If you have no idea what keyword cannibalization is, don’t worry, here’s a super simple explanation:
Keyword cannibalization happens when several pages, articles or blog posts on your website are ranking for the same keyword. In other words, when there is internal competition between your pages to rank for a single keyword.
Usually, this happens because you are writing about similar topics in different articles or if you’re optimizing them for the same keyword.
This is a valid question, because after all, what we want is to rank on Google, so if we are able to rank for the same keyword on different pages, that should be good, right?
Well, not exactly. Let me show you an example.
Let’s say that you created a landing page builder, so you write the following articles on your blog:
Article #1: “How to find the best landing page builder”
Article #2: “10 must-have landing page builder features”
Article #3: “Best mobile-friendly landing page builder”
Even though the 3 articles are talking about different things, you may be optimizing them for the same keyword, “landing page builder”.
The problem is that the 3 pages will compete for the same keyword, and Google will not know which one to show higher in search results.
One day it may show one article, then a different one the next day. That kind of uncertainty will create low and unstable rankings.
How to identify keyword cannibalization
It’s not that complicated to discover if you have this problem. Just go to Google and do a search like this:
On the list of results, if you notice the exact same keyword in the title of several pages, you may have a problem. Make a list of those pages and I’ll tell you what you need to do next.
We are currently working on a new KatLinks feature that will show you within the rank tracking tool if there’s a keyword cannibalization problem on your website. I will share more info about this on Twitter.
🔥 Update: The keyword cannibalization feature is now live in the keyword rank tracking tool. You’ll find it with the icon.
Once you’ve identified a keyword cannibalization problem, do a content audit on the pages in question. See which content is ranking better and driving more traffic to determine which one you should keep as the main content for that keyword.
You have some options about what to do with the other pages:
1. Rewrite/reoptimize articles for different keywords
2. Merge/combine articles
3. Delete and redirect competing articles
Remember to do a proper content audit to determine the best course of action.
It’s easier to avoid issues from the start, than trying to fix them later. The best way to avoid keyword cannibalization is by planning your content correctly from the get-go.
Before you start writing, do keyword research to determine which will be the top keywords you’ll be focusing on.
Also, do a “content inventory” to make sure you haven’t covered that same topic and used the same keywords on past articles. If you have, it’s better to update old content, than to write a new one.
Are there any specific topics you would want me to cover in the coming weeks? DM me on Twitter and let me know!
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Keyword cannibalization can hurt your ranking potential, so avoid it by planning and optimizing your content for specific keywords on each page.
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