Keyword cannibalization: How to detect and avoid it?
Keyword cannibalization is a process when several pages of the same website (two or more) compete to rank for the same keyword, which can be detrimental to organic ranking.
This is due to the fact that Google generally doesn’t allow us to rank several times for the same keyword and if this happens, it assigns us worse results in searches.
1. How to detect keyword cannibalization?
In small websites it is easy to control it because, generally, we will have controlled all the contents that have been published, as well as the targeted keywords. But, when the project grows or if you are working with an already created website, detecting keyword cannibalization is more complex, but there are several ways to detect it:
– From the search engine, using your CMS. For example, accessing your WordPress and searching for a certain keyword, to find out how many results are related to it.
– With the command “site:”. Using the command “site:” in the Google search,
“palabra clave", the resulting search will return the results (URLs) that the website is trying to rank for through that keyword.
– Third-party tools. There are several tools that allow us to locate keyword cannibalization, such as: Ahrefs, Semrush, Sixtrix or Screaming Frog; these are all paid system, and also, of course, you can use Google Search Console.
2. How to solve keyword cannibalization?
To solve and prevent keyword cannibalization, which could harm your organic ranking, you should take into account, at least, the following tips:
- Change the title and headings of the articles that are less relevant.
- Add a tiered structure to your website.
- Always define a very specific keyword for each URL you want to rank for.
- Remove the worst positioned URL and add a 301 Redirect to the best positioned one.
- Link internally from the worst positioned URL to the best positioned one.