When I hear the word cannibalizing, I can’t help but think of Hannibal Lecktor, the psychiatrist who ate his patients.”Hello Clarice,” comes to mind. Much like Lecter, you could be eating away at your keywords. The content you worked so hard on could be hurting your website’s rankings more than helping. Luckily, there is a solution to the madness!
What is Keyword Cannibalism?
So what does it mean to cannibalize your keywords? It means just that; you are creating pages, blogs, or articles targeting the same keyword, hoping they will all rank, but instead, your site is eating itself (insert creepy music here). Okay, maybe not eating itself per se, but it is in a constant battle with itself to have multiple pages ranking for the same spot.
How is this happening?
You are creating too many competing resources for Google to identify what is best for its algorithms to pull from. On average, Google will rank two pages from the same URL for one search. If your domain authority is outstanding, you might get three. However, let’s assume your domain authority is average, you have created multiple pages, articles, or blog posts, all focusing on the same keyword. Google might not choose the best resource you have provided.
So why can this be bad?
Let’s use a simple example. You own a coffee company, and you want to rank for ‘Columbian Roast.’ You create a product page on your site with pricing and how to buy it, then an article about the difference in Columbian coffee flavor, lastly, a blog talking about your specific Columbian coffee grower. There are several places on your site that are talking about your Columbian coffee. The problem arises when a customer searches “buy Columbian coffee,” and Google doesn’t know what to show the customer. At best, they see the purchasing page or the article that we hope links back to the buying page. However, what if it links to the blog? Then it becomes hard to navigate. This problem arises more often then you think.
It can be a common problem when building your site’s SEO. You dedicate time and resources to optimizing and targeting keywords. Your building multiple resources it can be easy to forget what you have optimized for or content needs to be updated, and instead of going back and adding to your content, you create more content. It’s one of the reasons Dealer Authority goes back yearly to identify pages or resources that could be updated or combined for better results.
How do you identify if you have multiple pages targeting the same keyword?
The most efficient way can be to go to Google and type in (Site:YourURL.com Keyword). The results will show what pages you are ranking for that keyword. Now buckle up because this one of the easiest ways to cleaning up your rankings but can be a little tedious. I recommend creating a list of the resources that are ranking. Rank each URL from the best to worst, taking note of what each resource keyword focus is. It might be that you can combine the two articles that are similar and create one fantastic page. Or you may need to change one page to focus on an aspect of the keyword.