Keyword Cannibalization: How to Find, Fix, and Prevent it

By -
All SEO efforts have been made with the aim that search engines, especially Google, can understand and web crawlers can crawl your website. As we know that Search Engine Optimization or commonly known as SEO is very important because it is search engine optimization so that the website is on the first page, so internet users can easily find it.

In general, they type keywords or keywords related to their interests, for example: "best SEO service" when they want to choose an SEO service provider company. For this reason, website owners or managers are looking for the best way so that at least their website is in the first 10 rankings of search results.

It would be better if it is in the top 10 ranking, which means it appears on the first page. Unfortunately, sometimes the results are not as smooth as hoped. No one can predict on what page Google or other search engines will place your website, whether 1, 10, or 100. You will lose more and more opportunities if you make some mistakes including keyword cannibalization.

The term keyword cannibalization may be familiar to SEO practitioners and experts, but not to beginners or those who have just entered the world of Search Engine Optimization. So, in order to increase your knowledge about SEO, there's nothing wrong with reading this article so you know the term keyword cannibalization and tips for dealing with it.

Previously, have you ever worked with or paid for an SEO expert? Or maybe have employees who can help solve any problems related to SEO? They can help you dive into issues around keyword cannibalization while also fixing them.

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is a condition that occurs when you target the same keyword on many pages on a website. What causes keyword cannibalization may be because the article topics are similar so that the web owner or content writer intentionally or unintentionally targets the same keywords.

For example, you have used the keyword "how to optimize a website" in article A, then you create article B containing the same target keyword. Both articles will compete for the top spot on the SERP. This will prevent Google from being able to determine which articles are the most relevant and deserve to be ranked.

This practice of keyword cannibalization can reduce a website's performance and ranking in organic search. Therefore, you should avoid this practice to optimize site performance.

You have multiple articles on your website and blog posts that could rank for the same search query on Google. This is what is called Keyword Cannibalization. Therefore, make sure the website pages and or posts on the blog are not competing for the same keywords and phrases.

Sometimes we misunderstand that the more pages that have targeted keywords, the higher the chance to get a good ranking. What you do sometimes actually harm SEO instead of getting good results.

Simply put, when several pages have successive rankings for the same keyword, you are actually competing with yourself. As a result, each website page has a low CTR (Click-through Rate). In addition, authority is reduced and conversion rates are lower compared to one consolidated page.

How does Keyword Cannibalization Affect SEO?

There are many bad impacts that can occur as a consequence that your SEO must accept. Those who experience Keyword Cannibalization do not realize that something is wrong and continue with the strategy that has been implemented.

Some of you may have the view that two articles that have the same keywords can bring more traffic to the site. However, in reality this actually has a bad impact on the implementation of SEO.

The effects of keyword cannibalization on a site are as follows:

1. Google May Devalue More Relevant Pages

As we know, the relevance of a page is influenced by the similarity between keywords and the search query that the user types. If you create many articles with the same keywords, Google will determine which article is the most relevant. Unfortunately, if the content is too similar, Google may get confused about choosing the right content.

2. Reduce Conversion Rate

Let's say you have two articles with the same target keyword. If one of the articles that has a higher conversion rate ranks lower in Google SERPs, this could result in major losses for your site. Because, you will lose traffic that produces a high conversion ratio.

3. Lowering Page Authority

The existence of cannibalization causes the click through rate (CTR) to be divided between several pages that contain the same keywords. This makes each page that has the same keyword target fight for the top ranking in the SERP. A low CTR indicates a minimal number of clicks or visits to an article.

If you have created a quality article but it has a low CTR, then search engines will consider the article to be less relevant to user needs. As a result, search engines will lower the ranking of the article.

The lower the article ranking, the less likely it is that internet users will visit your article. This can reduce the credibility of your articles and website. That's what makes cannibalization reduce page authority.

In other word, compared to pages that are ranked sequentially, for example 5 and 6, an authoritative page actually has the potential to be in a higher position and can convert better. Some of the adverse effects that can occur due to keyword cannibalization are as follows:

  1. Reduced Page Authority
  2. Weakened anchor text and links
  3. Google may devalue more pages that are more relevant
  4. The quality of website pages is getting worse
  5. The conversion rate becomes lower
  6. Reduced website traffic
  7. Spending budget for crawling

How do you find Keyword Cannibalization?

The sooner a problem or issue is detected, the sooner it can be fixed. Some people say that identifying problems such as keyword cannibalization is as easy as creating a keyword matrix. Create a spreadsheet that lists important URLs and related keywords.

Another way is to use a tool that functions to create keyword mappings, and find duplicate keywords. Some people accidentally carry out keyword cannibalization and don't realize the effect it has on the website. 

