Egosurfing and Your Online Presence
09 July 2020
How To Pass A AZ-900 Azure Certification
08 July 2020
How CBD Is Helpful For Keeping You Fit
06 July 2020
How To Search For Decentralised Domains
06 July 2020
Trending Music Hashtags To Get Your Posts Noticed
24 August 2018
Trending Fashion Hashtags To Get Your Posts Noticed
05 April 2018
Trending Beauty Hashtags To Get Your Posts Noticed
05 July 2018
Trending Wedding Hashtags To Get Your Posts Noticed
18 September 2018
How to Identify and Remedy Keyword Cannibalisation
Keyword cannibalisation is when a single website is targeting the same keywords on multiple blogs, articles and pages, within the one website. A common misconception within the SEO industry is that the more pages targeting a specific keyword, the more likely the site is to rank higher.
If you’ve been creating content around the same topic for a few years, there’s a good chance that you’ll have an overlap of keywords. Multiple targeting the same keywords on a single domain is essentially eating away at each other’s chances to rank.
When a website has multiple blogs or landing pages all using the same focus keywords, it becomes difficult for Google to decipher which page should rank for one particular keyword. As a result, due to the competition, sometimes neither articles will end up ranking for the targeted keyword or query.
While keyword cannibalisation is usually unintentional and often occurs when a site is putting out a healthy stream of content, it is something that webmasters should be wary of, considering it is likely to impact the rankings of the entire site negatively.
Many of those experiencing keyword cannibalisation are often unaware that they are harming their own site’s efforts. In fact, to the untrained eye, one website ranking both third and fourth for the same targeted keyword may even be a positive result.
However, what some may not realise, is that it’s far more powerful to have one authoritative page than two that are ranking.
The impact of diversity
In June 2019, Google announced that they would be updating search results to include greater diversity.
The update means that websites intentionally targeting the same keyword across multiple posts or pages would no longer be rewarded with numerous page one results.
Additionally, keyword cannibalisation can also have a negative impression on many other SEO opportunities, such as:
If the content is being duplicated, replicated and written over and over, the quality is compromised. If numerous pages are being targeted with the same keyword, they are likely to be based on the same topic.
This may seem as though there is a good knowledge of this particular topic, but it also puts the website at risks of poor quality.
Multiple pages targeting the same keywords will give off the idea that content within site is stretched thin.
Duplicate content doesn’t result in high amounts of valuable referrals and links, as it’s a sign of poor and low page quality.
Authority of the page is being diminished
Rather than having one more authoritative page, you’re diluting your authority across several landing pages.
Having the same keywords on multiple pages means you’ve essentially turned your different pages into competitors. Now they are all competing against each other for page views and SERP rankings.
Inevitably, with multiple pages, one of them is going to convert better than the rest.
The highest-ranking, most authoritative and valuable page will naturally provide the higher the site with better conversion rates.
If you have two or more pages with similar or the same objectives, it’s likely that the efforts being put into targeting both pages for the same keywords are better off being focused into the one that is already converting better.
The lower converting page targeting the same page is not worth the energy as potential leads are being lost when users are landing on your less relevant pages.
Links coming in externally ideally boost the SEO of a page, as it’s a way for Google to see other pages pointing to those particular keywords. However, different pages with those keywords will mean the external links will be splitting between the competing keywords on the site’s different pages.
This will impact the value of the external link, as it’s being shared between multiple pages or articles.
To get the most value out of external links, it’s best to have specific keywords not duplicated on multiple pages so it can’t be cannibalised.
Internal anchor text
Using the same keywords within your site on multiple pages will also create problems internally for a website.
The internal anchor text and internal links will lead visitors to various different pages within your site rather than the one authoritative page with the best content.
Google may discredit the more authoritative page
Google’s crawlers have a multitude of ways to decipher what pages are about and how important they are.
If one website has the same keywords being targeted on different pages, Google will do it’s best to try and work out, which is the most valuable.
If the content is too similar, with the same keywords, queries and search terms being targeted, there’s a chance Google can get it mixed up and credit the lesser authoritative of the pages.
Image source: seolium.com
Identifying keyword cannibalisation
If you’ve suspected keyword cannibalisation within your site, identifying it can be rather easy. Searching for your site for the suspected keywords will be able to give the results.
If you’ve found that your site is ranking several pages for the same search query, you’re likely suffering from keyword cannibalisation.
The easiest way to keep an eye on a website and ensure keyword cannibalism doesn’t occur is organisation. Safari Digital recommends keeping a spreadsheet listing each URL, and the corresponding target keywords will give clear visualisations of any double-ups of keywords used in multiple pages.
If the spreadsheet shows duplicated content in the column of target keywords, the next step is to consolidate content where necessary or use new keywords for pages or articles that aren’t applicable for merging.
Googling ‘site:domain.com” keyword” will also give an insight into whether or not a website is experiencing keyword cannibalism with multiple pages.
Another great tool to also use for detecting keyword cannibalisation is Google Search Console – the data will show all queries with more than one landing page. This will offer a simple way to see where keywords are being duplicated and eating at each other’s chances of ranking.
There are plenty of ways that proper research and planning can be implemented to prevent keyword cannibalisation. Picking focus keywords based on volume, low competition figures (where possible), optimising titles, metas, alt tags and content in general for the specific keyword terms will ensure a carefully paved road for a good keyword strategy in the long run.
Solving keyword cannibalisation
The good news is, once it has been identified and the problems have been detected, fixing keyword cannibalisation is relatively simple. As stated above, sometimes it can be as simple as merging content or finding new target keywords for the content that doesn’t suit consolidation.
Combining articles and content that are based on similar search queries will not only strengthen the ranking of the page but is a simple solution to keyword cannibalisation.
If two articles are attracting the same audience and are telling the same narrative, combining and merging them together to make an even better article will provide much better results for both your website and Google’s crawlers.
You can also help Google to understand which is the most authoritative and vital page by setting up a strong internal linking structure. Posts, articles and blogs that are less important and relevant, should be linked to those that are relevant.
This way, the trail of links will point Google directly to the most authoritative and vital pages. This is an efficient way to solve keyword cannibalisation and strengthen the internal linking of a website.
For most business owners, keyword cannibalisation is often inevitable. Within a niche or business, it can be straightforward and will come naturally to write and post content about the same thing over and over, especially if it is a passion of the business owner.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but something to be wary of in terms of search engine optimisation.
As well as resolving any existing duplicate content problems, it’s crucial also to double-check any new articles when planning, to prevent content creation competing with existing pages.
New content creation should be filling the gaps on a website, not targeting the current keywords.
About the author
Breanna Golub is the content strategist at Syndey based Digital Marketing agency Safari Digital SEO Agency
Tell us your story
Are you looking to promote your business?
South African digital businesses can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online.
Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions. If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is SEO.
- When Should You Consult an SEO
- How To Optimise YouTube Videos For SEO
- Best SEO strategy to move ahead of your competitor in 2019
- Why Businesses Do Not Want Or Care About SEO
- Should We Be Making The Case For A Full Stack SEO