Keyword Cannibalization: What It Is And How To Avoid It? (Correct answer)

One way to avoid keyword cannibalization here is to use links to send Google and your readers back to a primary ‘knowledge base’ or piece of cornerstone content. Alternatively, you can try using variations of the same keyword to expand your content’s reach.

What is keyword cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization occurs when you have too many identical or similar keywords spread throughout the content on your website. As a result, a search engine like Google can’t discern which content to rank higher. It may also lower the rank of all the pages that share these keywords.

How do you tackle keyword cannibalization?

How to Fix Keyword Cannibalization

  1. Restructure Your Website.
  2. Create New Landing Pages.
  3. Consolidate Your Content.
  4. Find New Keywords.
  5. Use 301 Redirects.

Is keyword cannibalization real?

Keyword cannibalization isn’t really a thing —at least not in the way most people understand it. Google doesn’t get “confused” by multiple pages about similar things or pages targeting the same keywords. It knows what’s on those pages and ranks them accordingly.

How can content cannibalization be prevented?

Seven ways to avoid content cannibalization

  1. 1) Internal linking.
  2. 2) Anchor text inconsistency.
  3. 4) Page title and other meta differentiation.
  4. 5) Merging content for concentration.
  5. 6) Intent to content mapping.

Why is keyword stuffing bad?

Keyword stuffing is widely condemned by search engines, and the activity could lead to a search penalty. In other words, if you fill your page with needless keywords, it won’t improve your chances of ranking higher. It will decrease them.

How do you do keyword mapping?

A step-by-step guide to keyword mapping

  1. Step 1: Find your top pages.
  2. Step 2: Find your seed keyword.
  3. Step 3: Expand your seed keyword.
  4. Step 4: Build your keyword map.
  5. Step 5: Create an on-page optimisation roadmap.

What is SEO cannibalism?

What is Keyword Cannibalization in SEO? All too often, keyword cannibalization is explained as being something that happens when you have more than one page on your site that target the same keyword — that one page cannibalizes the other’s ability to rank and neither perform as well as they should, do.

Why am I losing keywords on Ahrefs?

The Keyword Movements report shows the history of all ranking movements that Ahrefs’ bots have noticed for a target website or URL. Keywords reported as “Lost” in this report is considered to no longer be ranking in Google Top 100 SERPs. The URL ranking in Google may be different from the URL we’re reporting as “Lost”.

What are the Backlinks in SEO?

A backlink is simply a link from one website to another. High-quality backlinks can help to increase a site’s ranking position and visibility in search engine results (SEO).

What is keyword stemming And why does it matter?

Stemming or keyword stemming refers to Google’s ability to understand different word forms of a specific search query. To give an example: if you use the word ‘buy’ in a sentence, a stemming algorithm will recognize the words ‘buys’, ‘buying’ and ‘bought’ as variations of the word ‘buy’ as well.

What is keyword proximity in SEO?

A search term can be made up of a combination of keywords. The keyword proximity refers to the distance between the search term’s individual keywords. The smaller the distance between a search term’s individual keywords, the more relevant it will be from a search engine’s point of view.

Are long tail keywords better?

Long tail keywords being comprised of a few words makes them much more specific. This means that both users and site owners generally receive better results. The specificity of long tail keywords also means that there is less competition for each keyword phrase.

What is keyword cannibalization Mcq?

Keyword cannibalization is something to take seriously as it can potentially damage your rankings for multiple reasons. Keyword cannibalization happens when a website’s information architecture relies on a single keyword or phrase on multiple parts of the website.

What is keyword density formula?

By the Numbers: The Keyword Density Formula The formula is straightforward: Divide the number of times a keyword is used on your page by the total number of words on the page. Here’s an easy example: Your page has 1,000 words and your keyword is used 10 times. This gives: 10 / 1000 =.001.

Should I use the same keywords on every page?

Having the same keyword targeted on multiple pages of a website doesn’t make a search engine thinks your site is more relevant for that term. When multiple web pages seem to be too similar, it can actually send out negative signals.

Keyword Cannibalization: What It (Really) Is & How to Fix It

Information obtained via the Content Explorer This metric displays the number of different websites that are connecting to this piece of content. As a general rule, the greater the number of websites that link to you, the higher your Google ranking. According to Ahrefs statistics, the following graph depicts the anticipated monthly search traffic to this article. According to Google Analytics, the real search traffic is typically 3-5 times higher. This story was shared on Twitter a total of x amount of times.

Putting it in the words of Patrick Stox, “this is a ridiculous proposition.” He’s absolutely correct.

However, it might occasionally suggest a good time to condense material in order to boost ranks and organic performance on the search engine results page.

  • When it comes to keyword cannibalization, there are several reasons why it is a harmful practice. How to identify concerns with term cannibalization
  • How to resolve concerns with keyword cannibalization
  • Solutions that are poor at keyword cannibalization

What is keyword cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization occurs when numerous pages on a website target the same or similar keywords and compete against each other, resulting in a decrease in the site’s organic search ranking. Consider the following scenario: we have two pages concerning technical SEO. If integrating the two sites into a single page results in a greater overall increase in organic traffic, we have a cannibalization problem. These two pages are detracting from our organic performance because of their existence.

