One factor that can negatively impact your search engine ranking is keyword cannibalisation. This occurs when multiple pages on your website are vying for the same specific keyword. They are competing with each other whilst confusing search engines.

Creating content is an on-going task. The two most important things to consider are:

  1. Creating quality content that connects with your audience
  2. Ensuring your content ranks high in search engine result pages so it's easily found

Whether it’s blogs, videos or infographics using channels that suit your business, the one constant is good quality content.

It's a challenge to keep on top of it though. You could use online SEO tools or even a spreadsheet. Whichever you use, having intricate knowledge of your website and its content is vital to understanding the nuances affecting ranking.

One of these nuances is keyword cannibalisation. Search engines dislike it and will penalise you for it.

Two pieces of content targeting the same keyword can surface in search results. This could be viewed that you're on top of your SEO. But there are negatives to this.

  • Domain and page authority is damaged
  • Other, and possibly more important pages could be devalued by Google
  • Diluting of backlinks
  • Your clickthrough rate may be affected and metrics distorted 
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What can you do to fix keyword cannibalisation?

  • Keyword strategy:  Carrying out effective keyword research can help build your strategy so you create focussed content around your targeted keywords
  • Keep tabs on your content:  As simple as this sounds, maintaining a spreadsheet with your webpages and corresponding keywords is one way to reference your content and its corresponding keywords. There is also a host of online keyword management tools that you could try to see which one suits your business
  • Site audits:  Performing regular site audits will allow you to identify pages suffering from keyword cannibalisation
  • Consolidating content: If for instance you have three pages sharing the same keyword, you should consider merging them into a single page. Carefully examine each piece of content to see which one should become the 'master' page. This could be the most recent one or the one with the most conversion rates
  • 301 redirects: If you decide to merge pages into one, it's vital to redirect the old pages to the new and repurposed one. Configuring 301s avoids broken links and bad user experiences
  • Update links: Update any internal links pointing to wrong pages that no longer exist
  • Canonical URLS: If you don't consolidate any pages because they are all relevant and are part of a user journey to a conversion, then assign a canonical, or preferred URL to the page. This tells search bots to surface the canonical URL in search results
  • Amend the robots file: Change the page’s robots directive to not be indexed
  • Landing pages: Consider creating a landing page on a popular topic. You could adjust your content marketing and build a mini-campaign around it - making it accessible via paid ads, email etc.  If you do this, ensure you exclude from the sitemap and update the robots directive accordingly
  • Consider long-tail variations of search terms: Use long tail keywords instead of one specific competitive keyword

At Codehouse, we perform three essential phases that will improve your website’s performance:

If you want to find out more about how our SEO services can help with keyword cannibalisation, get in touch.