Keyword Cannibalization – How To Identify & Fix Content Cannibalization Issue?

  • Is your web site shedding visitors?
  • Is your natural visitors happening?
  • Are you shedding key phrase rating?
  • Regardless of attempting exhausting, you aren’t capable of attain on web page #1 (Even with new content material)

Should you reply sure to a number of of this, You may be a sufferer of Key phrase cannibalization.

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

How you can discover in case your web site is impacted by Key phrase cannibalization


How you can repair key phrase cannibalism challenge. 

That is what you’ll be taught immediately. 

Key phrase cannibalization (also called content material cannibalization) is one underlooked section of key phrase analysis and key phrase mapping, if not accomplished proper, that might 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 attempting to rank for a similar key phrase. (Cannibalization challenge)

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 scenario, 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 recuperate from key phrase cannibalized web sites.

That is an extra-ordinary challenge that might occur to anybody who has an internet site, and by no means centered on Key phrase mapping or constructing logical inside hyperlinks or could possibly be occur on account of uncontrollable circumstances

Let’s dive deep into this topic, and be taught one thing new immediately.

What’s Key phrase cannibalization?

Key phrase cannibalization is an search engine marketing challenge that happens when multiple web page of your web site is attempting to rank for a similar/comparable key phrases. This confuses the search engine, and it periodically tries to grasp which one of many pages ought 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 reason behind 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 whole cluster of pages (class) shedding the rating due to key phrase cannibalism.

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

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

Cannibalization is one unusual search engine marketing challenge the place quite a 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 challenge would do wonders to 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:

Quite a lot of bloggers and content material entrepreneurs, find yourself creating quite a lot of pages concentrating on the identical or comparable key phrases and hoping one in every of them would rank. That is now an age-old apply and one thing you must keep away from. You may reasonably create a long-form article to focus on a bunch of key phrases.

Learn: Lengthy Type Content material search engine marketing Rating Technique: 11 Should-Observe Tricks to Rank

2. Improper inside linking:

That is one other most typical root reason behind content material cannibalization. At occasions, bloggers use the identical “Key phrase” on totally different articles to hyperlink to totally different pages. That is one positive shot strategy to confuse search engine bots and therefore ends in content material cannibalization.

Usually that is brought about on account of backlinks with improper anchor textual content.

three. Altering search intent:

That is one other vital side you want to remember when attempting to determine and repair KW cannibalization. The search engine algorithm is ever-evolving, and what works immediately might not work tomorrow.

It’s a good suggestion to control search intent of your centered key phrases, and be able to optimize it with altering time and wishes. Should you don’t know the way to do that, drop a remark beneath along with your request, and I’ll create a submit or video on this quickly.

How you can diagnose Key phrase cannabalization:

The very first thing you must test is that if, your web site is impacted by cannabalization. Meaning, discovering is multiple inside pages are attempting to compete for a similar key phrase.

There are a lot of methods by which you’ll be able to diagnose this, and lets take a look at a few of the instruments and methods that helps you determine cannabalized pages on any web site.

1. Sanitycheck (Utilizing Google search console)

SanityCheck is one much less recognized search engine marketing instrument that is sensible out of Google search console knowledge. Sanity Verify gives a module referred to as “Cannibalization” that allow you to test which all pages are being cannibalized.

Right here is tips on how to use this instrument:

  • Create an account on Sanity Verify
  • 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 may click on on “Question” to see which all pages are competing for the goal question.

Word: Sanitycheck is just not the most effective content material cannibalization finder instrument, however it positively helps. They provide 14 days free trial, which is sweet sufficient for small-medium measurement web sites to search out the cannibalized content material. I hope the group improves on this function, which is certainly price some huge cash.

2. Jetoctopus:

Jetoctopus is a cloud-based internet crawler instrument, that additionally offers a “Cannibalization report“. This instrument is one other straightforward to make use of instrument, 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 may request for cannabalization report

three. Ahrefs:

Ahrefs is one other common search engine marketing instrument that permits you to see if multiple pages is attempting to rank for a similar key phrase. You need to use the Google sheet supplied by them to create a fast report of all pages impacted with Key phrase cannibalization.

