Keyword cannibalization is one of the confusing topics for SEO beginners as its concept is a bit tricky. we’ll go over how to find and avoid keyword cannibalization on your site and improve SEO.
Before we go any further, let’s define the term cannibalization.
What is Cannibalization?
Cannibalization in marketing refers to the situation where a company’s new product or service directly competes with and takes market share away from an existing product or service within the same company. This can occur when a company introduces a new product or service that is similar to an existing one, and the new product or service takes sales away from the existing product or service.
Cannibalization can be a challenge for companies, as it can lead to a decline in sales and revenue for the existing product or service, even if the new product or service is successful. It is important for companies to carefully consider the potential for cannibalization when introducing new products or services, and to take steps to minimize its impact on their business. This may involve carefully segmenting the market, pricing the products or services differently, or targeting different customer groups with each product or service.
What is keyword cannibalization?
similar to the above cannibalization definition, it is a common mistake that many websites make when optimizing their content for search engines. It occurs when a website uses the same or similar keywords on multiple pages, resulting in competition between those pages for ranking in search engine results. This can be detrimental to the website’s overall search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, as it dilutes the power of the keyword and makes it difficult for search engines to determine which page is most relevant for a given search query.
A gear website may have multiple pages that focus on different types of gear, such as hiking, camping, and fishing. If the website uses the same keyword, such as “outdoor gear,” on each of these pages, it creates keyword cannibalization. As a result, search engines may have a difficult time determining which page is the most relevant for a user searching for “outdoor gear,” potentially leading to lower rankings for all of the pages.
how Keyword cannibalization is harmful?
Keyword cannibalization can be harmful to a website’s search engine performance in several ways.
First, it can cause confusion for search engines. When multiple pages on a website are competing for the same keywords, it can be difficult for search engines to determine which page is the most relevant for a given search query. This can lead to lower search engine rankings for the website, as the search engines may not be able to accurately determine the relevance of the website’s pages.
Second, keyword cannibalization can dilute the strength of a website’s search engine rankings. When multiple pages are competing for the same keywords, it can spread the website’s keyword strength across multiple pages, instead of focusing it on a single, authoritative page. This can make it difficult for the website to rank well for the keywords it is targeting.
Finally, keyword cannibalization can make it difficult for users to find the information they are looking for on a website. When multiple pages are competing for the same keywords, it can be confusing for users to determine which page is the most relevant for their needs. This can lead to a poor user experience, which can ultimately harm the website’s search engine performance.
Type of keyword cannibalization
There are two main types of keyword cannibalization: internal and external.
Internal keyword cannibalization
Internal keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on the same website are competing for the same keywords. This can happen when a website has multiple pages that are similar in content, or when a website has not properly organized its keywords.
External keyword cannibalization
External keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple websites owned by the same company or individual are competing for the same keywords. This can happen when a company has multiple websites that offer similar products or services, or when an individual has multiple websites that cover the same topic.
In both cases, keyword cannibalization can cause confusion for search engines and dilute the overall strength of the website’s search engine rankings. It’s important to avoid both internal and external keyword cannibalization in order to maximize the performance of your website in search engines.
How to avoid keyword cannibalization
In order to avoid keyword cannibalization, it’s important to carefully plan and organize the keywords that you use on your website. Here are a few tips to help prevent keyword cannibalization on your site:
- Use unique keywords for each page: Each page on your website should have its own unique set of keywords that accurately describe the content on that page. This will make it easier for search engines to understand what each page is about, and it will help prevent multiple pages from competing for the same keywords.
- Use variations of your primary keywords: Instead of using the same exact keywords on multiple pages, try using variations of your primary keywords. For example, if your primary keyword is “dog food,” you could use variations like “best dog food” or “organic dog food” on different pages. This will help prevent multiple pages from competing for the same exact keywords.
- Use keyword research tools: There are many tools available that can help you identify the best keywords to use on your website. These tools can help you find long-tail keywords that are less competitive, which can help prevent keyword cannibalization on your site.
- Monitor your search engine rankings: Regularly checking your search engine rankings can help you identify any issues with keyword cannibalization. If you notice that multiple pages on your site are ranking for the same keywords, you can take steps to fix the issue and improve your overall search engine performance.
Overall, keyword cannibalization is a common issue that can harm your search engine rankings if not addressed properly. By using unique keywords for each page, using variations of your primary keywords, and utilizing keyword research tools, you can avoid keyword cannibalization and improve the performance of your website in search engines.