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Keyword cannibalization occurs when a couple of pages are ranking for the same keyword. SEO keyword cannibalization is not desired in an ideal scenario. Below is a comprehensive guide to deciding if there is a problem with keyword cannibalization and how to solve it.

Do you consider keyword cannibalization to be a problematic issue?

Before you evaluate how to fix keyword cannibalization, check whether it is a real problem for your site or not. With identified SERPs, two pieces of content may turn out to be favourable.

Taking an example from Delish, both the pages ranked on page 1 are beneficial. In a single search, they have gotten two pieces of content ranked. This identified SERP adds “deliciousness” to the page and increases the likelihood of a click.

If you browse both pages, you will see similarities in the ranking of keywords. There is no need to take action on two pages of ranking when there are identified SERPs. It is better to leave it there if you are getting clicks and conversations.

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How to Fix Keyboard Cannibalization: SEO Tips and Solutions

Identification of keyword cannibalization that requires fixing

If you do not have access to software on how to avoid keyword cannibalization, potential issues can emerge with Google site search. You may use the following while searching:

Site: “keyword”

Google lists contents on or around lunch or healthy published on the Delish website. If there are similar results, look at the pages and check to see whether they are problematic or not. To avoid keyword cannibalization, you need to look at the following:

A sudden drop in impressions and clicks

This may happen when you publish a new piece of content, as Google may prioritize the new piece over what was already ranking. This may return to normal after a while, but if it does not, then you need to get into details on how to fix keyword cannibalization.

In spite of your best efforts, you are having trouble ranking

Google may become confused if there are two pieces of material aiming at the same SERP objective. It is an indication that the content strategy is not as robust as it should be.

Page ranking for a keyword that is not supposed to be

After having worked on a content strategy, if the wrong page still ranks, there is no doubt you are cannibalizing yourself. There are a few tips on what to do if the wrong page ranks.

Dealing with keyword cannibalization

The approach to fixing keyword cannibalization is dependent upon the problem that emerges and a solution that is beneficial for the readers. A few keyword cannibalization solutions to ponder are

Internal linking

To resolve keyword cannibalization, an internal linking strategy is a viable one. Here, you will not be redirecting or taking down the pages of content. This is a fairly safe option if you are worried about the outcomes.

Fixing keyword cannibalization with internal linking

For SEO purposes, internal linking is a powerful tool. It is vital for readers to find relevant sources and related content. A directive to Google is provided on what a page should rank for. If you are doing content the right way, then you know what the two pieces should be ranking for. So, it is possible to use internal links from one piece to another and reinforce them when they sit in the website architecture. This gives an idea of what you might search for to find the piece.

In such cases, stick to an exact keyword match or something close to it. The internal links are to be reviewed and identified as links to the two pointing pieces. You could be pointing to the pages that have the same anchor text. With the screaming frog, you will have an idea of the type of anchor text you are using. You can also align your internal linking strategy with a quick edit.

A tip to consider is that when developing a content plan, a content database should be prepared. It should replicate a Google sheet where you may pick a keyword from a cluster and use it in anchor links. The process will prevent writers from incorporating random internal links in their articles.

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How to Fix Keyboard Cannibalization: SEO Tips and Solutions

Keyword clusters are to be defined, and clear search intent is to be established

Keyword cannibalization may have been done, but still, you want to keep both the images. In this case, you need to give each piece of content a defined purpose. To do so, formulate a keyword cluster and establish a clear search intent. Every piece of content is intended to do something unique.

Taking into consideration the example of Delish, though similar, both articles tend to have clear search intent.

An article recommends lunch ideas for work.

The other recommends packing lunches.

Taking a packed lunch to work is synonymous with a work lunch, though it is not for work purposes.

Content consolidation along with 301 redirects

It is termed “fairly intuitive” if you have to do a content consolidation along with a 301 redirect. This is expected to give you an idea whether the page is targeting the same exact keyword. Recalling the Delish example, despite similarities, the two pages on healthy meals serve two distinct purposes.. As discussed, one article focuses on packed lunches, and the other is on lunches for work.

Though nuanced, both pieces of content can coexist, assuming they are not causing any issues behind the scenes. But if the articles were “The Best Healthy Lunches” and “55 Healthy Lunches,” an issue is likely to emerge. The targeted keywords are similar (“Best healthy lunches”) and “healthy lunches,” which may sound like the same thing. A quick search of both keywords will lead to similar SERPs. Hence, it is better if you consolidate both articles and redirect them into each other.

The procedure to fix keyword cannibalization with content consolidation and a 301 direct

Before consolidating a couple of articles, it is better if you undertake due diligence. You need to use data that will help you decide which URLs you need to keep and which ones you intend to redirect.

In both articles, consolidate the content. Make sure to give it a careful edit while you do this. If you produce stuff that resembles the work of Frankenstein, you will cause more harm than good. .To be successful in this tactic, the content has to be well written and of the highest quality.

Locating the most successful URL by observing the Google search consoled data You need to filter by page to see which URL receives the most clicks, average position, and impressions. At a generic level, one would supersede the other, so the choice has to be an obvious one.

If the winning URL does not emerge at this point in time, check out the backline profile. Though you will be redirecting one link to the other and carrying over those backlinks, keeping the content on the URL with the strongest backlink profile is a better choice.

Add a canonical

If two pages need to exist and you do not want Google indexing both of them, you need to add a canonical. This is a beneficial method for e-commerce websites, particularly Shopify websites where the same product is available on multiple websites.

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How to Fix Keyboard Cannibalization: SEO Tips and Solutions

Preventing cannibalization in the future

Cannibalization occurs when there is no clear strategy for content production. If there is no plan, well-intentioned writers end up delivering the same type of content. To prevent cannibalization, a content log is kept, and you need to monitor the following:

Focus keyword: Assigning a single piece to each piece of content

Keyword cluster: The details of the keyword the piece should rank for

Content topic/pillar: All the content is visualized under a single topic.

The closer you are to your content and its purpose, the less likely you are to canalize content. It is better if you have a strategic SEO professional to guide you during the process so that the correct keywords can be assigned. If a piece of content aligns with a specific post, it is possible to filter the content by that topic. Double check that you have not already created content before you start writing it.

The content research process can be used to identify content that can be edited and not recreated. In some cases, a good edit on an existing article may do wonders for SEO.

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