Considering the online market, there are numbers of misconceptions available, out of which one of the most common ones is that higher the number of pages you have with a targeted keyword, the better rankings you will have for that keyword. The logic given behind is that the maximum number of pages you have proclaiming your position; it is more likely that Google will pick on the keywords and enhance the rankings on SERP’s.
But hold on, that’s not at all true.
In reality, targeted a specific keyword for numerous pages has a reverse impact. And you might end up doing more damage as compared to good to SEO. Well, the reason is very simple! When you have got numerous pages ranking for a similar keyword, you are increasing the level of competition with yourself. Consequently, all the pages will have least CTR, reduced rate of conversion, and diminished authority as compared to the consolidated pages.
This misstep related to SEO is known as Keyword cannibalization.
What do You Mean by Keyword Cannibalization?
It is said so because you will be ‘cannibalizing’ your own results and it is by splitting the contents, links, CTR as well as the conversions among two different pages that should have been done.
By doing this you are refraining from showing the depth of the knowledge to Google and you are not refining the ability of the website for that particular query. On the contrary, you’re compelling Google to evaluate the pages against one another and ask to choose the one that fits best with the identical keywords.
Identifying the Keyword Cannibalization
It is said that identifying the keyword cannibalization is equivalent to create keyword matrix. This is effectively done by the digital marketing firm you hired in order to avail affordable search engine marketing services. You can also do this and it is very simple. All you need to do is to generate a spreadsheet having all the vital URLs of your website along with the related keywords.
After listing out all the URLs as well as the related keywords, check out the list carefully and see if there remain any matching items. And if there is at least a one, make sure that you are suffering from the concept called keyword cannibalization.
Note: In case the meta information in the title tags are targeting the same keyword then also it indicates to keyword cannibalization. So it becomes vital to opt for double check the same. In addition to that if you are using rank tracking tools then this should be taken as an important way to search for the mistakenly applied keywords as well as thin content.
Now the time has come to fix the Issue.
Fixing Keyword Cannibalization
The root cause of the problem depends upon the way that how you can solve the issue of keyword cannibalization. In most of the cases, the issue is simple the organization but at times the SEO or SEM Company have to make use of 301s or new landing pages. The section discussed below offers 5 possible solutions to fix the problem.
1. Generate New Landing Pages
You might need a new landing page to consolidate all the product pages in one given place. This will benefit you as the new landing page will be served as your authoritative source page and that will link all the variations from the same.
2. Restructure the Website
One of the easiest and simplest solutions is to take out the most authoritative page and then turn it into the landing page. The page will link to other unique variations coming under the umbrella of the targeted keywords.
3. Strengthen the Content and Combine them
In case you see that all the pages are not distinct enough to allow numerous pages pointing a similar keyword, then opt for consolidating the content into one single page. By doing this, you will be allowed to turn down two underachieving pages into an authoritative source. On the top of that, this might also serve the issue of thin content.
4. Identify New Keywords
After strengthening the content with rich and diverse pages, the only thing left is that is the lack of organized keyword strategy. This is why it is suggested that all you need to have is to identify new keywords. Just keep in mind that the keywords you are choosing matches with the kind of contents available on your website.
5. Make Use of 301 Redirects
Though it is not always suggested to make use of 301s but when you are dealing with numerous pages ranking for the similar term, using 301s redirects might become helpful. It will help the dedicated SEO team or even by the digital marketers like you to combine the cannibalized content just by linking all the less significant pages to a single one. This will turn out to be more authoritative one.
Note: This suggestion is specifically applicable for the pages having analogous content and the ones identical specific keyword inquiries.
With the help of these five solutions, you’ll be able to fix most of the incidences of keyword cannibalization. But in case you are using or managing eCommerce website then you should be very careful to take a note that how the CMS separate products with the variable sizes as well as colors.
6 Negative Impacts Keyword Cannibalization Have on Your SEO
It is highly unfortunate that keyword cannibalization leads to some disastrous consequences on the SEO aspect of your website. It can result in the loss of traffic to the website, fluctuating ranking over the SERPs, queries will lead to wrong pages and finally, it will result in loss of sales.
But why? Let’s check out the reasons. Because:
1. You Will Be Diluting the Anchor Text as well as the Links
Backlinks that could have possibly gone to one combines source is now split into two or more different pages. Identically, the internal links, as well as the anchor text, are taking the traffic to different pages instead of one authoritative page.
2. You Will Be Lessening the Authority of the Page
By splitting the CTR of your page into different pages, you will be lessening the authority of the page. In the course of time you have converted your pages into your competitors and now you will be fighting for SERP ranks as well as the previews.
3. You Will be Spendthrift with the Crawl Budget of Your Site
When you have got a number of pages targeted with a similar keyword, it results in the indexing and crawling of the pages and that is simply of no use. In this way, you will be wasting the crawl budget of your website.
4. Google Might Devalue the More Relevant Page
It is needless to mention that keywords the major tools that help Google to understand about the pages of a given website. In case Google finds all the keywords similar, then it will try to make a point that which page is the best. In addition, if the content available goes similar then Google might take it in a wrong direction.
5. The Rate of Conversion Will Suffer
It is sure that one of your pages will convert better as compared to other. So, apart from redirecting all the traffic to that page and making it the most authoritative one, you are instead potential traffic.
6. It Emerge as a Symbol of Poor Page Quality
When you’ve similar keyword targeting number of pages, it suggests your users that the content is probably stretched thin. In addition, it also indicates Google that the content might not match with the context available on the page.
The concept of keyword cannibalization in present business context is more relevant than that of today. Poignantly, the victims of this issue are the webmasters and they are responsible for identifying the importance of SEO for business. It is very unfortunate that the moment they plan to optimize the site, they get confused with the fact that how to speak or act according to the language followed by Google.
It comes as a relief that in case the website is engaged in cannibalizing its own target keywords, then solutions will not be that hard to integrate and the intensity of the damages will not be permanent. All you need to do is to make use of appropriate tools and have to follow ‘can-do’ attitude to give your website a well-deserved boost. You will also be able to increase the prospect of local search engine optimization for your website.