Is keyword cannibalization bad?

Cannibalization is a negative concept. However, it’s important to note that you only have a legitimate cannibalization problem when several pages target the same term and negatively impact a site’s organic performance. Although pages tend to rank for a large number of keywords, this is not always the case. Consider the following scenario: we have two sites that both target the same keyword. One of them is ranked number one, while the other page (which we would want to be ranked number one) is nowhere to be seen.

Although this may be true for traffic derived from one keyword, what if each of these pages is ranked for hundreds of additional keywords?

The fact is that we don’t have a genuine cannibalization problem on our hands because the existence of these two sites is unlikely to have a negative impact on our site’s total organic ranking.

How to find keyword cannibalization issues

It is necessary to search for pages that target the same keywords and fulfill the same or very similar purpose in order to identify genuine cannibalization problems. The reason for this is that if the objective of each page is the same, it is improbable that each page would rank for a large number of different long-tail keyword variants.

As a result, condensing the pages generally results in more benefits than disadvantages. Let’s have a look at a couple different methods of identifying these pages.

Option 1. Do a content audit

Cannibalization concerns should be reasonably straightforward to detect during a content audit, unless your site is extremely large in scope.

Option 2. Look at historic rankings

This is the ideal method to use when you want to check for cannibalization concerns for a certain search phrase. To do so in Ahrefs’Site Explorer, follow the steps below:

  1. Fill up the blanks with your domain
  2. Go to theOrganic keywords report to learn more. Filter for the keyword you’re interested in researching
  3. To access the ranking history, choose it from the dropdown menu.

Take, for example, Moz’s historical rankings for the term “keyword cannibalization,” which show three pages ranking in the previous six months, none of which placed higher than position8: Let’s take a deeper look at two of those URLs in particular: /blog/identify-and-tackle-keyword-cannibalisation-in-2019/blog/how-to-solve-keyword-cannibalization The following is what they have to say about the pages:

  1. Both of these are blog postings
  2. They’re both concerned with the same issue (i.e., addressing and resolving keyword cannibalization)
  3. The first one is out of date (it has the word “2019” in the URL)
  4. The second one is out of date (it has the word “2019” in the URL).

Consequently, this is probably definitely a cannibalization problem. The pages all serve the same purpose and are in direct competition with one another. Bringing them all together would most certainly boost Moz’s overall organic performance in the long run.

Option 3. Run a site: search

Go to Google and type in “subject” into the search box. You’ll be able to see all of the pages on your website that are relevant to that topic. As an example, if we search for “keyword cannibalization” on, we can see that the first three results are the same as the ones we previously identified inSite Explorer: TIP Be cautious while using this strategy since Google will return every result that is even slightly related to the query. As an example, you can see in the screenshot above that our search returned 661 results.

The majority of them are focusing on entirely different keywords.

Option 4. Run a Google search and remove host clustering

Google your website’s name as a “subject” and see what comes up. Your site’s pages that are connected to that particular topic will be displayed to you. As an example, if we search for “keyword cannibalization” on, we can see that the first three results are the same as the ones we identified inSite Explorer previously: TIP If you use this strategy, be aware that Google will return any result that is even slightly related to your search. Take, for example, the 661 results for our search, which you can see in the image above: However, not all of these pages are troublesome, which suggests that Moz is seeing keyword cannibalization.

Option 5. Check for multiple ranking URLs

If Google ranks many URLs for the same phrase, this may indicate that there is a cannibalization problem. The following is how to locate these keywords in Site Explorer:

  1. Fill up the blanks with your domain
  2. Go to theOrganic keywords report and choose “Multiple URLs only” from the drop-down menu.

Site Explorer discovers the same issue for the phrase “keyword cannibalization” as we did before with method2. You can see this for Moz by looking at the results. Keep in mind, however, that this isn’t always effective because Google, as previously noted, has a tendency to not rank numerous sites (in “normal” ranks) from the same host. However, due to the fact that it is really simple to perform inSite Explorer, it is still worthwhile to perform a short check.

IMPORTANT: Not all of the terms that appear on this page will be related to “cannibalization” concerns. Always double-check the search engine results page (SERP) and ranking history to determine that you are dealing with a genuine cannibalization problem.

How to fix keyword cannibalization issues

If you’re convinced that you have a cannibalization problem on your hands, condensing the pages can typically help you enhance organic performance. That may include forwarding an old, out-of-date page to something more relevant that you already have, or consolidating numerous pages into a single new one, depending on your situation. Either approach will almost always have a favorable impact since they combine well-known ranking signals such as backlinks and internal links onto a single page rather of dispersing them across numerous sites as with the other.

Here’s what we came up with:

  1. We created a new guide that incorporated the knowledge from both previous guides. We posted the revised guide at one of the current URLs
  2. We hope you enjoy it. We removed the old guide and redirected it to the new guide
  3. We also changed the title of the guide.

