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Keyword Cannibalization Is More Prevalent Today

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Nov 22, 2021

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Keyword cannibalization has been a contentious subject for quite some time. Some publishers view keyword cannibalization as an opportunity to reach a wider audience, while others think it is a problem.

There are instances when cannibalization is not always an issue.

Below, we will let you know what keyword cannibalization is, when it is acceptable, and when you need to fix it.

Keyword Cannibalization is More Prevalent Today than Ever Before

keyword cannibalization is more prevalent today than ever before

Keyword Cannibalization Definition

We start by answering the query what is keyword cannibalization.

It is an issue of having multiple blog pages or posts on your website competing for the same or very similar keywords.

These pages end up competing for conversion, rankings, and traffic. As a result, you may experience lower organic traffic to your site.  When traffic reduces, you will also experience a ripple effect where conversions sink and the leads become less.

All this happens when pages on the website compete on search engines such as Google or Bing. These pages may split their clickthrough rates, internal links, backlinks, and other factors contributing to page “authority.”

In marketing, cannibalization can significantly reduce sales revenue. It also reduces the market share of specific products, especially if your company has introduced a new product.

How to Recognize Cannibalization

Luckily, checking whether your website suffers from keyword cannibalization is quite easy.

You can opt to complete the process manually by doing a thorough site check for any keyword you suspect to be having multiple results.

There is also the option of investing in a keyword cannibalization checker to help.

You can find both free and paid tools online, where you can choose the one you feel will work best.

Reasons Keyword Cannibalization Is More Prevalent Today

While keyword cannibalization has always occurred in the past, it is becoming more popular as the years go by.

It is because more people now have a better understanding of SEO.

It also happens because of changes that occur to Google search results and better content offering.

Is Keyword Cannibalization Always a Problem?

Keyword cannibalization is not always a bad thing.

There is one situation when it can work in your favor. 

It happens when you rank highly for the same keyword. Say you rank for the same keyword on the first and second positions on the search engine results page (SERPS), and you continue to hold the positions in the long-term; there is no need to stress about cannibalization. This is because it is not hurting your business in any way.

When to Take Action Against Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization becomes an issue when you are dealing with low-quality web page rankings from what you wish.

For example, you can have a highly-converting landing page and a secondary page that is not performing as you intend, yet both are focused on one keyword.

It would be best to de-rank the page that is not performing to allow the landing page to attract more valuable organic traffic.

How to Fix Keyword Cannibalization

If cannibalization is affecting your website negatively, you can take a few steps to fix this problem:

  • Audit your Content: it is the first step towards identifying any cannibalization issues. There is also the option of using a keyword cannibalization tool to help identify any concerns you may have on the site.  
  • Analyze Content Performance: You have to make tough decisions on the content to keep and the one to discard. Naturally, you want to remain with the content that receives the most traffic and offers greater value to the site. You can do this in multiple ways like: 
  • Using Internal Links: An internal linking strategy is one of your best bets in helping search engines determine the most important page. You can link less relevant posts to the pages that you want to receive the highest ranking. It is an excellent way to streamline content and work with a successful SEO strategy
  • Eliminate Keyword References:  go through all the affected pages and get rid of any mention of the keyword in question. You can conduct a Google search or perform a CTRL + F to search your web pages for cannibalized keywords. Note that this will not entirely take care of the problem because Google relies on other factors as well to assign a proper ranking. 
  • Combine Articles that Address the Same Subject: Google prefers long-form content over short articles that appear somehow vague. It implies that you can solve keyword cannibalization by combining the pieces. You can combine pages that share different information about the same topic or concept. The move is bound to give your clients better value. Most importantly, it will help improve ranking, showing evidence of brand authority.
  • Think About Non-indexing: if you are sure all pages with the same keyword are valuable to your audience, and you do not want them to cannibalize or rank other pages, non-indexing is an excellent option. It tells search engines that you do not want the pages to show up in the search results.

    Conclusion

    Using this guide above, you should be in a better position to identify keyword cannibalization and know when to fix it or leave the keywords as they are.

    The goal is to have in place a proper SEO strategy that will ensure your website is a success.

    Do you have any more questions about cannibalization? It would be our pleasure to address them in the comment section.

    Thomas Glare

    Thomas Glare

    Writer with a marketing background

    Thomas Glare has a background in marketing and decided to focus on writing easy-to-read articles that help people with various issues. He covers everything from technology to “how-to” articles, and collaborates with several online publications, such as mr.bet casino, to share his work. When he’s not writing new material, he’s probably on his bike, as cycling is his biggest hobby.

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