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Keyword Cannibalization happens when two or more of the posts, landing pages, or articles on your website are trying to rank for the same search query in Google.

So, why is this a bad thing? Some marketers believe that targeting the same keyword on multiple pages of their website is going to improve their overall site relevancy and send strong signals to Google on what they should be ranked for.

The truth is, when you optimize posts, articles or landing pages for the same target keywords, you’re essentially competing with yourself for ranking position. For instance, if a website were to have 10 pages all targeting ‘local SEO’, Google would have the devil’s own job of trying to figure out which one is worth showing in the search results. In some cases, search engines will simply ignore all of these pages.

In 2019, the subject of keyword cannibalization is now more important than ever. In June of this year, Google announced that they would be aiming to diversify their search results from different domain names in. The update is bad news for sites that are guilty of keyword cannibalisation because. Google will aim to show no more than two results from the same domain for a given search query in the SERPs. So, what can webmasters and marketers do to clean up their act and ensure they’re not confusing Google with keyword cannibalization? Here are a few tips.


Recognize the Problem

The first thing that you need to do is recognize where the problem exists on your site. Checking whether you’re guilty of keyword cannibalization is a straight-forward affair. Simply Google ‘ + “target keyword”’ to see which pages are returning results for the search term. If your website is returning more than 2 results, then you need to decide which page should be showing up and make the necessary changes.


Combine Your Articles to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization

Rather than having several short articles all targeting the same keyword, why not combine them into a longer, more complete article or landing page. Combine the most important information into one comprehensive post and set up a redirect from the post you’re no longer using to the new ‘super post’. Google loves lengthy content (as of 2018 the average page 1 result was almost 2,000 words), therefore your ranking chances will significantly improve by combining your most important information into one, longer post.


Send a Message with Internal Linking

Internal linking can help Google decipher the importance and hierarchy of pages on your website. Your internal linking structure should be sending ‘link authority’ to the most important pages on your website. Google can trace the internal link trail on your website to figure out which posts are the most important to you. If you choose to keep both pages on your website instead of combining them, search engines can quickly figure out which post is the most important by using target keyword anchor text from the less important post to send authority to the most important one.


Why Keyword Cannibalism is Worth Your Time

As your site continues to grow and evolve, the chances of creating multiple pages with similar content increases. As such, it’s important to have a clear structure in place when creating new content. As you create new pages, cross-check them with existing pages on your website to ensure you’re not doubling up on existing content. Sydney SEO company Safari Digital recommends using a Google Doc spreadsheet to keep a list of pages and their target keywords that you can cross-reference before creating new content for your website.

Liam Edward is an experienced marketer working with small to large businesses to reach their potential through organic marketing channels. As a co-founder of Australia’s fastest-growing SEO Agency, he has a keen interest in helping business owners to reach heights that they did not think were possible. When he’s not reading about the latest SEO trends and developments, Liam can be found sipping coffee and reading the crime novels.

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