As seen in the graph below, which displays our historical rankings for the term “broken link building,” you can probably guess when this occurred: Similarly, our historical estimated organic traffic to these two pages indicates a favorable shift (the arrow denotes the date of consolidation) as follows: Until the redirect was implemented in 2018, both pages received a little amount of traffic. After aggregating and diverting traffic, only one site receives any. However, it receives far more traffic than the previous two pages (taken together).

This may be accomplished through the use of the Link Explorertool in Ahrefs’Site Audit:

  1. Site Audit will crawl your website and report its findings. Navigate to theLink Explorertool, choose Advanced filter, and then click+Rule. “Is the source internal” should be changed to “Target URL” in the new rule. Input the previously redirected URL

After that, you’ll get a list of sites that are internally linked to this URL, along with the anchor text of the link and other information about the page. More information may be found at: Internal Links for Search Engine Optimization: A Step-by-Step Guide

See also:  How To Protect Your Site From Google Penalties? (Professionals recommend)

Is the solution really this simple?

Yes, the majority of the time. However, as our more experienced readers will know, there is a lot of “it depends” in SEO, and as a result, there are times when things are a little more subtle than they appear. For example, we have two guidelines that are fairly similar to one another: Search Engine Optimization: How to Submit Your Website to Search Engines Instructions for Submitting Your Website to GoogleBoth of these pages serve a very similar purpose, despite the fact that they are targeted at somewhat different keywords.

  • Right?
  • However, our advice on submitting websites to search engines couldn’t be performing any better in organic search right now if we tried.
  • Furthermore, it appears to have reached the peak of its “traffic potential” (it receives more traffic than any other similar guide): Is this, in fact, a case of cannibalization on our hands?
  • Most likely not.
  • So what’s the point?
  • This is OK if the term has ambiguous intent, and it is seldom indicative of a genuine cannibalization problem.
  • However, each page will often receive traffic from a separate pool of long-tail keywords.
  • You run the risk of losing traffic from long-tail keywords.) What do you do if your analytics report indicates that one of these pages is of little or no value to you?
  • Delete the page and redirect it to the landing page in this scenario, as long as you are 100 percent convinced that the low-value blog post has no value to your business.

This will help you to consolidate your “authority.” This will very certainly result in a decrease in organic traffic overall. However, because you determined that the traffic was of no benefit to your company, it shouldn’t make a difference.

Keyword cannibalization solutions we rarely (or never) recommend

Cannibalization is a problem that many people attempt to fix at the keyword level using seemingly rational methods but are ultimately wrong in practice. Please take a closer look at these so that you are aware of the pitfalls.

Delete the page

There are very few instances when this is an acceptable option, unless the page has no value for your company (as previously described) or ranks simply for the “cannibalizing” term. Because both of these possibilities are extremely unlikely, doing nothing in the face of cannibalization is an uncommon occurrence.

Noindex the page

Noindexing is a technique that causes search engines to remove a page from its index, resulting in the page not ranking for anything. This is an extremely ineffective method of addressing cannibalization, and it once again demonstrates why addressing cannibalization at the keyword level is nearly always a bad idea. Reading material that is recommended: Everything You Need to Know About Robots Meta TagXRobots-Tag: Everything You Need to Know About Robots

Canonicalize the page

This is only a realistic option when dealing with a large number of pages that are almost or exactly clones of one another, also known as duplicate content. Canonicalization does not work as a solution to the problem of keyword cannibalization. Reading material that is recommended: Canonical Tags: A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Them

De-optimize the page

Despite the fact that it appears to make sense in principle, this method is essentially faulty due to the fact that you cannot de-optimize a website for only one keyword. Things do not operate in this manner. In the case of internal links, deleting all of them with the cannibalizing keyword as the anchor text is likely to have a negative impact on the page’s results for other keywords as well. Additionally, all references of the cannibalizing term from the website must also be removed from the page.

Final thoughts

There is no such thing as keyword cannibalization in the traditional sense, at least not in the way most people think of it. Search engines such as Google are not “confused” by several sites about the same item or pages that target the same keywords. It has a good understanding of what is on those pages and ranks them accordingly. Does this imply that Google will always give preference to the page you specify? Without a doubt, this is not the case. Nonetheless, this does not necessarily imply that it is “ranking on the incorrect page” or that immediate action is necessary to “fix” the problem.

Do you have any questions?

Send me a message on Twitter.

How To Identify & Eliminate Keyword Cannibalization To Boost Your SEO

Do you have many pages on your website that rank for the same keyword? If so, what are they? That may appear to be a positive development. After all, the greater the number of sites that appear in search results, the greater the number of impressions that you will acquire from search users. This is not always the case, though, and that is unfortunate. The use of a specific word over numerous pages might have the opposite impact of what you intended. It’s possible that you’ll do more harm than help to your SEO for that particular term.

As a result, each page has a lower click-through rate (CTR), less authority, and poorer conversion rates than if the content were consolidated onto a single page. This is referred to as keyword cannibalization in the SEO world.

