Websites revolve around keywords. They are how we determine a user’s search query and what to base our pages around. It would therefore make sense to have numerous pages based around a single strong keyword right? Wrong! When a site has more than one page focused on exactly the same keyword we refer to this as keyword cannibalisation.
This is where it causes problems. Google struggles to determine which page is the most relevant for the search query. When it is left to choose it does not always make the correct decision. There is a variety of reasons why keyword cannibalisation is far from an ideal situation. But fear not, there are also numerous ways to address this issue!
Issues With Keyword Cannibalisation
Content quality – if you are focusing on different pages with the same keyword then surely the content is on the same subject. You run the risk of poor quality content, content duplication and risk harming the chances of referrals and links.
External links – if you have various pages on the same topic each receiving links surely it would be better to consolidate these links into one page. This would boost the link equity of that one page and potentially boost rankings.
Internal linking – when you have only one page focused on a topic the value of concentrating anchor texts purely to this page is far greater. When the internal links are spread out over a variety of pages the value is diluted.
Conversion rate – focus your time and effort on making one well converting page. When you split your time across various pages trying to rank for the same keyword it is a waste of time.
Solving Keyword Cannibalisation
Restructure pages – if one page has more authority why not turn this page into an authoritative landing page. You can then link to variations of the keyword from that page.
Create new pages – if you do not currently have a suitable landing page for the desired keyword why not create one. Again, link to variations of the keyword from there.
Consolidate content – if the pages are not unique enough why not consolidate this content into one authoritative page. This can be useful in solving thin content issues.
New keyword – your keyword research and strategy may not be sufficient. It might be worth aiming for long tail keywords and diversifying your site content.
301 redirects – sites with too many redirects can be harmful from a technical SEO point of view. However, when used sparingly and in the correct context they can be extremely useful in preventing the issues of duplicate content.
Keywords and Rankings
Keyword cannibalisation can be extremely harmful to a sites rankings and conversion rates. When Google is left to its own devices it is not uncommon for it to make the wrong decision. Fortunately, this issue can be solved relatively easy. All it requires is a keen eye and dedication! However, here at US Digital we understand the importance of time. Get in contact today for all your SEO, PPC and web design issues.
Digital Account Executive at US Digital with an avid interest in SEO and all things Digital Marketing. I’ll be updating you with any news on Google Algorithms and latest technology updates.