In today’s podcast episode, Rebecca talks about keyword cannibalization. She explores what it is, how it tends to happen, and what you can do to resolve this common problem.
Keyword cannibalization is when a single website unintentionally targets the same keyword phrase across multiple pages, posts, categories, tags, or products. Keyword cannibalization is on virtually every website Rebecca ever encounters.
Examples of Keyword Cannibalization
- Hospital Website – Targets the same keyword of Melanoma as a center of excellence and as a blog category.
- Technology Website – Targets the same keyword of Cybersecurity Management in a cornerstone content, a blog category, and individual blog posts.
- B2B Consulting Firm – Targets the same keyword of Revenue Cycle Management as a focused keyword phrase in a service page, a blog category, and a blog tag.
Why It’s So Harmful
- You confuse yourself and Google
- You make it difficult to have solid internal linking
- Your lack of proper internal linking will force Google into ranking the wrong content for desired search terms
- You literally compete against yourself for important keyword phrases
- You waste your crawl budget on larger websites
- You confuse human visitors and force them to jump around the website with mislabeled links
How to Identify Keyword Cannibalization
You’ll need good data and software tools to help with this effort. Some are free and some require purchase. You don’t need all of these tools, but picking a few will help with your efforts.
- Google Search – Use Google to review the SERPs for site:yourwebsite.com keyword
- Google Search Console – Review keywords and pages currently ranking in search via the Search Analytics option.
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider – Crawl the website and export a list of all URLs, then sort by page titles.
- DYNO Mapper – Crawl the website and export a list of all URLs, then sort by page titles.
- Ahrefs Site Explorer – Crawl the website and export a list of all URLs, then sort by page titles.
How to Fix Discovered Issues
- Relabel important blog categories and tags
- Delete unnecessary blog categories and tags – don’t forget your 301 redirects
- Modify the internal link anchor text associated with the blog categories and tags
- Consolidate content if cannibalization occurs within pages and posts
- Consider setting up canonicalization or noidexing the duplicate keyword content
Everyone has issues with keyword cannibalization, however, rarely does anyone do anything about it. In general, it is hard enough to get clients to acknowledge it, let alone fix it. The smart ones take the criticism to heart and make changes to their website. And for those folks, Google does reward them for their efforts.
Take the time to research your existing activity and identify if you are in fact competing against yourself.
Today’s Episode Sponsor
A big thank you to Scripted.com for sponsoring season three of the SEObits podcast!
I’m very particular about who can sponsor our show and who I’ll put my name behind, however, today’s podcast sponsor won me over when I did a walk-through of their Cruise Control content offering. They had all the core ingredients for attracting search engines and appealing to the real humans we all want to convert.
Effective content marketing takes hard work, time, and expertise. The Cruise Control package offers all three. Don’t let content get in the way of achieving your SEO goals. Get help from the talented team at Scripted.com.
If you’re interested in the Scripted.com offering, just head on over to scripted.com/seobits so you can review the special offer for listeners.
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