You may notice the incorrect page rank for a keyword after several hours of developing content. In the SERPs, your own pages may even compete with one another.
Keyword cannibalization is this vexing result that suggests your content isn’t reaching its full search potential.
What Exactly Is Keyword Cannibalization?
When two or more of your pages begin to fight for ranks on the SERPs for the same keyword or query, this is referred to as keyword cannibalization. This can be seen in a variety of ways:
Cannibalization is frequently the consequence of a simple misunderstanding. You may have unknowingly optimized two or more pages for the same keyword. You might not be aware that you already have content targeting that term.
Having said that, we have also worked with teams that intentionally cannibalize keywords, oblivious to the ramifications of their behavior.
This problem may also occur organically for multinational teams when several regional sites show for the same keywords. This can occur when pages lack hreflang tags or are not optimized for their intended locales.
When consumers make a Google search, the search algorithm is unsure which page to serve them, resulting in your pages competing with one another.
Before we get into how to detect and solve this problem, let’s speak about the repercussions of keyword cannibalization on a website.
What Causes Keyword Cannibalization?
“What’s the problem with keyword cannibalization?” we’re frequently asked. “Since one of my pages is ranking in the SERP, it shouldn’t be a problem, right?”
Unfortunately, this is the case. Keyword cannibalization may have major consequences for the SEO of a site and your overall SEO strategy.
- The ranking page, may not be as relevant to your audience.
- Having the improper page ranking for the keyword can also reduce the page’s authority.
- You’ll also squander the crawl budget.
- Cannibalization might dilute your links as well.
- The problem may potentially indicate low content quality.
Methods For Detecting Keyword Cannibalization
You have several options for discovering keyword cannibalization concerns.
- To begin, look for any terms that have more than one ranking URL according to your rank tracker.
Cannibalization may occur on any website, whether it is made up of informative blog entries or transactional ecommerce sites.
- Another possibility is that both sites rank lower than page one. In this situation, cannibalization might be preventing any of them from ranking well.
You must go over those pages and determine the causes of cannibalization in order to correct them.
- Finally, one circumstance you may encounter is that the ranking URL changes on a frequent basis.
This is undoubtedly a case of keyword cannibalization, and the search engine is unable to determine which website should rank for the phrase. Both appear to be almost similar.
The State Of Keyword Cannibalization Among Global Brands
International brands are frequently subjected to keyword cannibalization as a result of improperly configured hreflang tags. In such a case, a worldwide brand selling the same product may have Google rank product pages from one nation in another.
Global teams can analyze various areas to determine how many pages from the incorrect location are receiving organic traffic.
How To Resolve Keyword Cannibalization Problems
You have a handful of options once again.
However, there is one essential step you must do before you begin: you must first identify which page should rank for the keyword and which assets you need to remedy the cannibalization.
The asset you want to target the term is the page you want to rank, which we’ll refer to as the “stronger page” further on. Any other asset referred to as “weaker pages,” is the material that is now consuming the stronger page.
Internal Link Structure
Interlinking to the stronger, preferred page from the weaker page is one solution to the cannibalization problem. Make sure to utilize the target term as the anchor text for the hyperlink as well.
- 301 Redirect
The most popular method is to use a 301 redirect to merge the two cannibalizing attributes into one. This tells Google that the weaker page is an earlier version of the information and that it should only rank the newer and updated page.
- Canonical Tag
Another solution is to add a canonical tag to the weaker page, linking to the page where you want the keyword to rank. This technique is perfect if you don’t want to remove the weaker page but want to prevent Google from recognizing it as a better alternative for ranking for the term.
You may also retarget the less effective page with a different term. This would include updating the meta tags – title and description – as well as revising the text to target a different term.
This technique may need some further work, such as keyword research to select another term for which you may reoptimize the website.
Use a tool like WebTool to find out what else you need to add to the page to make it relevant to the new keyword.
Overall, this is by far the best choice to consider if you want to preserve both properties and keep them in the SERP.
- Content Consolidation
You may also combine the content from both sites into one asset, often the stronger one, to produce a single piece that targets the term.
You must then 301 redirect any additional information you’ve consolidated into the stronger page, resulting in a far more robust resource on the subject.
- Hreflang Tag
Global teams should also think about assessing and correcting any possible hreflang tag problems. As previously stated, this is the only reason they may face worldwide keyword cannibalization.
Avoiding SEO Cannibalization
Moving ahead, attempt to give each of your pages a recommended keyword. When you link a term to a specific URL, you may quickly identify all of the instances in which your desired website is not ranking for the linked keyword.
Assigning unique keywords to each page may be tough, especially when you have hundreds of pages.
One of the most typical SEO difficulties on websites is keyword cannibalization. Regrettably, it is also one of the most dangerous. To detect and eradicate it, you’ll need a large and dependable source of data to examine your site’s performance, recognize concerning trends, and discover insights to avoid several sites fighting for the same term. ThatWare provides WebTool, a comprehensive suite of tools to assist you with the work and more.