What Is Keyword Cannibalization?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is characterized as keyword cannibalization because you are “cannibalizing” your own results by dividing CTR, links, content, and (in certain cases) conversions across two sites that could be combined into one. By doing so, you are not demonstrating to Google the breadth and depth of your expertise. You’re also not doing anything to increase the authority of your site for that query. Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page. Instead, you’re asking Google to compare your pages to one another and select the ones that it believes are the most relevant to the matching terms you entered.

This amounts to telling Google that every page is about shoes, regardless of whether they are hiking shoes, tennis shoes, sneakers, or any other type of shoe you choose.

6 Negative Effects Keyword Cannibalization Can Have On Your SEO

Keyword cannibalization may have devastating repercussions for your search engine optimization. Many people who are affected by keyword cannibalization are completely unaware that they are suffering from it. They could even be pleased if one page is ranking in the fifth and sixth positions for their chosen keyword, not realizing that one authoritative website would most likely rank higher and convert better for the same keyword. Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page. The practical ramifications are self-evident.


You’re Diminishing The Authority Of Your Page

Instead of having a single highly authoritative page, you’re dividing your CTR over a number of modestly relevant pages, which is less effective. In essence, you’ve transformed your sites into competitors, and you’re now competing for visits and search engine ranking positions. Consider the situation from the perspective of a reader looking for a new book on Would you want to have a single, in-depth book on a topic in which you might display your expertise? As an alternative, would you prefer two or more less full books on a topic, each of which leaves you wishing there had been even more information?

You’re Diluting Your LinksAnchor Text

Backlinks that could have been directed to a single centralized source of information are instead being distributed among two (or more) pages instead. When gaining 10 links for one page and 15 links for another, outreach efforts may have been focused on getting 25 links for one better-performing page instead of 10 connections for two pages with similar performance.

Furthermore, a detailed, in-depth page is more likely to get linked to than a lighter, less comprehensive page. Your anchor text and internal links, in a similar vein, are redirecting users to a number of different pages rather than a single authoritative website on the subject matter.

Google May Devalue The More Relevant Page

Search engine optimization (SEO) keywords are one of the most important methods we can assist Google in understanding what our pages are about. If all of your keywords are the same, Google will attempt to determine which page is the most appropriate – and if your content is too similar, it may make the incorrect determination. Consider the following scenario: you have two pages that rank for the same keyword. If the higher converting page is ranked lower than the lower converting page, you may be missing out on high-value, high-converting traffic.

You’re Squandering Crawl Budget

The number of times a search engine crawler crawls your website in a certain period of time is referred to as your crawl budget. Due to the presence of many sites dedicated to the same topic, pages that are not required are crawled and indexed by search engines. Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page. Please keep in mind that small sites will most likely not notice a change and will never have to worry about their crawl budget, however huge ecommerce sites or vendors with a high number of items may.

It’s A Sign of Poor Page Quality

When you have many pages targeting the same keyword, your viewers will know that your material is likely to be stretched thin. It also sends a signal to Google that your content on each page may not be relevant to your keywords.

Your Conversion Rate Will Suffer

Unavoidably, one of your pages will do far better than the others. When visitors land on less relevant sites, you are losing prospective leads instead of guiding them to that page and making it the most authoritative page possible.

How To Identify Keyword Cannibalization

Fortunately, once you’ve recognized the issue, resolving term cannibalization is a straightforward process. A keyword matrix may be used to identify cannibalization of keywords, which is a simple process. Simply build a spreadsheet that has a list of all of the essential URLs on your site, as well as the keywords that are linked with them. If your website sells shoes, for example, your spreadsheet would look something like this: Author took a screenshot of the page. Alternatively, you may make use of a keyword mapping tool, which can look something like the following: Author took a screenshot of the page.

Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page.

It’s time to get those pages up to date!

For those of you who are utilizing a rank tracking tool, you may also consider taking this chance to look for weak content and keywords that have been unintentionally placed to the incorrect page.

How To Fix Keyword Cannibalization

The method you use to resolve term cannibalization is dependent on the nature of the problem.

The majority of the time, the problem is just a matter of organization. However, in the event of exceptionally obstinate circumstances, you may need to resort to 301 redirects or new landing sites. Here are five possible answers to your problem.

1. Restructure Your Website

Most of the time, the most straightforward answer is to take your most authoritative website and convert it into a landing page that connects to additional unique versions of your targeted keywords that come under the umbrella of your targeted keywords. Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page. If we go back to our shoe-product example, it could make sense to designate “shoes” as the canonical source page and link to it from all of the more particular versions of the shoe product pages.

2. Create New Landing Pages

Alternatively, you may be lacking a landing page that brings all of your product pages together in an one location. In this scenario, it would be beneficial to create a single landing page that would act as your authoritative source page and from which you could link to all of your variants. For purposes of illustration, let’s say we want to develop two pages: one for hiking shoes and another for men’s sneakers. These should allow you to target both broad keyword phrases on your consolidated pages and long-tail keyword terms on your variations pages using your variants.

