SEO cannibalization is one of the mistakes we can make when working on the contents of a website. When we have several pages that try to position for a single keyword, the problem that occurs is that many times only one of those pages is positioned well, while the others may not even appear for that main keyword.
The cannibalization of URLs usually happens when we do not keep track of the progression of our content. For example, when we write texts using the same keyword in Yoast SEO, instead of optimizing it for a different keyword and being able to collect visits from other places.
In this post we will give you some keys so that you can avoid SEO cannibalisations and know how to deal with this problem on your website, an essential aspect of the internal positioning of a website.
Why SEO Cannibalization Occurs
Google tries to provide the content that best suits the user’s searches. That is why it does not make any sense that we try to create a lot of content for the same keyword and “take over” all the positions on the first page in the SERPS, because Google is not going to position all your pages there.
This is basically a form of spam, so that when you fall into cannibalization, deep down you are throwing stones against your own roof. You are making content that is going to be of practically no use.
Many times company websites do not do this on purpose. But the lack of control over the keywords on which we create the content can lead to this problem.
Examples of Cannibalization:
In an online store, put the same product in several categories. This sends confusing signals to Google, because it doesn’t really know where to place that product.
When, for example, a product or category page appears positioned for a generic keyword, but not the main page, which is the one that should appear better positioned there.
Having a bad internal linking of the URLs, that is, not having a good management of your web architecture.
Making a bad link-building can also lead to two pages devouring each other, instead of being well categorized.
How to avoid cannibalisations?
The first thing is to have a tool that allows you to identify these cannibalizations. If there are not many URLs, we can do it with Google Search Console, but in large online stores it will be very complicated because you will have to check one by the keywords for which each URL is positioned. Better to use paid SEO tools like Ahrefs.
From the analysis we do with these tools, we can identify which pages are eating each other because they try to position for the same keyword. From here, different solutions can be applied.
You can mix the content of one with the other to create a single page, since generally two URLs that position for the same keyword deal with a very similar topic. Then, we will do a 301 redirect from the page that we are not going to use anymore to the page that we are interested in being positioned.
We can also put the canonical tag to tell Google which page we want it to index, thus indicating which is the main page for that keyword and which page it should ignore. The main disadvantage of this tag is that if the other URL had authority for the backlinks they will not carry over to the other page.
Another option that can be shuffled is to keep both pages fighting for the same keyword, and redo the content so that they do not interfere with each other. We study the keywords of each one and redo the texts so that each page deals with a specific topic and does not mix with the other. In this case we would not do redirects.
Through these techniques, we can get the pages that Google is considering as irrelevant to stop hindering the SEO of other pages of ours, or that we can even gain more traffic by bringing visitors from the old page that we have eliminated to the new one with a redirect.
Put Solutions to SEO Cannibalization
The SEO cannibalization of your pages makes them lose authority in the face of Google, but it can also be confusing for users. If you have two pages focused on the same keyword in the SERPS, you are confusing the user, since generally neither of the two pages contains all the information that he expects to find.
This is an essential aspect to improve the usability of a website, without going any further. And especially in an online store, avoiding SEO cannibalization is key to better positioning. Contact us if you want to improve the positioning of your online store.
Furqan is a huge lover of blogging and writing at App Marketing Agency and his most popular niches are technology, business and entrepreneurship. The first person who inspired him to write was his mother who used to be an academic writer.