Help and support

What is keyword cannibalization?


Quite often, when promoting a site, several pages are optimized for the same keywords at once. And this is argued by the fact that this method helps to get higher positions in search results. In fact, this opinion is wrong, and everything happens exactly the opposite.

Here the effect of cannibalization of keywords is on the face. What it is? How does it affect the promotion of the site? Let's consider these questions in more detail.

What is keyword cannibalization?

In SEO, the cannibalization effect is the optimization of content for the same queries. Within the framework of one web resource, of course.

Why such a name? Because key queries "eat each other", preventing each page from being in the TOP. When search engines analyze a site and see several documents optimized for the same keywords, they do not understand which one to show in the output. In the best case, search engines will show one page in the TOP. In the worst case, positions for all documents will be lowered, and those sites where there is no such confusion will be promoted.

keyword cannibalization

What does the effect of cannibalization of requests lead to?

The effect of keyword cannibalization has an extremely negative effect on the results of site promotion. Yes, he:

  1. Impairs relevance. This is a standard result when optimizing different pages for the same keywords. Search engines will not be able to determine which one is the most relevant, and will make a decision on their own. As a result, only one page is displayed in the output - and it is far from the one that is needed.
  2. Reduces the weight of the relevant pages of the request. If several pages optimized for the same key queries participate in internal linking, the weight is distributed among all of them. It could increase the importance of one specific page, raise it to the TOP, but in the end it simply scatters and does not bring the desired result.
  3. Reduces the weight of external links. The same applies to external optimization. It is much more effective to buy 20 links per page than to distribute 4 backlinks per page. Here, cannibalization of key phrases not only worsens the reputation and position of the web resource, but also hits the pocket. After all, all the funds allocated for the purchase of links go down the drain.
  4. Devalues content. When the same or similar information is published on several pages, it leads to "disappointment" for users and search engines. The former leave the site, and the latter lower their positions in the issue.

Also, cannibalization of requests worsens behavioral factors. This is a result of the points mentioned above:

  • if an irrelevant page is displayed in the search results, it is clear that it will have a high percentage of rejections;
  • the number of views of each page will decrease several times, because users will "scatter" on various documents, going to internal or external links;
  • visitors who have seen several identical or similar pages will consider the site to be bad - especially if there are several such cases (and this will lead to an increase in the percentage of bounces, a decrease in conversion, etc.).

How to prevent keyword cannibalization?

The best way to protect your site from the cannibalization effect is to prevent such a situation. To do this, after collecting semantics, you need to correctly distribute requests on pages. Moreover, this work is performed at the planning stage of site development - to understand what structure to create, what sections, subdivisions, etc. should be.

And when filling the web resource with content, you must follow simple recommendations:

  • clearly structure the materials and competently divide them into sections;
  • do not duplicate the Title and Description for different pages within the same site;
  • follow the golden rule: one page - one basic request.

How to determine the presence of the cannibalization effect?

On small web resources, the verification is easily done manually. It is enough to analyze the content plan, which consisted of collected semantics, and to identify the repetition of key queries. If the content was created haphazardly, you can perform an SEO analysis of the pages with the help of specialized services. For example, Advego. With its help, it is easy to determine for which queries the page is optimized and to find similar documents that can lead to the cannibalization effect.

Read also : What is the difference between a group and a business Facebook page .

To check large projects, it is better to use services designed for removing positions. Any will do - for example, SE Ranking.

Pay close attention to the "URL" column when removing positions. If it contains a number in addition to the link icon, it means the number of pages relevant to a specific request. This means that several documents are optimized for this keyword at once and can lead to a cannibalization effect.

How to eliminate the effect of cannibalization of requests?

The following methods are suitable for eliminating this effect:

  • removal of unnecessary (less valuable) pages;
  • processing of content on secondary pages with optimization for other requests;
  • elimination of duplicated Title and Description;
  • setting up a 301 redirect to redirect from less important pages to relevant ones.

Use the last option only as a last resort - if the first three methods did not help.

It is more difficult for online stores to solve this problem, but there are tricks here too. In this case, to eliminate the effect of cannibalization, you can add their article numbers to the names of the same type of goods. This will help change the request a bit and make it more unique.

will eliminate cannibalization


Now you know what keyword cannibalization is. As you can see, the problem is serious and can significantly affect the promotion results. After all, search engines can not only lower positions, but also impose sanctions (if such are abused).

Therefore, it is better to correctly collect semantics and correctly distribute keywords on the main pages. In this way, it will be possible to avoid the effect of cannibalization and waste of funds for the promotion of the site .

Like the article? Tell your friends about it: