What is the Deal with Keyword Cannibalization?





Blog Date

June 6, 2024


UK, Manchester

Follow us on


Table of Contents

What is the Deal with Keyword Cannibalization?

What is the Deal with Keyword Cannibalization?

You know, when I first heard the term “keyword cannibalization” I couldn’t help but visualize these little keyword creatures, scurrying around a website, taking bites out of each other. It sounds like the start of a horror movie, doesn’t it? But in the world of SEO, keyword cannibalization is no laughing matter.

As an SEO expert for an agency in Manchester, UK, I’ve seen firsthand how this tricky issue can wreak havoc on a website’s search engine rankings. Imagine pouring your heart and soul into crafting the perfect piece of content, only to have it get overshadowed by another page on your own site. It’s enough to make any marketer want to throw in the towel.

But fear not, my friends! Today, I’m here to shed some light on this mysterious phenomenon and share practical tips on how to identify and fix keyword cannibalization problems. Because let’s be real, the last thing you want is for your website to become a veritable buffet for these keyword-munching monsters.

Understanding Keyword Cannibalization

Let’s start with the basics. Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on your site target the same keyword or set of keywords, and end up competing against each other for search engine rankings.

Imagine you run an ecommerce store selling the most luxurious dog beds imaginable. You’ve got a category page for “Luxury Dog Beds,” a product page for your “Premium Memory Foam Dog Bed,” and a blog post titled “The Top 10 Reasons Why Your Dog Deserves a Luxury Bed.” All of these pages are optimized for the keyword “luxury dog beds.”

Now, when someone searches for that term, Google is faced with a dilemma – which of your pages should it rank highest? The search engine can’t quite determine which one is the most relevant and authoritative result. And so, your pages end up competing against each other, diluting your overall ranking potential.

How to Spot Keyword Cannibalization

Identifying potential keyword cannibalization issues on your website doesn’t have to be a game of hide-and-seek. There are a few handy tools and tricks you can use to sniff them out.

One of my go-to methods is to simply search Google for “site:yourwebsite.com [keyword]”. This will show you all the pages on your site that are targeting that particular keyword. If you see multiple results, that’s a red flag that you might have a cannibalization problem.

Another useful technique is to check your Google Search Console performance data. Look for keywords where you have multiple pages ranking – that’s a surefire sign that your content is competing against itself.

And of course, you can always turn to trusty tools like Semrush’s Cannibalization Report to get a comprehensive overview of any potential issues. These tools can highlight keywords where your pages are overlapping, so you can take action before it’s too late.

Fixing Keyword Cannibalization

Alright, now that we’ve identified the problem, it’s time to bring in the cavalry and fix those pesky keyword-munching monsters once and for all. Here are some of the most effective strategies to tackle keyword cannibalization:

  1. Content Consolidation: If you have multiple pages targeting the same keyword and satisfying the same user intent, consider merging them into a single, more comprehensive resource. This helps to eliminate internal competition and consolidate all that juicy ranking power in one place.

  2. Redirects: Sometimes, you may have pages that are no longer needed or relevant. In those cases, a good old-fashioned 301 redirect can work wonders. Point those pages to your preferred, more authoritative content and let Google know that’s where the party’s at.

  3. Internal Linking: By strategically linking your related pages together, you can help search engines understand the hierarchy and importance of your content. Make sure to use descriptive anchor text that includes your target keywords to really drive the point home.

  4. Optimizing On-Page Elements: Ensure your preferred page is fully optimized for the target keyword, with the right title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and content structure. Our agency in Manchester can help you nail this and ensure your page is primed for search success.

  5. Noindex Tags: As a last resort, you can use noindex tags to exclude less important pages from being crawled and indexed by search engines. This can be a handy way to prevent them from competing with your primary content.

Remember, the key to conquering keyword cannibalization is to take a holistic, strategic approach. It’s not just about tweaking a few technical elements – it’s about understanding your content hierarchy, user intent, and how all the pieces of your website puzzle fit together.

So, are you ready to banish those keyword-munching monsters for good? With the right knowledge and a little elbow grease, I’m confident you can transform your website into a shining beacon of SEO success. Happy hunting!

Copyright 2023 © MCRSEO.ORG