Key phrase Cannibalization – How To Establish & Repair Content material Cannibalization Difficulty?

  • Is your web site shedding visitors?
  • Is your natural visitors happening?
  • Are you shedding key phrase rating?
  • Regardless of making an attempt arduous, you aren’t in a position to attain on web page #1 (Even with new content material)

When you reply sure to a number of of this, You is likely to be a sufferer of Key phrase cannibalization.

What’s “Cannibalization in search engine optimisation” and the way it works?

Methods to discover in case your web site is impacted by Key phrase cannibalization


Methods to repair key phrase cannibalism concern

That is what you’ll study right this moment.

Key phrase cannibalization (also called content material cannibalization) is one underlooked phase of keyword research and key phrase mapping, if not performed proper, that would severely influence your web site visitors.

In truth, final yr, ShoutMeLoud visitors dropped considerably, and once I diagnose the trigger for a similar, my analysis concluded that I used to be shedding visitors as a result of a number of pages had been making an attempt to rank for a similar key phrase. (Cannibalization concern)

In flip, Google has began downranking many such clusters of pages, and over a course of some months, I misplaced greater than 20% of the visitors.

It was a panic state of affairs, nonetheless hue and cry by no means helps, so I did what any optimist blogger would do.

I began fixing the issue!

It took months of labor to lastly put my web site out of cannibalization and this tutorial is a mirrored image of all of the work I’ve put to get well from key phrase cannibalized web sites.

That is an extra-ordinary concern that would occur to anybody who has a web site, and by no means targeted on Key phrase mapping or constructing logical inside hyperlinks or could possibly be occur because of uncontrollable circumstances

Let’s dive deep into this topic, and study one thing new right this moment.

What’s Key phrase cannibalization?

Key phrase cannibalization is an search engine optimisation concern that happens when a couple of web page of your web site is making an attempt to rank for a similar/comparable key phrases. This confuses the search engine, and it periodically tries to know which one of many pages needs to be ranked on the primary web page.

In an absence of clear route, it lowers down the rating of all pages, and none of them rank for the goal key phrase.

One other widespread explanation for Key phrase cannibalization is when a webmaster creates a number of pages concentrating on the identical subject. This will work initially, however as search evolves, these totally different pages find yourself serving the identical searcher intent.

More often than not this occurs unintentionally, however the visitors and rating influence of that is extreme.

In my discovering, I’ve seen a complete cluster of pages (class) shedding the rating due to key phrase cannibalism.

What I discovered most fascinating is, when key phrase cannibalization is fastened, it resulted in improved rating of complete class of pages.

I’ve examined this concept on a number of web sites, and each time the competing pages had been recognized, and correct motion is taken, there’s a vital enchancment within the total key phrase rating and therefore visitors.

Cannibalization is one unusual search engine optimisation concern the place a whole lot of site owners usually are not even conscious of it. In case your web site is impacted by it, figuring out and fixing this concern would do wonders on your web site visitors.

Earlier than that, let’s perceive the widespread causes of cannibalization.

What Causes cannibalization?

1. Creating a number of pages concentrating on the identical key phrase:

Plenty of bloggers and content material entrepreneurs, find yourself creating a whole lot of pages concentrating on the identical or comparable key phrases and hoping considered one of them would rank. That is now an age-old observe and one thing it is best to keep away from. You’ll be able to fairly create a long-form article to focus on a bunch of key phrases.

Learn: Long Form Content SEO Ranking Strategy: 11 Must-Follow Tips to Rank

2. Improper inside linking:

That is one other commonest root explanation for content material cannibalization. At occasions, bloggers use the identicalKey phrase” on totally different articles to hyperlink to totally different pages. That is one certain shot approach to confuse search engine bots and therefore ends in content material cannibalization.

Usually that is precipitated because of backlinks with mistaken anchor textual content.

3. Altering search intent:

That is one other necessary facet you want to bear in mind when making an attempt to establish and repair KW cannibalization. The search engine algorithm is ever-evolving, and what works right this moment might not work tomorrow.

It’s a good suggestion to keep watch over search intent of your targeted key phrases, and be able to optimize it with altering time and wishes. When you don’t know the way to do that, drop a remark beneath together with your request, and I’ll create a publish or video on this quickly.

Methods to diagnose Key phrase cannabalization:

The very first thing it is best to verify is that if, your web site is impacted by cannabalization. Meaning, discovering is a couple of inside pages are attempting to compete for a similar key phrase.

There are lots of methods by which you’ll diagnose this, and lets have a look at a few of the instruments and strategies that helps you establish cannabalized pages on any web site.

1. Sanitycheck (Utilizing Google search console)

SanityCheck is one much less recognized search engine optimisation software that is smart out of Google search console knowledge. Sanity Examine gives a module known as “Cannibalization” that allow you to verify which all pages are being cannibalized.

Right here is how you can use this software:

  • Create an account on Sanity Examine
  • Add your web site
  • Join with Google search console
  • Click on on Reviews > Cannabalization report

As soon as your report is prepared, you’re going to get an e mail for a similar.

And that is how the report will appear like:

Now, you possibly can click on on “Question” to see which all pages are competing for the goal question.

Notice: Sanitycheck shouldn’t be the very best content material cannibalization finder software, but it surely positively helps. They provide 14 days free trial, which is nice sufficient for small-medium dimension web sites to search out the cannibalized content material. I hope the crew improves on this characteristic, which is certainly value some huge cash.

2. Jetoctopus:

Jetoctopus is a cloud-based net crawler software, that additionally supplies a “Cannibalization report“. This software is one other straightforward to make use of software, and right here is how you should use it:

  • Create an account on Jetoctopus
  • Add your web site
  • Join with Google search console
  • Beneath GSC key phrases > Cannibalization you possibly can request for cannabalization report

3. Ahrefs:

Ahrefs is one other standard search engine optimisation software that permits you to see if a couple of pages is making an attempt to rank for a similar key phrase. You should use the Google sheet provided by them to create a fast report of all pages impacted with Key phrase cannibalization.

This video tutorial explains how you can use the Ahrefs + Google sheets to create a report on cannablized pages:

By the tip of this train, you’ll have a report like this:

Ahrefs is ideal for site owners, and search engine optimisation businesses who’re looking for if a web site is penalized because of cannibalization.

4. Google Search console

I saved the very best for the final, and this one works for every type of internet sites. You can use Google search console to diagnose the cannibalization concern.

  • Login to Google search console
  • Choose your area and click on on Efficiency > Search outcomes
  • Seek for key phrase that you just suspect is affected by cannablization

Click on on pages, and you’ll have a listing of pages which can be making an attempt to rank for the widespread key phrase.

Now, based mostly on analysis, you possibly can determine how do you wish to proceed with fixing this concern.

There is likely to be extra instruments to establish Key phrase cannibalization, up to now I’ve discovered these instruments to be the very best.

Methods to repair the cannibalized content material points for search engine optimisation?

Upon getting a listing of pages which can be competing for similar key phrases, the actual work begins right here.


  1. Begin with fixing essentially the most apparent cannibalized content material. Normally, you’ll see a right away influence in total search engine rating, and search visitors.
  2. Be prepared for wild visitors and rating transfer for the following few days (Whilst you repair your web site), however in case you are doing it proper, you’ll be seeing the nice ends in months to come back.

There are a number of actions you would take at this stage to get well from cannabalization search engine optimisation penalty.

1. Repair On web page search engine optimisation:

Usually fixing on page SEO stuff resembling:

  • Meta title
  • Meta description
  • Take away Key phrase
  • Altering search intent

Helps in giving clear message to look engine about your goal key phrases. Inner hyperlink performs a serious position, and one thing I’ve mentioned in depth within the subsequent part.

That is additionally an excellent time to start out utilizing any on-page SEO tools like SEMRush writing assistant, Frase or comparable instruments to optimize your pages based mostly on real-world search engine optimisation knowledge.

Learn: How to write SEO friendly content

2. Replace inside hyperlinks:

Plenty of time key phrase cannibalization occurs because of poor inside linking construction. It’s common to see, a webmaster linking two totally different pages with the identical anchor textual content, and that is by far one of many widespread causes for cannibalization on older web sites. What you would do right here is, undergo all the interior hyperlinks of two cannibalized pages, and repair the interior anchor texts.

