How Keyword Cannibalization Affects the SEO Process

December 3, 2022

Keyword cannibalization is a hot topic in the SEO world right now. Many people are still trying to figure out what it is and how it affects their websites. Often, businesses don't realize that it is an issue until they enlist the help of SEO services in West Palm Beach. After an audit, they soon learn that their website has been guilty of cannibalizing itself for keywords. But what does this mean?

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

When two or more pages on a website are competing for the same keyword, this is called keyword cannibalization. It can be a big problem because it confuses both search engines and users. When multiple pages are competing for the same keyword, it's difficult for search engines to determine which page is the most relevant; this can lead to lower rankings for all of the pages involved. Rather than one page performing strongly for the keyword, you have multiple pages performing poorly.

Users can also get confused when they see multiple pages competing for the same keyword. They may not know which page to click on, and they may even leave the website altogether.

How Does Keyword Cannibalization Affect SEO?

Importantly, keyword cannibalization can hurt your SEO. As we mentioned, it can be difficult for search engines to determine which page is the most relevant. Soon enough, you'll find that both your pages are punished.

As well as getting directly punished, keyword cannibalization can also lead to lower click-through rates (CTRs). If users are confused about which page to click on, they're more likely to just click on something else entirely. If your CTRs are low and your bounce rate is high, you're likely to see a drop in rankings this way too.

How Do You Identify Keyword Cannibalization?

Are you guilty of keyword cannibalization? The first step is to identify whether you have any duplicate content on your site. You can do this by running a site audit with a tool like Screaming Frog, or by contacting a professional SEO service. By doing either, you will get a list of all the pages on your site, as well as any duplicate content.

If you see multiple pages with the same or similar titles, meta descriptions, and H1 tags, then you have keyword cannibalization. Another way to tell is if you're ranking for the same keyword on multiple pages - these pages are cannibalizing each other's rankings.

How Do You Fix Keyword Cannibalization?

Let's say that you have identified a problem with keyword cannibalization on your site. How do you fix it? In truth, there are a few different ways that you can go about this:

  • The first option is to simply delete the pages that are cannibalizing each other. If you have two or more pages that are pretty much identical, then it makes sense to get rid of the extras. Not only will this help to reduce keyword cannibalization, but it will also streamline your website and make it easier for visitors to find the information they need.
  • The second option is to change the focus of the pages that are cannibalizing each other. If you have two pages that are both trying to rank for the same keyword, then it might be helpful to focus one page on a different keyword; this will help to spread out the search engine traffic and reduce the chances of keyword cannibalization.
  • The third option is to change the structure of your website; if you have a lot of pages that are all trying to rank for the same keyword, then it might be helpful to change the way that your website is organized. This could involve changing the navigation or increasing the number of pages on your site.


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