What Is Keyword Cannibalisation and Why You Need to Avoid It



March 13, 2020

What Is Keyword Cannibalisation and Why You Need to Avoid It

Understanding Search Engine Optimisation and mastering the required techniques can be tricky for a lot of people new to the field. The most common misconception when it comes to SEO and building a ranking for a keyword is to feature the targeted keyword as many number of times as possible across multiple pages. But there is nothing that could be more counterproductive to your SEO efforts and such a practice even has a name – keyword cannibalisation.

What is keyword cannibalisation? 

Much like the origin of the word, the term ‘cannibalisation’ refers to the self-destructive nature of the process. Just like keyword stuffing, this is an overused (and far from helpful) technique that will set you up for failure.

When you target the same keyword across pages, instead of showing a search engine the expanse of your knowledge on a topic (and thereby, your authority), you are forcing it to weigh your pages one against the other in order to determine which suits a user query best – thereby reducing its ranking. 

Counterproductive, isn’t it? 

Why do you need to avoid keyword cannibalisation?

If you aren’t already convinced and need to know exactly why you need to avoid this just as much as you need to avoid keyword stuffing, here are a few reasons listed below.

You’re killing your page’s authority 

When you have more than one page competing for the same search query, you’re essentially splitting the click-through-rate across multiple moderately relevant pages instead of ensuring one page has a high authority. By making your own pages competitors, you’re now fighting against yourself for page views and SERP ranks.

You’re diluting your internal and backlinks 

Think about it, if you had one authoritative page that could have worked as a consolidated source of information, you could have a bunch of backlinks and internal links leading to it – thereby building even more authority. With multiple pages targeting the same keyword, you are splitting your links. 

A more relevant page may lose the battle 

Google essentially uses keywords to understand what your page is about. Now, if many pages target the same keyword, Google may just rank the wrong page for a query. 

It’s an indicator of poor page quality

Multiple pages targeting the same keyword would basically tell your users that your content is stretched out a bit too much, and Google will think the same. In fact, it may even signal to Google that your content and your keywords on each page don’t really match. 

Your conversion rate will suffer

Finally, but definitely not the least significant consequence that will get you thinking, is that keyword cannibalisation will basically affect your conversion rate. Instead of potential customers landing on a page that is relevant to them, you could be losing potential leads. 

So, have you been a victim of keyword cannibalisation but hadn’t realised it until now? Don’t worry, it isn’t too late to remedy the situation. Stay tuned for the next blog coming up that will help you avoid keyword cannibalisation. For more tips and updates, visit our blog. 

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