SEO Tips: December 2016

Competition is Tough Enough - Don’t Cannibalize Yourself!

When Google ranks pages, they select the most relevant and authoritative page on a website to rank for a specific phrase. Sometimes, there is no one page that represents a phrase so Google ranks two or more pages, but at a lower position. This can happen either when two pages are actively targeting the same keywords or when neither is targeting the keywords but Google has assigned them some broad relevancy.

To combat keyword cannibalization, first it needs to be identified. This can be done with a three-step process:

  1. Isolate any keyword for which two or more pages from your website rank in the Google Top 100
  2. Remove any terms that include your brand name
  3. Remove any terms for which you already rank #1

There is a chance the remaining keywords are being cannibalized. Choose the most relevant page that ranks for the keyword. Create a new page if none of the options are relevant. Then take action:

  • Adding the cannibalized keyword to the content of the page
  • Adding the cannibalized keyword to the page’s title tag
  • Putting content with the cannibalized keyword above the fold
  • Consider also removing instances of the cannibalized keyword from the competing pages

Keyword cannibalization can also occur when there are canonical errors on your website. If you are finding the duplicate rankings to be the product of two pages with similar user intent, it may be worthwhile to utilize 301 redirects or canonical tags.

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