3. Consolidate Your Content

If your pages aren’t distinctive enough to merit having numerous pages devoted to the same keyword, try consolidating them into a single page with the same keyword. Take two underperforming pages and convert them into a more authoritative source with this opportunity. It may also be able to resolve difficulties with thin content. Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page. Take a look at the data in your analytics to see which page performs the best in terms of visitor volume, bounce rate, time on page, conversions, etc.

For example, in this scenario, the objective may be to consolidate the most effective copy material on the page receiving the greatest traffic.

Additionally, you will not have to worry about your website being punished for material that Google judges to be shallow or cookie-cutter-like if you choose this strategy instead.

4. Find New Keywords

Finally, if your website is already endowed with a wealth of very diversified and content-rich pages, and the only thing holding it back is a poorly thought-out keyword strategy, it’s possible that all you need to do is identify new keywords to target. Just make sure that the keywords you use correctly represent the content of your website. Will the content on each page that ranks for the target keyword satisfy a website visitor who came to the site specifically to look for it? Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page.

See also:  5 Marketing Ethics To Follow On Social Media? (Professionals recommend)

Examining your pages in a spreadsheet with the following information might assist you in identifying better keyword prospects for sites that are similar:

  • Keywordrank
  • The URL of the page
  • The SEO titlemeta description
  • The number of words
  • Organic traffic
  • Bounce rate
  • And conversions

This should assist you in identifying pages that are targeting the same keywords. Using this information, you can assess which pages are the most value, which pages may be combined, and which pages require more keywords. You can usually utilize your keyword research tool to determine the most relevant keywords for all of the pages you wish to preserve by simply entering them into the program. Look for related broad terms for one of your pages that are ranking well for a long-tail keyword. This will allow you to capture more traffic.

Once you’ve identified the term in question, reoptimize your website for it and update the relevant information in your spreadsheet for future reference and performance tracking. Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page.

5. Use 301 Redirects

As a general rule, I advise avoiding the use of too many 301 redirects (see my list of the Top 10 Most Harmful Mobile SEO Mistakes), but they may be required if you already have numerous sites ranking for the same keywords. It is possible to consolidate cannibalized material by referring the less relevant sites to a single, more authoritative version through the use of 301 redirects. Although it should be noted that this strategy is only appropriate for pages with comparable content and those that match specified keyword queries, it is nonetheless effective.


The majority of situations of term cannibalization will be resolved by using one of these five options. Nonetheless, if you operate an ecommerce website, you should pay close attention to how your content management system (CMS) divides goods with changing sizes and colors. Some content management systems (CMS) establish different pages for each product variant. If your content management system (CMS) organizes products in this manner, you should either use robots.txt ormeta name=”robots” content=”noindex” tags to prevent duplicate pages from being indexed, or you should utilize canonical URLs to combine link signals for the duplicate content (see below).

Keyword cannibalization is more frequent than ever before in today’s society.

Despite this, they do not completely comprehend how to’speak’ Google’s language, despite their intentions to optimize their site.

With the correct tools and a “can-do” mentality, you can give your search engine optimization a much-needed kickstart.

Five Strategies to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization

  • Cannibalization occurs when you target several pages to the same or similar keywords
  • This is considered a major no-no by search engines since it is confusing and might make your site appear spammy. Improved website content and avoidance of cannibalization can improve the overall quality of the site as well as organic traffic.

You might be asking what keyword cannibalization is and why it’s essential in the realm of internet marketing. Here’s everything you need to know about it. At its most basic level, keyword cannibalization occurs when two or more of your website’s pages employ the same keywords over and over again without change. As an example, if the keywords “injection molding services” appear on both your home page and an article on the same topic, this would be termed cannibalization. Why this is significant is simple: Google dislikes seeing the same material appear for several sorts of search queries across multiple pages because it knows that if a searcher clicks on one of those results, they will not find anything new or different from what they have just read.

How do you prevent keyword cannibalization?

You can prevent cannibalization of your website no matter what platform you are using for it because there are several plugins available that have significant capabilities that can prevent it. However, even with plugins that prevent cannibalization, it is good to examine and improve your content on a regular basis, as well as to employ some tactics that will increase your site’s overall visitor volume.

Check out these five techniques to avoid term cannibalization and increase the amount of traffic that your website receives.

1. Identify keyword cannibalization

In order to understand how to avoid term cannibalization, you must first grasp what it is and where it happens in your content. When your site’s pages compete with one another for search engine results and visitors, this is known as keyword cannibalization. In the event when two or more of a website’s sites target the same keyword phrase, but aren’t set up correctly to function together, they may end up damaging each other in search engine results results (SERPs). In other words, the greater the number of pages on your site that target a certain topic, the greater the likelihood that your page’s significance in the eyes of search engines will be reduced.

The majority of the time, a search engine, such as Google, will only show one version of a particular website in its search results.

Due to the fact that Google applies a relevance score to each indexed page on your website, this is the case.

By properly configuring your website’s internal linking structure, you can ensure that all of your pages that include comparable keywords receive exposure while not competing with one another for search engine rankings.

2. Avoid irrelevant on-page keywords and keyword stuffing

On-page keywords should only be utilized in the most extreme of circumstances. Consider the following scenario: if you’re targeting the phrase “Vancouver maternity photographer” and one of your content pages is about running, it’s acceptable to use the phrase “Vancouver maternity photographer” multiple times in your content to provide context. When an on-page keyword is utilized on a page of content that is intended to target a different keyword, it is considered detrimental. Suppose your product page is about the technical aspects of photography and contains the phrase “photography,” and you decide to target the keyword “portrait photography” on that same page.

  1. It’s important to be mindful of how many times you repeat keywords on different pages.
  2. Although it is considered best practice to include your primary keyword in your page title and meta tag, going above and beyond this can appear as if you are trying way too hard.
  3. You may have heard the phrase “over-optimization” before.
  4. This is a holdover from those days.

Fortunately, there are online tools and services for keyword mapping that can tell you how many keywords are present on a page and what proportion of those terms are there. If you follow these steps, you can ensure that your material does not fall foul of Google and cause your rankings to suffer.

3. Determine which page is most relevant

Consider the number of search results and how highly each page ranks to determine which page is the most relevant to your query. Duplicate material is widespread on websites, which is understandable (a page that has the exact same content and link structure as another page). Plagiarism may also have a negative impact on your website’s rating, even if it is accidental. To avoid copying material from other websites, use a plagiarism checker to ensure that your content is unique. In many cases, it might be difficult to tell which page of a website should rank in Google, therefore you may want to consider asking yourself, “Which version of this webpage is more relevant to searchers?”.

You may begin by examining your existing organic search traffic to see which sites are receiving the most impressions and clicks and which ones are not.

In order to have a thorough understanding of how each variant is functioning, use tools and data from Google Analytics and other apps.

These exact URLs (page titles and meta descriptions) will be connected with these specific pages, which will benefit your search engine ranking results in the process.

4. Use canonical tags to direct traffic to the most relevant URL

It is preferable to utilize canonical tags to point to a single URL rather than many URLs with largely the same information as before. Because you’ll be sending all of your visitors to a single URL, you’ll be able to save on link power and thus increase your ranks dramatically. When you follow this recommendation, you will even receive a bonus from Google, which offers preference to websites that make effective use of canonical tags and will reward them by ranking them higher in search results.

Google has now made it easy to identify whole articles as duplicate material, rather than just parts of them.

This will help you to index more material for a broader variety of searches while also preventing Google from punishing your website with a lower ranking as a result of duplicate content problems.

Although canonical tags are not a perfect answer for better ranking and usability difficulties, they are a significant step forward, and you should begin utilizing them immediately.

5. Use breadcrumb navigation for improved usability

Making your website more navigable for both people and search engines is as simple as implementing breadcrumb navigation on your page. This form of navigation assists users in understanding where they are on your website in the most straightforward manner feasible. Breadcrumbs can be implemented by putting HTML code into existing website pages or by implementing special plugins that automatically produce the links on each page, allowing you to fill out the breadcrumb trail line by line as you go across the site.

It is the most effective method of connecting users with their present location while also letting them to know where they are in relation to the site’s overall structure.

This means that readers will only see links to sections of your site that are relevant to the page they are now viewing.

Another advantage of employing breadcrumb navigation is that it assists search engines such as Google in understanding the structure of your website.

This is due to the fact that breadcrumbs serve as a built-in table of contents for every page on your website, and search engines love to explore these familiar routes inside your website and display them frequently in search results as well.

Redefine can help

Do you require assistance with your keyword strategy? Contact a member of the RMG team now.

How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization in Your Next Marketing Campaign

Professionals are unlikely to refer to any beneficial notion as “cannibalization,” isn’t that right? Indeed, numerous efforts to increase organic and sponsored traffic might result in outcomes that are inconsistent with one another and can even result in your revenues being reduced to a bare minimum. We will look at what this word is all about and how marketers can counteract it in this article.

What is cannibalization in marketing?

A circumstance in which your assets (web pages or ad packs) that are targeted at the same query become rivals to one another occurs in paid search campaigns or organic promotion. As a result, none of them is able to achieve major outcomes on their own.

  • In PPC (pay-per-click traffic), it implies that numerous ad sets fight for the right to be displayed for the same term. Cannibalization is the practice of having two or more site pages appear in the search results for the same query in search engine optimization (organic traffic).

Targeting the same query for multiple items

What exactly is the problem with having numerous pages or advertisements competing for the same query? Common sense logic will dictate that it is preferable to have the opportunity to fire many bullets at the target, increasing the likelihood of hitting the target. In the digital world, however, this is not the case. When two or more pages on your site rank for the same keyword, one of the following situations might occur, and you will be dissatisfied with the outcome in either of these cases:

  • Search engine algorithms may decide to rank better not the page you want to rank better, but a weaker page, which will eventually impact your conversions. Google bots may even regard it as keyword stuffing, believing you’re spamming your site for this phrase and penalize your site accordingly. As a result of this, Google’s algorithms may penalize your website’s overall ranking.

Where does keyword cannibalization hurt your PPC?

Once you’ve created your ad campaign, you’ll need to select the two most important settings: the keywords for which you’ll bid and the geographic locations in which you’ll advertise it. Both of these factors can result in cannibalization of your ad campaign, and your bought traffic may overlap with your organic traffic in some instances. Let’s take it a step further and look at it in more depth.

Keyword overlap

A higher auction price will be inflated when many ad sets fight for a same keyword in Google Ads, because one of your ad sets will enter with a lower price and you will have to set a higher price for the other. Without a second “participant,” you would win the auction with the lower bid rather than the higher bid if there were no second “participant.” A third source of concern is that a keyword for which a less appropriate ad is submitted may win the auction.

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Geo overlap

It occurs when the geo areas of your ad settings come into contact. The most common example is when you create one advertisement for the country’s capital and another for the entire country, completely neglecting to remove the capital from the latter. When you create an ad campaign for two or more of your businesses in a particular city and specify a specified radius for each of them, and those regions cross, you have another example. Whatever the conclusion, you can expect it to be similar: wherever the locations meet, your advertising will amplify the auction, and there is a risk that the winning ad for that place will not be the one you desire.

Paid vs. organic overlap

Finally, your adverts may appear for terms for which you already have a good search engine ranking. On a regular basis, people argue over whether or not it is worthwhile to run paid advertisements for organic keywords that are doing well.

According to some experts, people will be more inclined to click on the same page from the SERP rather than the advertisements area, however there is disagreement on this point.

Where’s keyword cannibalization hiding?

There are certain strategies that may be used to avoid such overlap in both SEO and PPC campaigns. Finding the problem early on and putting in place the appropriate solution to deal with it will help you reduce the risk of encountering a similar problem in the future.

Search engine optimization

  • Begin by identifying any competing pages. Check to see whether the positions of your pages in the search results are changing on a regular basis to determine this. The free Google Search Console might be of assistance in this situation: simply navigate to the Performance section, choose a single query, and then select the Pages tab. You’ll be able to view which of your pages were ranked for this query, how many impressions and clicks they received, their current rank, and their click-through rate (CTR). Aside from that, there are specialised tools available to make the process more simpler, such as Keylogs or SEOScout. As a result, if two or more web sites are rated for the same query, that is the end of the story.
  • If you’ve discovered such issues with your pages and wish to address them, you should consider consolidating your material. Combine information from many sites into a single amazing page that will rank highly for the target keyword if the content on your pages is very comparable. Redirects from pages that are no longer needed should be set up as soon as possible. If you need to keep similar pages alive for some reason, tell Google assessors which page they should index by using the “canonical” tag, or hide the weaker page by using the “noindex” tag. If you need to keep similar pages alive for some reason, tell Google assessors which page they should index by using the “canonical” tag. However, you should exercise caution and avoid using both tags to send different signals to crawl bots. Modify competing pages to match distinct customer purposes, for example, one for informative intent and another for transactional intent, to see whether this works. Search engines pay close attention to client intentions and will display your sites in the most appropriate way
  • Internal linking structures should be updated such that all of the anchors associated with the cannibalized term go to the page you wish to be ranked in the search engine results
  • It’s possible that all you need to do is re-optimize your pages for various keywords if you have several pages that are aimed at too few queries (which indicates high competition in the search engine results). You will need to use expert services to help you grow your semantic core in order to do this. For example, using the SE Ranking keyword research tool, you may come up with fresh keyword suggestions. It’s as simple as entering your target keyword (the one you’re having trouble with) and examining the results in the Related Keywords section – perhaps you’ll discover a very similar term that will save you from cannibalization difficulties

Paid search campaign

  • Reviewing keywords–Search Terms reports in Google Ads–can help you identify cannibalization. Try switching to exact match keywords when combating keyword overlap in PPC, grouping them by sorts of client inquiries, and include them as negative keywords in ad sets that are not connected to the phrases you’re trying to fight against. In addition, if you find that your exact-match keywords generate the necessary amount of impressions and clicks, you may exclude all other match types for those keywords entirely.
  • Avoid the use of plurals and double-check the spelling of the keywords. In addition, if you’re utilizing Dynamic Search Ads, you should include as negatives keywords that you’re targeting in your other search ads
  • Keep geo-targeting consistent and free of overlaps. If you’re running advertising for two different nations or states, be sure to exclude large cities from campaigns intended at the “rest” of those countries or states. When targeting certain geolocations, double-check the radiuses to ensure that they do not overlap. When it comes to countering paid vs. organic overlap, you have to consider whether or not to employ the keywords for which you are currently highly rated. As an extra step, you can use the Seranking Competitor Research tool to see whether the competitor’s website targets any of your branded keywords. You will also gain insight into other metrics of your competition, such as traffic, clickthrough rate, organic keywords, search volume, and other SEO metrics through this study.
  • Additionally, you may want to try with turning off certain keywords one at a time. This is the most effective way to deal with it:
  • Find a term that is consistently well-ranked and that you can also utilize in PPC advertisements. When running pay-per-click advertisements, use this term as an exact-match negative. Let’s wait a full week (it should be a typical week with no holidays or peak season)
  • Then, Analyze the amount of organic traffic you received this week and compare it to the previous week, when you received both organic and paid traffic on this keyword. Consider how conversions and earnings have shifted from one week to the next.


When two or more of your assets compete for the same term, this is referred to as keyword cannibalization. It may occur in both the SEO and PPC fields, resulting in a decrease in both your results and income. Check for it on a regular basis using the tools listed above and take appropriate action. It is possible to suffer from paid traffic keyword cannibalization in three ways: through keyword overlap, geo overlap, and PPC versus SEO overlap. Implement the ideas I’ve provided in this post to avoid these pitfalls and boost the efficacy of your marketing efforts.

5 Ways to Identify & Fix Keyword Cannibalization

When people want to locate something these days, whether it’s a product or a service, the first thing they grab for is a gadget that is linked to the internet so that they can do a search on the internet itself. People no longer examine paper-printed product catalogues or the Yellow Pages to locate a business or service that they are interested in, as was the case in the past. 70 percent of Americans nowadays do not even examine their phone books when they receive new ones, according to a recent survey.

While search engines may be extremely fast and precise for users who know exactly what they’re looking for, filtering down options to a smaller and more manageable pool becomes more difficult when doing a generic search.

The entire world, of course, becomes your competitor as a result of your success.

Keywords 101

First, let’s go through the fundamentals. An internet search is not complete without a keyword, which is one of the most crucial parts. In order to locate something on the internet, most people use a search engine. The first thing they do is either write a series of phrases that are related to their interest or, in the case of speech recognition software and virtual assistants, ask a question. The search engine scans the whole internet using the same phrases that were used to find the results.

However, it all begins with keywords.

As long as there is no mention of dogs on your website, a search engine will not perceive it as a website dedicated to dogs or dog care items.

Naturally, you would not be able to contact your intended audience. There is, however, such a thing as going overboard, which is where the term “keyword cannibalization” comes into play.

Too Much of a Good Thing

In the past, search engines such as Google were far more straightforward. They performed searches and issued scores based on a set of extremely simple criteria, which they published online. As a result, strategies such as “keyword stuffing” became widely used, resulting in widespread misuse of search engines. As a result, unethical content producers would simply insert the same keyword hundreds–or even thousands–of times on a web page in order to raise search ranks, leading Google to believe that the material on a web page would be significant if it was used frequently.

Modern algorithms punish willful term stuffing with lower search ranks, and keyword cannibalization is a possible side effect of this endeavor to punish keyword stuffing with lower search rankings, which occurs on occasion.

As a result, a search engine such as Google is unable to determine which information should be ranked higher.

It may also have a negative impact on the rankings of all of the pages that include these keywords.

Identifying Keyword Cannibalization

When it comes to identifying potential keyword cannibalization issues on your website, the process is rather straightforward. If you know what you’re searching for, a search along the lines of “Domain + keywords” will usually bring you the results you need. Example: If your dog care firm has a website with the domain name “DogCare.Com,” and you want to look for keyword cannibalization in dog food, you would search for DogCare.Com, dog food, and other versions of those terms. The search engine will provide a list of results, but are they the ones you want?

If that’s the case, this would be a textbook case of keyword cannibalization.

5 Ways to Prevent Keyword Cannibalization

Content should be merged For example, if you have two web sites that perform the same thing, such as one online page that recommends good dog food and another web page that suggests terrible dog food, you may want to consolidate all of the material on those two web pages into a single page. Although this technique will not always be effective in every scenario, it is fairly often effective in both simplifying and improving the search engine optimization of your website’s content. Content Cannot Be Restored Although it is extreme, you may want to consider completely removing problematic online material from your website–especially if it is no longer relevant to your business.

If the material is no longer available, then the problem is also no longer available.

In cases when you wish to keep some specific material for other reasons and the existence of a term isn’t vital, you can easily remove it from your site.

Make changes to your internal linking.

Links establish value for search engines such as Google, thus if you provide a link to another piece of information or web page, a search engine may give the connected material a better ranking than the content that is not linked.

By doing so, you are sending a signal to the search engine results page (SERP), indicating that the linked information should be given more priority.

Requests for Inbound Link Changes This will be one of the more difficult kinds of cannibalization to combat, but it has the potential to be quite beneficial.

A search on your website may reveal that one of the reasons why less significant information is still ranking higher than your newer, more relevant content is because other websites are building links to your page.

If you don’t have the means or the time, you can hire a professional to do it for you. In an ideal circumstance, they will swap the old links that you don’t want with the new connections that you want to emphasize, and as a consequence, you will be able to improve your search engine rating.


When it comes to giving search rankings, today’s search engines are significantly more sophisticated and discriminating than they were in the past. Good content will always be the most crucial aspect in achieving a high ranking, and avoiding term cannibalization will allow you to better highlight your intended material and garner the attention it deserves in the process. With a Professional Diploma in Search Marketing, you’ll learn how to employ keywords appropriately and effectively. Get a copy of our brochure right away!

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