Keyword Cannibalization: Are You Making This 1 Major Error?

Published by Algorithmic Global on

Caution sign displaying keyword cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization is a mistake bloggers make when they optimize their articles for similar keyword terms.

A common mistake amongst new restoration blog writers is keyword cannibalization. This article will show you how to avoid this and get the best rankings possible on Google search engine results pages (SERPs).

You can’t always control what keywords people use to find your blog posts, but you can be strategic about how you go about optimizing your content. In other words, don’t be a cannibal!

Your goal should be to create an effective content strategy that includes new short and long-tail keywords. Before we go further, let’s describe what exactly keyword cannibalization is.

What is keyword cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is when a blogger optimizes an article for keywords similar to that of other articles on their blog, which can negatively affect the rankings of those posts.

 To better understand how this works, let’s look at what keywords and search engine results pages (SERPs) are in the first place.

A keyword is any word or phrase someone enters into a search engine—like Google—to find your content. A SERP includes a list of all of the relevant results for that query. 

For example, let’s say your current website ranks for the keyword “Sub-pump water clean up.” Writing a new blog that includes “sub-pump water damage restoration services” will likely lead to cannibalized search results.

How to find keyword cannibalization issues?

Take a look at your rankings for your site’s pages and blog posts, and keep an eye on how they change over time. You may find that your ranking for one keyword is much lower after publishing a new post with a similar keyword. 

This scenario would affect your website’s ranking overall if it were one of your current top-ranking pages or blogs. This scenario means you have keyword cannibalized content, which will result in suboptimal rankings (shown lower on SERPs).

Screaming frog software used for auditing keyword cannibalization Audit your website frequently

The best way to track any keyword cannibalization on your website is to audit your site with a tool like Screaming Frog. In Screaming Frog, you will be able to analyze all of your internal and external site pages as well as all internal and external links. With this information, you can quickly see all of the blog posts you have written and check to see if there is any content flagged for keyword cannibalization.

Using Screaming Frog:

To use Screaming Frog for keyword cannibalization, run your website and head over to the H1 section. In the H1 section, you will see all of the H1 headings that you have written. (For those who are not aware, an H1 heading tells your audience and search engine exactly what the post/page is about.) When you analyze all of the H1 headings, you will quickly see which have similar keywords.

Two pieces of tape fixing a cracked brick

How to Fix Keyword Cannibalization?

The best way to fix keyword cannibalization is to choose to add to the blog post ranking higher on the SERPs. Copy the underperforming blog’s content and paste it into the blog that is performing better, merging them into one seamless master article. Then, use a 301 redirect to redirect all of the link juice and let search engines (Google) know that the new page has all of the new content.

Are you starting a new blog?

The best way to avoid future keyword cannibalization is to have a powerful content strategy in place before you begin. You’re in luck if you happen to find this blog post before you have even started writing your blog! 

In your content strategy, have a list of future keywords that you will include for each service that you offer. We like to make a keyword list of 10 keywords for each unique service before writing.

Stop sign in reference to not be a cannibal

Don’t be a cannibal – concluding advice

Are you looking to optimize your restoration blog? Be sure not to optimize your articles for similar keyword terms—your rankings might suffer from keyword cannibalization. 

In the restoration industry, we have seen many blogs that are way too similar to other published posts within the same website. In most scenarios, bloggers are writing about a topic they find most relevant and can’t help but share their passion—make sure the water damage keywords are diversified! 

Please, remember to keep your blog diverse to avoid keyword cannibalization. Contact us today if you would like a team member at Algorithmic Global to perform an audit on your website for undesirable keyword cannibalization.


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