What is cannibalism in SEO? «SEOPressor – WordPress SEO plugin

In order to find opportunities to rank higher in a niche market, you may have tried Target specific keywords with multiple pages. This sounds like a reliable strategy, but you may realize that these pages are not ranking or that Google is ranking the wrong pages for the target keywords.This situation is called cannibalism and you are locked in Compete with yourself.

Cannibalism in SEO occurs when The same keyword ranks on multiple pages. Search engines will try to weigh the permissions of each page, and may not even list any pages. However, as you will see below, identifying and resolving the problem is very simple.

What is keyword cannibalization?

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When you target the same keywords on multiple pages, it can cause confusion and do more harm than good.

Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on your website rank for the same search terms on Google. Google will determine the page to be displayed, and the search query may be the wrong page.

For example, if you sell coats, there may be multiple pages targeting the keyword “women coats.” If these posts display similar content, it is best to merge them into one page. On the other hand, one article can be aimed at “women’s coats in winter” and another article can be aimed at “women’s coats.

These two articles will be Cannibalize each other’s ranking opportunities. By ranking multiple pages for the same keyword, you will be able to split links, click-through rates, and conversions between them.

Why keyword cannibalization is not good for SEO?

Keyword cannibalization can be disastrous for your SEO strategy. If the ranking of bad pages is higher than that of efficient pages, your chances of conversion will be disappointed.

For example, if you sell laptops, the reviews you made a few years ago might rank higher than your current position. Once readers navigate to a page with a higher ranking, they will find outdated information. You want your current articles to rank higher because they contain more relevant content, or you have improved your delivery methods.

Most search engines are accurate, but they can only be used with the content you provide. Google tends to devalue other pages in favor of wrong pages, which will undermine your permissions. Google can also Disqualify all pages Suppose you don’t have enough content.

Keyword cannibalization Dilute your backlinks. Your internal links will direct your audience to different pages that contain similar information, rather than an authoritative page. If your backlinks go to a comprehensive source of information, rather than direct readers in a different direction, they will be most effective.

Ranking a few pages for the same keyword seems to be a way to get more conversions, but it has Opposite effect. Some pages perform exceptionally well, and you want to direct most of your traffic to these pages. However, if they rank poorly, your conversion rate will decrease.

How to identify keyword cannibalization

If you have created multiple pages and their rankings are low, you can determine whether this is the result of keyword cannibalization.

Create a spreadsheet and write down all the important URLs and keywords for your website. Using the keyword mapping tool, this process will be much simpler. When browsing the list, look for any duplicate entries.

If you find similar keyword entries, your website is likely to be cannibalized.

You can also use Google Search Console by navigating to “Performance” and “Search Results.” Create a filter for keywords and click “page”. You will see all URLs ranked in the top hundreds.

This is an excellent guide from Jean-Christophe Chouinard This tool combines Python with your Google Search Console data to quickly review cannibalism in your website.

If you suspect that certain keywords will cause cannibalization, you can also perform a simple search on Google.

How to solve cannibalism

To prevent cannibalism in SEO, you will need better positioning strategies. Some strategies that can be used include:

Content merge

You can merge two pages with similar content and keywords. Search engines like in-depth and lengthy articles, and you can adapt one material to another to create an authoritative page.

Don’t forget to redirect the deleted article to the main article so that all links go to one page.

If you are using the SEOPressor WordPress plugin, you can easily set up 301 redirects and canonical pages. Just remember to tick the appropriate box under meta.


This option is useful if you want to keep similar pages, but want one of the pages to rank higher than the other. You can use the canonical tag to identify the major version so that search engines can rate it highly.

Canonical tags will help you specify the current article so that readers can find relevant information. Normalization is the most effective method. The content of the two posts is diversified enough so that your readers can get different information from these two posts.

Cancel optimization

You may find that an efficient page is cannibalizing another article, but its ranking on other keywords is naturally high. In this case, you need to optimize the first page so that it won’t rank among the keywords that cause assimilation.

First, delete all references to bad keywords. You can also delete any internal links that lead to bad posts, or change their destination. Pay special attention to keyword-rich links, as they will attract the most traffic.

Make sure that no external inbound links lead to undesired pages, and try to contact the website for changes or exchanges.

Use 301 instructions

Basic knowledge of HTTP 301 permanent redirection and .htaccess rules (up to 10)

You can use the 301 command to rank similar keyword queries on multiple pages. Choose the best version, that is, the page with the highest authority for this keyword, and then use 301 directly on the duplicate page.

301 guides will help Google rank the most ideal query page.

Please note that when you 301 redirect one page to another, that page will no longer be visible to visitors to your website. Similarly, the longer the execution time of the 301 redirect, the stronger the signal to Google that it will delete the first page from the SERP so that it will be indexed and deleted.

Delete one of them

This is the most extreme option, but it is necessary when low-quality pages cannibalize high-performance pages. For outdated articles, you can also delete pages that are of no value to readers.

If there is a lot of backlink juice on the page, or if it is still actively attracting visitors, it is best to use a 301 redirect to deliver all the SEO benefits to the page of your choice.

Reorganize your website

You can reconfigure the information architecture of the site to make it more SEO friendly. Convert the most authoritative posts into pillar pages or landing pages, and include links to support pages.

Ideally, your site should have a landing page on the regular theme, and then other pages on the sub-themes. Listeners will find it easy to browse the site, and you will help Google choose the best page for a particular query.

Having a good website structure can not only solve your cannibalization problem, but also greatly improve your SEO.

However, reorganizing your website can be a large, complex or even expensive project. Therefore, please think twice and prepare a lot before you decide to jump in.

The impact of a good website structure-Convert.com blog

No index

If you want to keep certain pages, but don’t want them to appear in search results, this is a good choice. These pages may have useful information for readers, such as category pages.

Readers can still visit pages that are not indexed, but the post will not eat away your visits.

Similarly, if you are a user of the SEOPressor plugin, you can easily choose to make the page non-indexed by simply checking the box under the meta tag.

How to prevent cannibalism in SEO

The best strategy to avoid cannibalization in SEO is keyword mapping. First, list all the keywords you want your business to rank for. You can get new ideas from the search results of competitors.

To start using keyword mapping, you should prepare a spreadsheet and then need these fields. Keywords, search volume, and difficulty, one tool may be different from another, so if you want to improve accuracy, you can spend time getting data from multiple tools.

You should also group keywords that are closely related to each other and double-check whether they are likely to cannibalize each other.

For this, you can use something like LSI diagram Or any method you use to predict the performance of each keyword and filter the keywords that will be used. You want to use high-priority keywords to de-optimize existing and new pages.

LSIGraph provides all the convenient information needed to quickly develop a keyword list.

You can also solve the cannibalism problem by solving the customer’s intent. For example, if a customer searches for “women’s overcoats,” they may want to see the women’s overcoats that are popular in the current season, or they are looking for tips on how to design styles.

Carry on a lot Competitor research In order to correctly target the user intent behind each user Key words.

in conclusion

Keyword cannibalization is especially common in established sites with pages and content pages. If you are new to digital marketing, you want to avoid this trap by taking strategic measures for SEO.

The above steps will prevent you from competing with yourself, and you will better understand Google’s “language.”

Update time: April 28, 2021

Luo Jiatong

A multilingual person fell into the dark blue world of SEO and inbound marketing. They were passionate about letters and fascinated by the way things scroll on the World Wide Web.

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