Having a website that ranks well in search engines is crucial for driving traffic and leads in the digital age. But many sites inadvertently sabotage their own SEO efforts through a problem known as keyword cannibalization. In this post, we’ll explore what exactly keyword cannibalization is, the primary causes, impact, and most importantly - how to fix it.
Keyword Cannibalization refers to a situation where multiple pages on the same website compete against each other for the same keyword targets and search rankings. This internal competition fragments the authority and dilutes the optimization signals, preventing any single page from reaching its highest potential ranking.
Instead of complementing each other for better overall visibility, the pages end up cannibalizing domain authority and on-page optimization strength. This symmetric distribution of power ensures no single URL can dominate the SERPs (search engine results pages), limiting potential organic traffic.
There are a few common root causes of Keyword Cannibalization:
The negative effects of Keyword Cannibalization include:
In essence, self-inflicted SEO mistakes undermine the time invested in content creation, link building and technical website optimization.
While preventing keyword cannibalization is ideal, sites often already suffer from this issue before recognizing it. Here are some tips to help remedy existing problems:
Identify Gaps, Not Overlaps - Proactively pinpoint coverage gaps where no pages currently target relevant search queries and themes. Develop content for those untapped targets rather than piling on more pages competing for existing, over-optimized keywords.
Eliminating or minimizing Keyword Cannibalization relies first on recognizing when it is occurring. Monitoring relative search visibility and rankings across your own site’s pages for target keywords helps detect self-competition.
Ongoing coordination around content development and optimization supported by rigorous keyword research prevents backsliding. Focus on carving distinct, non-overlapping themes for each page to attract segmented search audiences.
With a robust methodology for expanded keyword reach and relevance refinement in place, consolidated pages can stretch for higher rankings without internal competition dragging them down. Resolution begins with a synchronized targeting strategy and an outside-in perspective revealing on-site fragmentation.
If tackling these complex optimization challenges independently would only lead to more wheel spinning, consider leveraging Gushwork to power your growth. Their unique human + AI approach helps build sustainable systems so you can concentrate on running your business, not just working in it.