Come, meet us at Wordcamp, Torino, Italy on 14th and 15th June 2024 Click here
Scroll to top

How to Spot and Fix Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword Cannibalization

Many people seem to think linking multiple web pages to the same keyword works wonders, but that might not always be the case. You may be under the impression that if you have more pages on Google’s top rankings, you might be in a better position to get more leads from the internet users searching for your kind of business, but this might not always hold.

Such a strategy may have a ripple effect too on your SEO. SEO is a very tricky concept and may fall apart completely if not done correctly. Also, from Google’s first page, it may take you to the last, too, and in this way, it’ll do you more harm than good. By targeting your various pages for the same keywords, you are making your various web pages compete with each other, which is not a healthy trend.

Subsequently, you are reducing the CTR of each page of yours, diminished authority, and the conversion rates are also reduced than one such consolidated page would have.

In other words, this is known as SEO misstep or keyword cannibalization. Now let us understand what is keyword cannibalization in detail:

This concept means that the results of all your pages are cannibalized, and the links, content, and CTR (basically conversions) are divided between two pages instead of one.

In such a scenario, instead of showing Google the vastness of your knowledge in your domain. There is no improvement in your site authority for that particular query, which is not good for your website.

Instead, you are telling Google, whichever pages are getting stronger, rank them higher and force your pages into a competition for the top spot, which is unhealthy.

One example may be a gown company wherein you have linked all your pages to a particular keyword,’ gown,’ but you might be selling wedding gowns, bridesmaid gowns, evening gowns, etc. So what about these other keywords? Why do you want to restrict your site to only gowns and stop at that?

You are hitting a nail on your shoes by doing this, as instead of widening your market by bifurcating into other spheres like wedding gowns, bridesmaid gowns, bride’s mother’s gowns, evening gowns, etc., you are trying to direct the leads only in one direction, i.e., gowns and gowns may have a wider market, and hence these leads fail to convert. You are at a loss, which you might not be realising.

6 Harmful Effects Cannibalization Can Have On Your SEO 

The effects of cannibalization can be quite disastrous, one which may be acting as a silent killer for your website, and you may not even realise it.

The business owner might even be happy thinking one of his pages is ranked 5th or 6th on the Google search engine for their intended keyword. He doesn’t know that one authoritative page may rank higher than one of his pages and convert better, too, as people can find exactly what they want.

In such circumstances, the negative effects are clear: Fluctuating rankings in SERP rankings, losing out on on-site traffic, and queries going to the wrong page, which an online user wouldn’t appreciate. All this will ultimately result in lost sales, which may also be difficult to find out.

The Authority of the Page is diminished 

Instead of having an authoritative site about your business, you are splitting your information onto various pages of your website. By doing this, you are splitting the CTR across multiple moderately useful pages.

You turned your pages into enemies and are making them compete for SERPs and page views against each other, which is not conducive for any business.

Here’s an example: Would a reader prefer finding one book with complete information on what they want is split into two books, you ponder? Which one would they prefer? You might have got the answer by now.

The Anchor text and links are getting diluted with cannibalization

Backlinks are affected because what should have gone to one consolidated page will now go to 2 or more different pages.

The outreach efforts put into getting 15 links for one page and 10 links for another could have been achieved by acquiring 25 links to one particular page, which is better performing.

A page providing in-depth knowledge is more likely to be linked better than half-knowledge multiple pages. The same thing happens to your internal links and anchor text pointing to various pages. This is not the preferred trend for any internet user, as online users are always in a hurry, as there is so much offered out there, so they try to skim through stuff faster than the offline users, which of course is diminishing in number these days. The purpose of online shopping is also to speed up things and get them done at ease. So, if your information is also unavailable at one place, do you think they would prefer your company?

There are possibilities of devaluing your more important pages by Google

Keywords are the main means of telling Google which pages are what, and if the keywords are the same, Google decides for itself which page should be given which ranking. And sometimes, in the process, you may lose out on your more important pages, like your Home-page, etc., which may be a loss to your business.

The Crawl Budget is affected

Crawl Budget is the number of times the crawl-engine spider crawls your website in a given time frame. So the offside is that the crawl engine will crawl and index the less significant pages if the same keywords are used for all pages.

Note: This does not apply to small websites but mostly to ecommerce websites and other big businesses which sell multiple products.

It Gives the Wrong Signal to Google

It may give the impression to Google that since you are using the same keyword for all your pages, the content may be of inferior quality, as you have written multiple texts using the same keyword. It also indirectly announces to the readers that the information on one page may not be the complete information. Sometimes it also may send the wrong signal to Google that the content on a certain page might not be relevant to the keyword, as the keyword is the same.

Your Lead Conversion won’t happen

Because of incomplete information, your lead conversion won’t happen; this wouldn’t happen if you had one consolidated page.

Identifying Keyword Cannibalization

Once cannibalization is identified, it’s easy to resolve. Make a spreadsheet with all the URLs and their keywords to find out. Once you have made it, look out for duplicate entries. If there are, that means your site is suffering from keyword cannibalization. Check the meta-tags of all your pages also for the same.

How to fix this problem?

  • Restructuring your website – The simplest solution is to take your most important page and make it your landing page, which links to various other variations that somewhat are closely associated with your intended keywords.
  • Make a new landing page – You might not have a landing page that links to all your other pages. So you need to make one like that, as we have repeatedly reminded internet users are always in a hurry, and many other choices are waiting for them.
  • Consolidate your Content – If having multiple pages is not doing the trick, as the content on the various pages is not so great or informative, it’s advisable to consolidate it, but do it with utmost care. Starting with analytics’ would be a good approach toward this end. Start with the high-performing pages, compare them with the less-performing ones, and consolidate them; if you feel combining them would do better, do so. This can also save you from getting penalized by Google for inferior content.
  • Find New Keywords – If you find that the content is rich with information on all your pages, what might be lacking must be the quality of keywords. Take more effort and find more relevant keywords that might convert better.
  • Use 301 redirects – Too many 301 redirects are not good, but it becomes necessary if you have many pages ranking for the same keyword. Using this tactic, you can consolidate your cannibalized content and link the less useful pages to the more authoritative ones. This strategy works only if the content is similar and the keywords used are the same.


These 5 action plans should work and resolve your cannibalization problem. The only problem arises in the case of certain ecommerce sites which sells a lot of products. Here it would be best if you looked into the CMS that separates your different products with varying colours and sizes.

If you wish to learn more about keyword cannibalization and how to boost your SEO, it’s advisable to seek help from a reliable SEO expert in India. Our company is a leading SEO company in India, and we are here to provide the assistance you need. To get in touch, please dial our phone number at +91 120 4293692 or email us at [email protected]. We will be delighted to speak with you about this project.

Author avatar
Public advisory against the common scams. Click to read more.