What is Keyword Cannibalisation?


There’s a monster lurking on Google that’s devouring the search rankings of sites. Keyword cannibalisation could potentially be eating up your chances to rank highly across multiple areas on Google, in turn affecting your growth rate as an eCommerce business.

Learning about this phenomenon will change how you view and design your website to be more impactful with less content. Here is how keyword cannibalisation makes too much of your content detrimental to your SEO performance.


How Does Keyword Cannibalisation Impact SEO?

Keyword cannibalisation is when multiple pages and articles on your website rank for the same search keywords and start to compete with yourself for page rankings. This can be because the scope of your site is narrow or you’re placing too much emphasis on certain keywords. Branded keywords for your brand behave differently and cannot be avoided realistically.

Google will only show a maximum of 2 results from the same website for a specific query, so having multiple pages targeting the exact keyword will confuse Google as to which one is more important. This dilution of pages for the same keywords will make all the pages rank lower.

eCommerce stores could be affected by this as they may have multiple pages for similar products, so it’s understandable to worry about all those product pages targeting similar keywords.

If you Google ‘site:domain.com “keyword” you’ll be able to see how specific pages are performing. If you rank in the top 1 and 2, there is no need to worry. But anything else than that, then you are likely suffering from the effects of keyword cannibalisation. Alternatively, if you use SEMRush, there is a ‘Cannibalisation’ subheading under the ‘Position Tracking’ section which will give you all the relevant data on how your site is being affected by keyword cannibalisation.


How Do You Resolve Keyword Cannibalisation?

There are multiple ways to stem the tide of keyword cannibalisation, including combining articles, setting up canonical tags and improving internal linking.


1. Combine Articles

Merging the content of two articles targeting the same keyword will not only reduce the amount of keyword cannibalisation affecting your site but will help build authority by having more quality content on one page.


2. Set Up Canonical Tags

If you have two similar or duplicate pages that you need, you can use canonical tags to point Google towards the page you’d like for it to use as a search ranking.


3. Improve Internal Linking

Good website structure is the key to preventing keyword cannibalisation, and you can also improve your rankings by constructing a hard-hitting internal linking strategy. In less important posts, include relevant links to posts that are more important to inform Google what pages they should rank higher.

These are some of the band-aid ways of stopping the threat of keyword cannibalisation, but the best way is to create a concise site structure which, ideally, all targets a different keyword and satisfies different search intents.


Work with a Digital Marketing Agency

If you need the assistance and expertise of a digital marketing agency to help rectify your search ranking performance, consider partnering with Brave, the most reputable digital marketing agency in the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire area. We specialise in creating website structures and content that boosts search rankings, site visits and conversions. From content creation to design and digital marketing, we offer end-to-end solutions to help your brand thrive online. Get in touch with us today to learn how a digital marketing agency can elevate your eCommerce business.

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