What Is Keyword Cannibalization? And How to Fix It
How to identify and fix keyword cannibalization to rank your content.
Content isn’t cheap or easy to make, so the last thing you want to do is hurt your chances of ranking your site and generating affiliate revenue because of keyword cannibalization. Learn what keyword cannibalization is and how to fix it on your site.
What is keyword cannibalization?
If you have multiple blog posts or site content that can rank for the same search query in Google search results, you have keyword cannibalization. This can happen if you have multiple content pieces that cover topics that are too similar, or you wrote them targeting similar keywords.
Keyword cannibalization is a bad thing because it can hurt your chances of ranking. Google will typically only show one or two results from the same domain in search results for any given query. Therefore, if you write pieces targeting the same keyword or topic, you’re competing with yourself for a spot in search engine results.
How to identify keyword cannibalization.
You can identify keyword cannibalization quickly by conducting a Google search for your site for any keyword that you think might have multiple results. Googling site:domain.com “keyword” will uncover cannibalization. If you are ranking for positions one and two, you don’t need to act. However, if your content is ranking lower down on the page, merging your content pieces, and preventing cannibalization, will improve your chances of ranking higher in results.
Fixing keyword cannibalization.
There are five main steps you can take to stop keyword cannibalization on your site, including audit your content, track content performance, choose one piece of content to keep, merge the information from the other piece, and delete the page you don’t need any more after setting up a URL redirect.
To prevent cannibalization from happening in the first place, keep a content calendar with focus keywords, and check it before writing your next piece. If you think two topics or keywords are too similar, do a Google search to see if you get the same search engine results for both topics or terms.
Read both pieces of content and identify how you want to merge the two. By creating one larger piece, you’re covering the topic in more detail and answering more user questions. This is likely to improve the quality of your piece and your chances of ranking. Before you delete the old piece, set up a 301 redirect so the old URL points to the new URL and visitors won’t get an error page when they visit the old link.
Keyword cannibalization is a very real and common problem, especially for affiliates who are creating a lot of content quickly. If you have two pieces of content on your site that show up in the same search engine results, you could be hurting your performance unless you hold positions one and two. If you find keyword cannibalization, you can fix it by merging the two pieces and deleting and redirecting the old piece. You might not see results improve right away, but over time you should see improvement.
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