As a result, their website may experience a decrease in traffic, conversion rate, and even page authority. This is why, it is important for web owners to check the keywords used throughout the website posts.

Here's how to find keyword cannibalization on a website to make it easier to check for the same target keywords.

1. Perform a Content Audit

Carrying out a content audit is one way to find keyword cannibalization. Carry out a thorough content audit and observe whether you have created content with similar or the same target keywords. If there is cannibalization, you can optimize by changing the same keywords.

2. Check Google Search Console (GSC)

Google Search Console is one tool you can use to identify cannibalization. You can open the Performance menu, then open the "pages" tab. GSC will display a list of URLs for your search query. If there is more than one URL with the same keyword, this could be the result of keyword cannibalization.

3. Run site:search

Another way to find keyword cannibalization is to write the search query "site:[domain] keyword" in the Google search engine. In a short time, Google will display a list of pages that are relevant to that keyword.

Keyword cannibalization is characterized by the existence of several articles with similar target keywords. If search results show cannibalization on your website, then you need to make improvements immediately. This way, you will avoid the bad effects of keyword cannibalization.

How do I fix Keyword Cannibalization?

How do I fix Keyword Cannibalization

How to solve a problem, of course, depends on the source itself. If this is the first time you encounter the problem of keyword cannibalization, please follow some of the tips below which hopefully will help. 

Because, being on the first page, especially with a high ranking will affect the existence of the website. Usually, people tend to choose to access or visit websites that they can easily find on the first page of a search engine.

1. Website Structure or Reorganization

Taking the most authoritative page and then turning it into a landing page is the easiest solution. Don't forget to make sure that the landing page has links to other unique pages with the keywords you have targeted.

2. Create New Landing Pages

Instead try to create a new, unique landing page that will serve as the authoritative source page and link to all variations from there. It takes more time but can help solve the problem at hand. So, there's no harm in trying.

So that the landing page runs smoothly and doesn't experience many problems when accessed, we recommend that you use Indonesia SSD hosting for your website's landing page. Equipped with LiteSpeed and Brotli technologies, make your website move 5x faster and stable.

3. Merge or Delete Content

If the existing content is not unique enough, it would be better to combine it with other content that has the same targeted keywords. This makes it possible to make that content a more authoritative source. On the other hand, it can solve existing content problems. For content that is irrelevant to the website, you can delete it even though it is quite extreme.

4. Remove Keywords

The existence of some keywords may not be important and removing them is the right choice. Looks like a manual solution but it's very easy to do. Or you can also replace keywords with ones that are more relevant and play an important role in getting higher search results.

5. Change Internal Links

If you have content that is linked to other content, enhance the existing links. Search engines like Google consider that links are important and can be a factor for pages to get high rankings in search results. Include links to content or other pages of your website.

6. Take advantage of Canonical Tags

Did you know that canonical tags can make websites more effective? In addition, canonical tags can guide search engines which pages they prefer. Use canonical tags to tell search engines which pages you want to rank high for that single keyword. Those who have many pages with the same keywords can also implement these tips.

7. Delete and Redirect Cannibalized Pages

One of the easiest ways to fix keyword cannibalization is to delete one of the articles that has the same keyword. After successfully deleting, you can redirect to the cannibalized page.

8. Canonicalization

The use of the rel="canonical" tag is often used to avoid indications of duplication by search engines. This can be the best option for maintaining pages that have several similar or cannibalized keywords.

Canonical URLs will give instructions to search engines to crawl and index that URL, not others. So, even though there are several articles with the same keyword, Google will only crawl and index articles that you have added the rel="canonical" tag to.

9. Implement Noindex Tag

If there are conditions that do not allow you to delete or redirect cannibalized pages, another solution to correct keyword cannibalization is to apply the rel=”noindex” tag to all similar pages, except the main page you want to index.

With this approach, all the same pages will still remain on your site. However, only one page will be re-indexed to solve the cannibalization problem.

10. Page Re-Optimization

The last way to fix keyword cannibalization is to re-optimize the page. You can implement on-page SEO strategies to solve the cannibalization problem.

For example, you can use variations of target keywords, optimize metadata (title tags, meta descriptions, etc.), use a unique page structure (text in varying heading tags), and so on.


After reading this article, maybe you know why your website or domain is difficult to rank at the top. In fact, we all know that being on the top page with a high ranking is very important, and is the dream of every website owner.

No matter how often the content is updated or added, if Google or other search engines are confused about which posts should rank better, then the optimization results are not as expected.

Don't let your page or post be given the same search query. Immediately solve problems like this keyword cannibalization. So, your website will be in healthy competition, not competing with each other with the content on your own website.

Post a Comment


Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn more
Ok, Go it!