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

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

Ahrefs is ideal for site owners, and search engine marketing companies who’re looking for if an internet site is penalized on account of cannibalization.

four. Google Search console

I saved the most effective for the final, and this one works for all sorts of internet sites. You may use Google search console to diagnose the cannibalization challenge.

  • 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 should have a listing of pages which can be attempting to rank for the widespread key phrase.

Now, based mostly on analysis, you may resolve how do you need to proceed with fixing this challenge.

There may be extra instruments to determine Key phrase cannibalization, thus far I’ve discovered these instruments to be the most effective.

How you can repair the cannibalized content material points for search engine marketing?

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


  1. Begin with fixing probably the most apparent cannibalized content material. Normally, you’d see a direct influence in general 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 if you’re doing it proper, you may be seeing the good ends in months to return.

There are a couple of actions you possibly can take at this stage to recuperate from cannabalization search engine marketing penalty.

1. Repair On web page search engine marketing:

Usually fixing on web page search engine marketing stuff akin to:

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

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

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

Learn: How you can write search engine marketing pleasant content material

2. Replace inside hyperlinks:

Quite a lot of time key phrase cannibalization occurs on account 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 possibly can do right here is, undergo all the inner hyperlinks of two cannibalized pages, and repair the inner anchor texts.

I’ve used extensively used this plugin referred to as “WP Hyperlink Standing” to 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 means, WP Hyperlink standing professional plugin goes to be actually useful to search out and repair anchor textual content points.

Additionally see: four Greatest WordPress inside linking plugin to enhance URL Score for search engine marketing

three. Delete Content material:

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

After deleting the web page, you’ve got two choices:

Choice 1:

  • Set 404 or 410 code for the delete web page and use Google URL removing instrument 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 normally do the choice 1, as I’m coping with restricted content material. (About 2000 articles).

Choice 2:

Word: You may also noindex the content material and publish as a visitor submit on different web sites, incomes a stable backlink.

four. Merge two content material:

Over the time, the search evolves and it could make extra sense to merge two articles into one, and a fast google search may 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 internet hosting
  2. Article 2: Greatest managed WordPress internet 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, opponents are making a single web page answering each the matters in a single. Furthermore, Google has began giving weightage to a single article (masking each the intent) over two separate articles.

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

When you find yourself in comparable scenario, listed here are the steps you possibly can

  • Verify the web page search engine marketing rating (Web page authority) of each the pages.
  • Verify and examine the natural visitors to each the pages. I exploit Monster insights that make issues sooner.
  • Decide the web page you need to preserve, 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 need to preserve. It might be higher should you redirect utilizing the bounce hyperlink approach, this manner 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 Key phrase rank tracker instrument. I used AccuRanker, and added these key phrases for monitoring with a particular tag referred to as “Cannibalization”. This helped me to see the influence of such main search engine marketing modifications.

5. Canonical redirection:

That is one other sensible strategy to repair cannibalization challenge. That is helpful when two or extra pages are cannibalized, however you don’t need to delete or merge it. In that case, you may choose one web page that you just need to rank, and from different pages set the canonical tag to the goal web page.

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

What’s URL Canonicalization and tips on how to Use Canonical Tag Correctly?

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

How to not be impacted by Content material Cannibalization in future

Nicely if you are fixing current cannibalization challenge, you additionally want to remember about future content material.

  • Make 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 regularly ensures you let go of low high quality and slate content material.
  • Use breadcrumbs and observe the hub-spoke mannequin to your web site construction.

Upon getting seen the unfavorable influence of cannibalized content material, it is advisable to turn out to be extra knowledge pushed in terms of subject choice.

Nicely, I hope this information that has helped you to determine and repair cannibalization challenge in your web site. When you’ve got extra query, be at liberty to ask within the remark part beneath.

Additionally try:

Fix Keyword Cannibalization


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *