchdown web page that consolidates your whole product pages in a single place.

On this case, you’d profit from creating a singular touchdown web page to function your authoritative supply web page and hyperlink to your whole variations from there.

In our instance, we would create a web page referred to as “climbing footwear” and one other referred to as “sneakers for males.”

These ought to permit you to goal each broad key phrase phrases together with your consolidated pages and long-tail key phrases in your variations.

3. Consolidate Your Content material

In case your pages aren’t distinctive sufficient to warrant having a number of pages focusing on the identical key phrase, take into account combining them into one web page.

It is a likelihood to take two underperforming pages and switch them right into a extra authoritative supply. It could additionally resolve skinny content material points.


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Begin together with your analytics to find out which web page performs greatest when it comes to visitors, bounce price, time on web page, conversions, and many others. You might discover that one web page receives many of the visitors, however the different has the content material that converts extra customers.

The purpose, on this case, may very well be to consolidate the changing copy content material on the web page with essentially the most visitors. Ideally, you’d be capable to keep the identical rating and convert extra of the visitors.

An added advantage of this strategy is that you simply received’t have to fret about having your web site penalized for content material that Google considers skinny or cookie-cutter-like.

4. Discover New Key phrases

Lastly, in case you’re already blessed with extremely various, content-rich pages, and the one factor your web site is affected by is a poorly deliberate key phrase technique, possibly all you should do is use new key phrases.

Simply be sure that your key phrases precisely describe your web page’s content material. Will a web site customer who looked for the goal key phrase be happy by the content material on every web page that ranks for it?


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If the reply isn’t any, it might be time to do some key phrase analysis.

Taking a look at your pages in a spreadsheet with the next particulars may also help you see higher key phrase alternatives for comparable pages:

  • Keyword & rank.
  • The web page URL.
  • SEO title & meta description.
  • Phrase rely.
  • Natural visitors.
  • Bounce price.
  • Conversions.

This could aid you spot pages focusing on the identical key phrases.

From there, you’ll be able to decide which pages are most precious, which could be consolidated, and which want new key phrases.

Typically, you should use your key phrase analysis software to search out essentially the most related key phrases for all the pages you wish to hold.

You probably have two pages rating effectively for a long-tail key phrase, see if there’s a associated broad time period you can be specializing in for one in every of them to seize extra visitors.

As soon as you discover that key phrase, reoptimize for it accordingly and replace the small print in your spreadsheet for future reference and efficiency monitoring.


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5. Use 301 Redirects

Whereas I usually advise in opposition to utilizing too many 301 redirects (see my record of the ten Most Dangerous Cellular SEO Errors), they is likely to be mandatory if you have already got a number of pages rating for a similar phrases.

Utilizing 301s lets you consolidate your cannibalized content material by linking the much less related pages to a single, extra authoritative model.

Keepin thoughts although that this tactic is appropriate just for pages with comparable content material and people matching particular key phrase queries.


These 5 options will repair most circumstances of key phrase cannibalization. Nonetheless, in case you handle an ecommerce web site, you have to be significantly cautious to notice how your CMS separates merchandise with variable sizes and colours.

Some CMS applications create separate pages for each product variation.

In case your CMS is organizing merchandise like this, you must both limit duplicate pages from being listed utilizing robots.txt or <meta title=”robots” content material=”noindex”> tags, or you must use canonical URLs to consolidate hyperlink alerts for the duplicate content material.


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Keyword cannibalization is extra prevalent right this moment than ever earlier than.

Paradoxically, its victims are normally site owners who acknowledge the significance of SEO for his or her enterprise. But whereas they intend to optimize their website, they don’t totally perceive the right way to ‘converse’ Google’s language.

Luckily, in case your web site is cannibalizing its goal key phrases, options aren’t laborious to come back by — and the injury isn’t everlasting.

With the correct instruments and a “can-do” angle, you can provide your SEO a well-deserved increase.

Featured picture: Paulo Bobita/SearchEngineJournal

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