In SEO service, when you are splitting CTR, links, content, and (often) conversions between two pages that should be one, you are “cannibalizing” your own results. This is because you don’t describe any improvement and the breadth or depth of your knowledge. On the other hand, you are troubling Google to choose which one suits the matching keywords best.
Negative Effects of Keyword Cannibalization
If you do the keyword cannibalization, there are 6 negative effects of keyword cannibalization that can affect your SEO, such as:
1. You’re Diminishing the Authority of Your Page
By doing keyword cannibalization, you are splitting your CTR to multiple moderately relevant pages, instead of having one highly authoritative page. This not only would turn your pages into competitors, but also fight for page views and SERP ranks.
2. You’re Diluting Your Links & Anchor text
Backlinks that could have gone to one consolidated source of information are now being split into two pages. Instead of one authoritative page on the subject, your anchor text and internal links are leading visitors to multiple different pages.
3. Google May Devalue the More Relevant Page
To help Google understands what your pages are about; usually we will use keywords to signify the pages. When you put the same keywords on several pages, Google will search which one will suit best. However, it might get it wrong, if your content is too similar.
4. You’re Squandering Your Crawl Budget
Search engine spider crawls will examine your website in a number of times. This activity is known as crawl budget. In fact, all of your efforts will go in vain when you are having multiple pages devoted to the same keyword results in the crawling and indexing of page that aren’t needed.
5. Sign of Poor Page Quality
Keyword cannibalization can also be caused by too thin content which may not match your keywords on each page.
6. Your conversion Rate will Suffer
Since Google will choose one that fits best with your keywords, one of your pages will convert better than the rest. Not all of your visitors will visit the page that has been signified by Google; instead, some of them will lose potential leads when they land on less relevant pages.
How to Identify Keyword Cannibalization
To avoid the six effects that might damage your SEO effort, first you should identify the problem. Only by identifying the problem, you can fix the keyword cannibalization easily. Identifying keyword
1. Restructure Your Website
One of the simplest solutions is to turn your most authoritative page into a landing page which links to other unique variations that fall under the umbrella of your targeted keywords. For instance, it will make sense to make “shoes” our canonical source page and link all of the more specific variations back to our shoe-product.
2. Create New Landing Pages
If your website might lack a landing page that consolidates all of your product pages in one place, you can create a unique landing page to serve as your authoritative source page and link all of your product variations from there.
3. Consolidate Your Content
You can consider combining your pages into one page, if your pages aren’t unique enough. This is where you can take two underperforming pages and turn them into a more authoritative source. Moreover, this will also solve your thin content issues.
4. Find New keywords
If you are sure enough that your page is already highly diverse, content-rich pages, but you still suffer keyword cannibalization, maybe it is time for you to find new keywords. Therefore, make sure your keywords accurately describe your page’s content.
5. Use 301 Redirects
If in many cases, using 301s is not recommended, but in certain cases using 301s might be necessary, especially if you already have multiple pages ranking for the same terms. To consolidate your cannibalized content, you can use 301s by linking all of the less relevant pages to single, more authoritative version. Remember that this tactic is suitable for pages with similar content and those matching specific keyword queries.
The solutions above can mostly fix cases of keyword cannibalization. If you experience the keyword cannibalization, don’t get panic as the damage isn’t permanent and solutions aren’t hard to come by. Make sure you follow all the tips above to solve all of the problems caused by keyword cannibalization.