Keyword cannibalization triggers when a single website unintentionally targets the same Keyword across multiple pages.
Keyword cannibalization is literally when you have two pages on your website competing for the same keyword.
As a result, Google is not sure which one to rank.
One day you could write article one on page one and then the next day, if you’re running Article two on page one, what it results in is you seen massive ranking fluctuations across both pages.
Literally every day!
When you spot this, you have two options.
The first is :
Optimize one of those pages to stop it from competing.
And the second is:
301 redirect one of those pages to the other.
However, before you can do any of this, we need to know how you can identify keyword canalization in the first place.
So let’s head over to semrush and I’ll show you a live example of how you can spot keyword cannibalization and how you can fix it.
So once you’re on semush, what you want to do is entering your website, URL.
So for the purpose of this training, I’m going to be using this website, URL, which is called White WeddingVenue.CO.UK.
Just to confirm this is not our website.
We don’t own it.
So let’s go ahead and paste in this website, URL, and click search.
And then once the information has loaded, you want to go over to organic research on the left-hand side.
And then once all the data has loaded, you want to go over to positions.
Now, one really important thing to know is because the website we are looking is based in the UK.
We know that because it ends in the UK, which is obviously the United Kingdom, you want to go ahead and make sure you have the right database selected.
At the moment, it has the US selected and is currently 85 keywords that this website appears for in the United States.
However, as we know, the website is targeted in the UK.
We want to go ahead and make sure we have the UK selected so we can see all 217 of those keywords.
So once the information has loaded, we can see all of those keywords below here.
However, spot in keyword cannibalization within Semrush is a little bit difficult.
what we need to do is actually export all this data and review it in Excel.
Go ahead and click export and then make sure we have all selected.
And I’m going to go for Excel as a file format.
So let’s go ahead and open the file we’ve just downloaded and once you open the file, it’s going to look pretty similar to this.
Again, we don’t need all the information we have on it.
All we need is the keyword, position, search volume and URL.
So let’s go and delete the other column so we’ll delete column C.
We do not need that previous position and don’t need the key with difficulty that can go as well.
We don’t need the CPC and every other column after the URL can also be deleted.
Let’s go ahead and delete those.
So essentially these are the four columns that we need.
once you tidy up your spreadsheet?
What you need to do is let the first column, which is going to be your keyword, and then fill to that by A to Z or that’s it doesn’t really matter.
What it is going to do is going to store all your keywords in alphabetical order.
Now, when it comes to spotting keyword cannibalization, what we want to look for is multiple occurrences of the same keyword like we have right here:
Your Essex wedding.
And then we need to look for two different URLS that appear for the same keyword.
So as you can see, we have the first one in a row to your Essex wedding and the URL, which Google returns sometimes, is white-Hot-Wedding-Venue.Co.UK /Essex-wedding-barn for the same keyword.
Google also returns another URL, which is a minimalist-chick-wed-in-Essex.
So as you can see we have the same keyword.
But Google is returning two different URLs.
So this is a prime example of keyword cannibalization.
What’s interesting to know as well is that the first keyword, sometimes ranking in position fourteen and the second keyword sometimes ranks in position thirteen.
So by the looks of it, Google seems to favor this URL just a tiny bit over first URL.
However, what’s even more important to note is that neither of these pages is on page one for this keyword.
So what we can easily do to improve our SEO and to improve our visibility is to deoptimize one of these pages and we only have one page targeted in this keyword.
This is going to make it way much more clear to Google which page is relevant for this keyword, and you’re much more likely to get a high ranking in Google and increase your visibility for this specific keyword.
Now, when it comes to deoptimizing your page for a keyword is literally the opposite of what you do on Page SEO.
So you don’t want to put your keyword in the title tag.
You don’t want to have your keyword in a URL.
You don’t want your keyword in the H1 tag.
You don’t want it in the H2 tag and so on.
This way you’re going to make it super clear to Google what page is targeting what keyword.
Now we can also go through the other keywords and find more instances of this.
You can see the keyword is all the same ‘Wildheart Great Yeldham Sunday lunch and Google returns in three different URLs.
So for one search it returns a bursary menu for another search, it returns of restaurant URL, and for another search, it returns a Sunday menu.
Now, if you look at the keyword and the search intent behind the keyword, people are looking for Wildheart Great Yeldham.
So this is the name of the place and they’re looking for the Sunday lunch.
Really and truly, this is a URL that Google should be showing, the one which is about the Sunday menu, which is going to contain details.
About the Sunday lunch, these other two URLs are irrelevant and are actually going to hinder the ranking of this page.
What’s even more interesting to note is that if you look at the ranking position for those URL, you can see this is the one that has the highest ranking in Google.
The other two URLs, a ranking in position 2 and 3.
So, again, to get the highest position and to get the top spot in Google, they need to optimize these two pages.
So this is the one that Google always returns to users.
That is essentially how you can diagnose your website for keyword cannibalization.
And of course, you can go ahead and fix that yourself just by deoptimizing the other pages.