I’ve used extensively used this plugin known asWP Link Statusto search out anchor textual content to any pages on my web site.

This plugin additionally helps in shortly updating the anchor textual content or manipulating the hyperlinks. Both approach, WP Hyperlink standing professional plugin goes to be actually useful to search out and repair anchor textual content points.

Additionally see: 4 Best WordPress internal linking plugin to improve URL Rating for SEO

3. Delete Content material:

That is maybe the quickest approach to repair the cannibalized content material drawback. Upon getting recognized pages which can be making an attempt to rank for a similar key phrase, you possibly can delete one of many pages which don’t serve the aim.

After deleting the web page, you could have two choices:

Possibility 1:

  • Set 404 or 410 code for the delete web page and use Google URL elimination software to take away the web page from web-index
  • After 48 hours or so (as soon as web page is faraway from web-index), change the standing code from 404 or 410 code, and 301 redirect it to the web page you picked as a winner.

I often do the choice 1, as I’m coping with restricted content material. (About 2000 articles).

Possibility 2:

Notice: You too can noindex the content material and publish as a visitor publish on different web sites, incomes a strong backlink.

4. Merge two content material:

Over the time, the search evolves and it might make extra sense to merge two articles into one, and a fast google search might reveal the identical.

An instance from my expertise is right here:

I had two totally different pages speaking about:

  1. Article 1: What’s managed WordPress hosting
  2. Article 2: Best managed WordPress hosting

Each of them are two seperate article, and for lengthy they each had been rating on the first web page for various search intent.

Nonetheless, I began noticing visitors drop on each of them, and a fast Google search additionally revealed, rivals are making a single web page answering each the subjects in a single. Furthermore, Google has began giving weightage to a single article (overlaying each the intent) over two separate articles.

That is merely how the search was evolving for this key phrase/subject, and the very best plan of action was to merge each of them into one, and thus additionally fulfill searchers intent.

When you’re in comparable state of affairs, listed below are the steps you would

  • Examine the web page search engine optimisation rating (Web page authority) of each the pages.
  • Examine and examine the natural visitors to each the pages. I take advantage of Monster insights that make issues quicker.
  • Choose the web page you wish to hold, and transfer the content material of different web page to this one (This will require a little bit of rewriting)
  • Delete the opposite web page, and redirect it to web page you wish to hold. It might be higher should you redirect utilizing the leap hyperlink approach, this fashion you’ll enhance your probability of rating.
  • Repair all inside hyperlinks
  • Monitor the outcomes

Bonus tip: At this stage, it’s a nice concept to make use of a Keyword rank tracker tool. I used AccuRanker, and added these key phrases for monitoring with a particular tag known as “Cannibalization”. This helped me to see the influence of such main search engine optimisation adjustments.

5. Canonical redirection:

That is one other good approach to repair cannibalization concern. That is helpful when two or extra pages are cannibalized, however you don’t wish to delete or merge it. In that case, you possibly can choose one web page that you just wish to rank, and from different pages set the canonical tag to the goal web page.

All the favored WordPress search engine optimisation plugins like Yoast search engine optimisation, gives canonical tag characteristic. In case you are new to canonical search engine optimisation, learn my earlier information on:

What is URL Canonicalization and how to Use Canonical Tag Properly?

I’ve examined this, and this works too. Nonetheless, I nonetheless favor merge or delete than canonical in many of the instances.

How to not be impacted by Content material Cannibalization in future

Effectively if you are fixing current cannibalization concern, you additionally want to bear in mind about future content material.

  • Be certain your subject and key phrase choice are nicely structured.
  • Key phrase mapping and clustering are going to be your superweapon to keep away from duplicate content material and cannibalized content material.
  • Content material audit frequently ensures you let go of low high quality and slate content material.
  • Use breadcrumbs and comply with the hub-spoke mannequin on your web site construction.

Upon getting seen the unfavorable influence of cannibalized content material, it’s good to change into extra knowledge pushed in the case of subject choice.

Effectively, I hope this information that has helped you to establish and repair cannibalization concern in your web site. You probably have further query, be at liberty to ask within the remark part beneath.

Additionally try:

Fix Keyword Cannibalization

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