What is keyword cannibalization, and how do you fix it?

What is keyword cannibalization
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Keyword cannibalization is a common issue that many website owners face, but it can have a detrimental impact on your SEO efforts. In this blog post, we will delve into what keyword cannibalizations is, how it affects your website’s search rankings, and most importantly, how to fix it. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to prevent keywords cannibalization and ensure that your website is optimized for maximum visibility and traffic.

Understanding Keyword Cannibalization

Keywords cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on your website compete for the same keyword, leading to a drop in rankings. It can confuse search engines, dilute your content’s relevance, and reduce the overall organic traffic to your site.

The Impact of Keyword Cannibalization on SEO

Keyword cannibalization can have a significant impact on the overall SEO performance of your website. Here are some key consequences:

Lower Search Rankings

When multiple pages on your site are competing for the same keyword, search engines may struggle to determine which page is the most relevant. This can result in a drop in rankings for all pages involved in the cannibalization.

Decreased Visibility

Keywords cannibalization can lead to a decrease in visibility for your website in search engine results. If search engines are confused about which page to show for a particular keyword, your site may not appear as prominently in search results.

Poor User Experience

Having multiple pages targeting the same keyword can confuse users and dilute the overall relevance of your content. This can lead to a poor user experience, as visitors may not find the information they are looking for or may encounter conflicting information.

Reduced Organic Traffic and Conversions

Ultimately, keyword cannibalizations can impact your organic traffic and conversions. With lower search rankings, decreased visibility, and a poor user experience, your website may receive less traffic from organic search and see a decline in conversion rates.

Identifying Keyword Cannibalization Issues

Keywords cannibalization can hurt your SEO efforts by causing confusion for search engines. It occurs when multiple pages on your website target the same keywords, leading to competition among your own content.

To identify keyword cannibalization problems on your site, you can start by conducting a thorough keyword analysis. Look for pages that are ranking for the same or similar keywords and see if they are competing against each other.

Another way to identify keyword cannibalisation is by checking your website’s analytics and noticing if certain pages are not ranking as well as they should for specific keywords. This could be a sign of internal competition for those keywords.

Once you have pinpointed the pages that are causing keyword cannibalization issues, you can take steps to fix them by consolidating similar content, optimizing on-page elements, and using canonical tags to indicate which page should be the primary one for a specific keyword.

Strategies to Resolve Keyword Cannibalization

Identify duplicate content and consolidate similar pages to avoid cannibalization.

Implement proper URL structure and internal linking to optimize keyword targeting and avoid competition.

Preventing Keyword Cannibalization in SEO

Understanding the concept of keyword cannibalisation is crucial to avoid competing against yourself in search results. Here are some strategies to prevent keyword cannibalization:

Regular Website Audits

Regularly audit your website for overlapping keywords and create a hierarchy to prioritize which pages should rank for each keyword.

Optimizing URL Structure and Internal Linking

Implement proper URL structure and internal linking strategies to optimize keyword targeting and avoid competition between pages on your site.

Utilizing Canonical Tags

Use canonical tags to indicate the preferred page for search engines when you have multiple pages targeting the same keyword. This helps consolidate the authority and relevance of your content.

Ongoing Monitoring and Analysis

Monitor and analyze your website’s performance to detect any instances of keyword cannibalization. Make necessary adjustments and optimizations to ensure each page is targeting unique keywords effectively.

Tools for Analyzing Keyword Cannibalization

Identify overlapping keywords to avoid confusion and competition.

Utilize SEO tools like SEMrush to detect cannibalization issues.

Implement proper redirects and consolidate content for SEO benefits.

Case Studies on Keyword Cannibalization

Case Study 1: Impact on SEO Rankings

In a study conducted by a leading SEO agency, it was found that a website’s search rankings dropped significantly due to keywords cannibalization. The website had multiple pages targeting the same keyword, leading to confusion for search engines.

By identifying and consolidating the overlapping content, the website was able to improve its search rankings and visibility on search engine results pages.

Case Study 2: Fixing Cannibalization Issues

Another case study focused on a large e-commerce website that was suffering from keyword cannibalization issues. By implementing proper URL structures, using canonical tags, and optimizing their content, the website was able to resolve the problem.

As a result, the website saw an increase in organic traffic, higher search rankings, and improved user engagement.

Best Practices for Avoiding Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization can harm your website’s SEO efforts, but with the right strategies, you can prevent it from impacting your search rankings. Here are some best practices to help you avoid keywords cannibalization:

1. Understand What Keyword Cannibalization Is

Before you can prevent keyword cannibalizations, it’s essential to understand what it is and how it can affect your SEO efforts. By knowing the concept, you can actively work towards avoiding it.

2. Regularly Conduct Keyword Research

Stay on top of your keyword research to identify any potential instances of keyword cannibalisation. By monitoring your keyword usage, you can prevent multiple pages from competing for the same keywords.

3. Merge or Consolidate Similar Content

If you notice that you have multiple pages targeting the same keywords, consider merging or consolidating them into a single, comprehensive piece of content. This will help streamline your website and avoid competition among your own pages.

4. Use Internal Linking Strategically

Implement a strategic internal linking structure on your website to guide search engines to the right pages. By linking related content together, you can help search engines understand which page should be prioritized for specific keywords.

5. Monitor and Analyze Your Website’s Performance

Regularly monitor and analyze your website’s performance to detect any instances of keyword cannibalization. By staying vigilant, you can address any issues that arise quickly and prevent them from impacting your SEO efforts.


Keyword cannibalization can have a significant impact on your website’s SEO and overall performance. By understanding what it is and how it can harm your rankings, you can take proactive steps to identify and resolve any cannibalization issues on your site. Implementing proper strategies such as consolidating content, using canonical tags, and optimizing keyword targeting can help you avoid competing against yourself and improve your search engine visibility. By staying vigilant and regularly monitoring your website for cannibalization, you can ensure that your SEO efforts are driving traffic and conversions effectively.


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