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How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization


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How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization

SEO is a multifaceted art, but to so many businesses and brand owners, the primary objective is to rank highly for their desired keywords. Everyone wants to achieve and maintain first-page Google rankings, and many search engine marketers are tasked with the tough task of ranking highly for extremely difficult, competitive keywords.

By now, we all know the general guidelines and best practices for SEO. Content writing, web design, social media, and other digital marketing avenues. However, there are some common mistakes that individuals tend to make when they’re first getting started on their advertising journies. Keyword cannibalization has negatively affected hundreds of thousands of websites, and it can cause your marketing efforts to regress if you don’t identify and remove thsi problem in a timely manner.

In this blog, SERP Matrix will provide a breakdown of keyword cannibalization, and what you can do to fix it if you notice your rankings aren’t up to par as a direct result.

What is keyword cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization takes place when a website has multiple posts or pages that are unintentionally targeting the same keyword. Experts and industry believers believe that this can negatively affect search engine rankings. In the industry, it is commonly believed that websites containing multiple pages targeting the same keyphrase can confuse Google during its crawls, resulting in low page ranks and diminished advertising power.

How do I fix keyword cannibalization?

Re-Write Your Content with a New Focus Keyword

Nobody wants to throw away a long-form blog post that took hours of writing, editing, and research. If you’re trying to cut down on keyword cannibalization and you’re unsure of how you need to proceed, one of the best ways you can fix this very fixable problem is to adjust your content. For starters, it is recommended you “de-optimize” your website; if you have a keyword that you no longer want your webpage to target, remove it from your content, as well as any reference that you’ve made to the aforementioned keyword. Next, edit your internal linkage and replace any anchor text that may be similar to the keyword you are trying to avoid. Lastly, make sure you attempt to change any sort of anchored inbound links that may be pointing back to your webpage. This can be a bit cumbersome at times, but typically, all you have to do is contact the owner of the linking site and request they adjust the anchored link that contains the keyword you are trying to avoid.

Merge Your Content

Content is king, and most digital marketing experts believe that this will be the case for years to come. If you re trying to make sure you cut down on your keyword cannibalization but you want to retain your content, you can always merge both webpages together. Having two separate pages that are both targeting the same keyword usually means that their content will fuse together quite nicely, resulting in one long-form piece that will draw in readers, answer customer questions, and rank well in search engines.


It is always recommended to attempt to salvage your content, but in some cases, it is simply better to get rid of it and remove it from your website. Even though content is extremely valuable in today’s digital landscape, it is completely counterproductive if it is stopping you from ranking for your desired webpage. If you’re not sure which webpage needs to be deleted, start by asking yourself the hard questions. Which page is better written? Which page contains the most relevant information that your readers will want to consume? Which page properly represents your business and the problems it is trying to solve?

Once you audit your content and discover your own answers to these questions, you can then begin to rid your website of the content that is causing your keyword cannibalization.

Keyword cannibalization can also negatively affect your crawl budget.

Keyword cannibalization doesn’t send positive signs to search engines, and it can also heavily eat into your crawl budget. When search engine spiders crawl your website, they only do so a finite number of times. And if their crawls tell them you have multiple pages all pointing to the same keyword, it will more than likely deem your content repetitive and thinky written, resulting in lower search engine rankings.

Lastly, keyword cannibalization can send signals to Google that leads it to believe your content is of low quality. When you have numerous pages targeting the same keyword, search engines tend to believe that your content has been poorly written and stretched incredibly thin. As a result, it may have a negative effect on your rankings, diminishing your ability to reach your desired audience.

Perhaps the greatest thing you can do to avoid keyword cannibalization is hiring a professional marketing agency. Keywords are essential to search engine marketing. If you’re not appearing when your ideal customer asks Google to show them products and services that are relevant to your business, you can find yourself in a world of trouble, and without any new clients or customers. The only way to successfully compete in an intensely competitive world is to make sure you have the right marketing efforts that are centered around diligent strategizing, content writing, website optimization, and digital marketing best practices.

Like any other industry, hard work is necessary, but it cannot be a substitute for smart work. To achieve a high ranking in search engines, you must couple your earnest efforts with careful strategizing and planning. Failure to do this can cause you to unnecessarily handicap your marketing and give yourself less of an opportunity at surpassing your competitors and increasing sales.

Digital marketing is only going to get more sophisticated and complicated as time goes on. If you’re someone who is struggling to make the most out of your marketing efforts and you’re worried about keyword cannibalization, our team completely understands. Amateur marketers and untrained web designers can result in a lot of wasted time and money. Make sure you’re not missing out on any marketing opportunities by hiking SERP Matrix. With 20 years of experience in the industry, our leaders have helped countless businesses reach their desired audiences through the use of search engine optimization.

For more information on how we can assist you, contact us today at 713-287-1134 to receive a free consultation from an in-house project manager.

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