Will More Content Cannibalize Rankings?





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June 6, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Will More Content Cannibalize Rankings?

Will More Content Cannibalize Rankings?

Have you ever found yourself in a content creation frenzy, pumping out blog post after blog post, only to realize your website is now plagued by a nasty case of “content cannibalization”? Yeah, me too, my friend. It’s a frustratingly common problem that can really eat away at your hard-earned SEO progress.

Let me take you on a journey and unpack this whole content cannibalization debacle, so you can finally put an end to this vicious cycle and start raking in the sweet, sweet organic traffic you deserve.

What the Heck is Content Cannibalization?

Content cannibalization, also known as keyword cannibalization, occurs when multiple pages on your website are competing for the same keyword or search query. Imagine your website as a hungry pack of wolves, and those keywords are the juicy prey you’re all fighting over. The problem is, when those wolves are all snapping at the same piece of meat, none of them are actually getting fed.

It’s a similar situation with your website. If you’ve got two or more pages vying for the same keyword, Google is going to have a hard time determining which one is the most relevant and deserving of that coveted top spot. The result? Your pages end up cannibalizing each other, with none of them reaching their full ranking potential.

According to Clearscope, keyword cannibalization can lead to all sorts of nasty SEO consequences, like:

  • The wrong page ranking for your target keyword
  • Frequent ranking position changes for your pages
  • Multiple pages struggling to crack the top positions
  • Overall decreased organic traffic and conversions

Yikes, it’s enough to make any marketer’s stomach turn. But fear not, my content-creating comrades, there are ways to identify and fix this problem.

Detecting the Content Cannibalization Culprits

The first step in tackling content cannibalization is to conduct a thorough audit of your existing content. Moz suggests using Google Search Console to pinpoint the pages on your site that are ranking for the same keywords.

Simply head over to the “Performance” section, filter for your target keywords, and take a close look at which of your pages are appearing in the search results. If you’ve got multiple URLs popping up, that’s a telltale sign of cannibalization.

You can also use nifty tools like Conductor to take the guesswork out of the process. Their platform has built-in features that allow you to easily identify pages competing for the same keywords and see how they’re performing.

Once you’ve got your list of cannibalized pages, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Take a close look at the content on each page and assess how closely they align with the target keyword. Are they addressing the same user intent? Do they cover similar topics? This will help you determine which pages are the real culprits.

Treating the Cannibalization Conundrum

Alright, you’ve identified the problem areas – now it’s time to apply the treatment. Here are a few strategies to help you put an end to that vicious content cannibalization cycle:

  1. Consolidate and Redirect: If you’ve got multiple pages targeting the same keyword, consider consolidating the content into a single, more comprehensive page. Then, redirect the other pages to the new, optimized version. This helps concentrate your ranking power and sends a clear signal to Google about which page you want to prioritize.

  2. Differentiate Your Content: Instead of creating multiple pages targeting the same broad keyword, try to narrow your focus and target more specific, long-tail keywords. This allows you to create unique, valuable content for each page without worrying about cannibalization.

  3. Optimize Your Internal Linking: Your website’s internal linking structure plays a crucial role in guiding both users and search engines to your most important pages. Make sure you’re strategically linking between your relevant content pieces to reinforce their relevance and authority.

  4. Embrace the Power of Canonicalization: The canonical tag is your secret weapon against content cannibalization. By telling Google which page is the “master” version, you can prevent your other pages from being indexed and competing for the same keyword.

At MCR SEO, we’ve seen firsthand the havoc that content cannibalization can wreak on a website’s organic performance. But with a little proactive planning and the strategies we just discussed, you can nip this problem in the bud and start dominating the SERPs.

Remember, content is king, but too much of a good thing can actually work against you. So, take the time to audit your website, identify any cannibalization issues, and implement the right fixes. Your rankings (and your sanity) will thank you.

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