Understanding Keyword Cannibalization in SEO
When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there are many technical terms that online marketers must understand to achieve excellent ranking results. One of those terms is keyword cannibalization. But what exactly is it, and how can it affect your SEO efforts?
What is Keyword Cannibalization?
Keyword cannibalization happens when multiple pages of a website target the same keyword or phrase, leading to content competition. In other words, when different pages of a website compete with each other to rank for the same search term, Google is confused about which page is the most relevant, lowering the overall ranking of the competing pages and lowering the ranking for the target keyword itself.
The Impact of Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization can impact your website in several ways:
- Confuses Google: When multiple pages target the same keyword, Google is confused about which is the most important page to show to the searcher.
- Leads to lower click-through rates: When Google is unsure which page to show, it can lead to lower click-through rates since the content is less relevant to the user search intent.
- Reduces authority: Most importantly, keyword cannibalization reduces the authority of your website because Google penalizes sites for having multiple pages with the same keyword.
How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
Fortunately, avoiding keyword cannibalization is possible with the following tactics:
- Conduct a thorough content audit of the website to ensure there is no internal competition between pages.
- Identify the primary and secondary pages for a given set of keywords and adjust content accordingly.
- Add internal links to help Google understand the hierarchy of pages and the important pages to rank for the specific keyword.
- Use unique and descriptive meta titles, meta descriptions, and header tags.
Keyword cannibalization can significantly affect your website’s ranking and traffic. It is therefore essential to be aware of it and take necessary action to avoid it. By following the tips mentioned above, you can ensure that each page on your website is optimized for a specific keyword, improving your chances of ranking higher in search engines and overall online visibility.