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Keyword cannibalization: what it is, how to detect and avoid it e-commerce how to start4 min read

12 April 2021


Keyword cannibalization: what it is, how to detect and avoid it e-commerce how to start4 min read

Avoiding keyword cannibalization is possible, just carefully select keywords and realize a detailed editorial plan.

It is a phenomenon that occurs especially when a website or blog has an important history and a large amount of published articles. The problem arises when a website unk knowingly and redundantly proposes the same topics in its content, even if approached, in a different way.

Offering search engines separate content that, however, deals with the same topic means creating many problems for spiders, who will have difficulty understanding which content is with the most value deserving of visibility.

But how do you know if we’re inadvertently fueling the cannibalization of our keywords? And, if there is certainty about this problem, how can we take action to solve it? Let’s see it together.

What is keyword cannibalization?

As already mentioned, the phenomenon of cannibalization of keywords occurs when two contents, although different, try to position themselves on search engines using the same keywords. The problem can also occur when there are URLs on the site that compete for the same keyword. As a result, both pages will lose the score in terms of quality and will be penalized by search engines.

How to spot the problem

There are several methods to identify if you are experiencing keyword cannibalization among your content.

The first method is very simple: by searching for the keyword in the search engine, it offers the user two different URLs of your site. The second method strongly used to detect the phenomenon of keyword cannibalization involves using one of the Google search operators.

From the search bar, type: intitle:”search query”, where the search query will be precisely the search keyword, while will be the URL of your website.

By giving these instructions to the search engine, it will show you all the indexed pages of the that contain the typed query in the title. If, looking closely, you notice more than one result, there is most likely a problem of cannibalizing keywords.

How to avoid cannibalization of keywords?

What are the techniques to use to avoid cannibalization of keywords? After seeing what are the different ways to detect the phenomenon of keyword cannibalization, let’s now see how to prevent its appearance and greatly improve your business visibility.

Analysis of search intent

The first way is to analyze users’ search intent. Before you even define the content to write and an editorial plan, it is important to perform a series of searches on the search engine, using different queries, in order to study the proposed results.

At this stage, attention must be paid to several elements:

  • the composition of the SERP, i.e. which packs returns the search engine (images, shopping ads, paid ads, etc.);
  • the page title and the meta description of the organic search results, which allow you to identify the main keyword and its placement in the page title;
  • finally, the internal content of the pages of organic competitors must also be analyzed to understand the type of content that is proposed, how deep the topic is and what semantic field is used. Google’s algorithm has evolved and today we should aim to index multiple keywords with the same content, thanks to the quality of writing and the use of semantics.

Website structure analysis

To avoid cannibalization of keywords, it is important to study the tree structure of the website. This analysis allows you to identify all the groups of pages currently published online, and can be carried out using appropriate software.

Having a clear and global view of the tree-up of the site, it will be easier to identify the contents of the site published online and any duplications of content that cause keyword cannibalization.

The editorial plan

The editorial plan is a very useful marketing tool to define content topics, as well as ways and times of publication of the same. Having an editorial plan always updated allows you to have an always clear idea of what you publish, thus decreasing the chances of cannibalization of keywords.

Strengthening internal links

Internal links are a very useful tool to help search engines understand what is the most important article. In fact, with a good internal link structure, then linking posts that are less important to posts that are the most important, help the search engine understand what the main content should be.

Cannibalizing keywords can greatly penalize the ranking of your website and content in search results. However, using all the techniques and advice we have just seen, you can greatly reduce the risks of penalty and thus get the visibility that your company deserves.




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