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SEO Keyword Cannibalization

In today’s era, when individuals seek something, be it a product or a service, their initial instinct is to grab an internet-connected device, enabling them to initiate a search. The times have shifted from when individuals relied on printed paper catalogs or consulted the Yellow Pages to locate a desired business or service.

Nevertheless, along with the convenience of online presence, arises a new challenge: the risk of your content getting lost in the vast sea of information. Search engines prove swift and accurate for users with specific queries; however, refining results to a more manageable selection becomes intricate when dealing with broader searches.

As an owner or manager of a local business, your products or services likely cater to a local audience. Nevertheless, you hold the potential to reach a global market. Consequently, the entire world transforms into your competition. Hence, mastering the correct utilization of keywords becomes more crucial than ever. This mastery is pivotal for both user-friendly experiences and achieving high search rankings.

Keyword cannibalization happens when you use the same or similar keywords too much on your website. This needs to be clarified for search engines like Google, making it hard for them to decide which page to rank higher. So, sometimes, a less critical page gets a higher rank, and other pages with those keywords might also rank lower.

So, this article will help you learn about the keyword Cannibalization- How to Find, Fix, and Prevent It.

Let us take a look!

Identifying Keyword Cannibalization:

Identifying potential keyword cannibalization issues on your website is relatively straightforward. A simple search using the formula “Domain + keywords” can often provide the needed insights.

For instance, if your business website is named “DogCare.Com” and you’re concerned about keyword cannibalization related to “dog food,” you’d search for variations like DogCare.Com, dog food, and the like.

The search results will appear, but do they align with your expectations? Is an older blog post about dog food from two years ago outranking your recent and more significant one? If this is the case, it’s a classic instance of keyword cannibalization. Thankfully, a couple of actions can be taken to resolve this issue.

  1.  Keyword Audit:

 Begin by performing a comprehensive keyword audit for your website. Identify your target keywords and note which pages are optimized for them.

  1. Ranking Analysis: 

Use tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to track the ranking positions of your pages for specific keywords. Look for instances where multiple pages rank for the same keyword.

  1. SERP Observation:

 Manually search for your target keywords on search engines. Are different pages from your site appearing in the search results for the same keyword? This could indicate cannibalization.

  1. Internal Linking: 

Review your website’s internal linking structure. Are you consistently linking to different pages with the same keyword focus? This can contribute to cannibalization.

  1. Google Search Console: 

Use Google Search Console’s “Performance” report to identify which pages get impressions and clicks for specific keywords. Compare this data to your target keywords to spot discrepancies.

 Ways to Prevent Keyword Cannibalization:

                       1. Merge Content 

Consider amalgamating the content onto a single page when you find two web pages serving similar purposes, one recommending top dog food and another listing poor dog food choices. 

While this approach might not suit every circumstance, it frequently simplifies matters and boosts your website’s search engine optimization.

                          2. Delete  Content

Although a drastic measure, you could contemplate removing troublesome web content, especially if it’s no longer relevant to your site. Suppose your business has evolved, and an older, less professional personal blog post utilizing specific keywords still outperforms your preferred content. Removing the content might be the solution. When the content vanishes, so does the issue.

                            3. Trim Keywords

If preserving specific content serves other purposes and the presence of a particular keyword isn’t crucial, removing it becomes a viable choice. While manual solutions like this might be slower and more meticulous, they are simple to execute and have the advantage of being straightforward.

Several tools can help you identify and address keyword cannibalization issues on your website. Here are some popular ones:

  1. SEMrush: 

SEMrush offers a Site Audit feature to analyze your website for keyword cannibalization. It provides insights into duplicate content and pages targeting the exact keywords.

  1. Ahrefs: 

Ahrefs’ Site Audit tool helps you uncover content duplication and keyword overlap across your website. It also offers keyword tracking to monitor the rankings of different pages.

  1. Screaming Frog: 

Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider is a website crawling tool that can detect duplicate content and keyword cannibalization issues by analyzing your site’s structure and content.
By understanding how to find, fix, and prevent keyword cannibalization, you’re equipped to maintain a strong SEO foundation. Consistent vigilance and strategic optimization efforts will help you avoid the pitfalls of cannibalization and keep your website’s rankings and organic traffic on the right track.

kunal Kakkar

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