All You Need To Know About Cannibalization
Cannibalization, you’ll get to know about this in the article. By now, you are surely aware of it: if you do not have an Internet presence, you are nobody. But it is not enough to be, you also have to stand out, that is, position yourself. That’s where SEO comes in, the tool that can make your page rank at the top of search engines … or not. Because a mistake can pay dearly , and one of the most common is the cannibalization of keywords.
What is this ‘cannibalization’? The term already gives you a clue, but you may not be very clear about what it consists of. To understand it, you first have to know what keywords are . They are those words that serve to identify the content of a file and to facilitate the search .
So far everything is simple, apparently. But, when the content of your site is very broad, it is easy to end up indexing multiple pages with the same keywords. And what does that mean? That they are competing with each other to position themselves , that is cannibalization. It is bad? Usually yes, but not always. Let’s see it.
What Is Cannibalization?
Search engines are very clever, they work through complex algorithms by which they determine which sites rank better. But they are not infallible and we can ‘drive them crazy’ without intending to. When several pages of a website respond to the same search criteria, to the same keywords, the search engine will not know which one is more important to position it better. This is where cannibalization occurs.
If the search engine detects that there is a high level of coincidence, it can choose to index only one of the URLs or, directly, consider that we are a bad result, that we do not respond to the user’s search, and not index any. This is why keyword cannibalization can ruin your site’s SEO.
Does it always happen? The truth is that no, sometimes search engines do index two very similar results, sometimes even in high positions, and that cannibalization has no major consequences. Although it is not usual. It can occur, for example, in electronic businesses that have to repeatedly use certain keywords.
How To Solve The Problem?
Ending keyword cannibalization on our site can be tricky, especially if the volume of content is very high, but it is not impossible. Of course, it will take a lot of effort and sometimes there will be no choice but to make some sacrifices. There are several basic solutions:
- Eliminate the pages in the worst positions in the search engines, that is, those that cause this cannibalization of keywords.
- Rewrite content based on optimized keywords.
- Perform 301 redirects from the worst ranked URLs to those with the best positions. But it is a practice that slows down page load time, so it should be used sparingly, even if the keyword cannibalism issue is significant.
- Use of the Canonical tag , which recommends that the search engine prioritize a page over others that have the same keywords. However, it is advisable not to abuse this label. In addition, it must be borne in mind that search engines do not always take it into account, so it would not prevent cannibalization.
In short, keyword cannibalization can seriously compromise your website’s rankings . Therefore, it is important that you take it into account from the very design of the page. You will avoid falling into an error capable of ruining any SEO strategy and that will make you invisible to search engines. You have already fallen, is there a solution? Yes, you have already seen it, it is complicated, but not impossible.