What Is Keyword Cannibalization?

What Is Keyword Cannibalization

Are you tired of seeing your website’s search engine rankings stagnate, despite your best efforts at optimization? Have you noticed that your carefully crafted content seems to be competing against itself, rather than complementing each other? If so, you might be suffering from the dreaded phenomenon of keyword cannibalization. But what exactly is keyword cannibalization?

It’s a term that sounds intimidating, but in reality, it’s a common issue that plagues many website owners and marketers. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what keyword cannibalization is, how to identify it, and most importantly, how you can prevent it from sabotaging your efforts to rank higher in search engine results pages. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s explore this fascinating topic together.

Keywords 101

Let’s start with the basics. A keyword is the most essential element of an online search. To find something on a search engine, people either type in a few keywords or ask a question using speech recognition software. These words are used by the search engine to scan the internet.

It then finds content that matches the keyword criteria and ranks them based on different criteria. This includes popularity and usefulness, along with the presence of appropriate keywords.

Keywords are the key to success. If you are selling dog products or supplies, keywords such as dog food, or dog care should be used on your website. A search engine won’t recognize your website if it doesn’t mention dogs. You wouldn’t be able to reach your target market.

However, there is a fine line between overdoing things and keyword cannibalization.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Google and other search engines were simpler in the past. They used very basic criteria to rank search results. As a result, “keyword stuffing”, widespread abuse of search engines, led to a lot of people using them.

Google used to believe that a page’s content might be relevant if it used the keyword frequently. Unscrupulous content producers would include the same word hundreds, or even thousands of times in order to improve search rankings.

Keyword stuffing today is one of the most harmful things you can do and it will affect your search rankings. Modern algorithms are very harsh on keyword stuffing. Keyword cannibalization can occasionally occur as a side effect of the effort to punish keyword stuffing that results in lower search rankings.

Keyword cannibalization is when there are too many similar or identical keywords scattered throughout your website’s content. A search engine like Google cannot determine which content should rank higher. Google may give a higher ranking sometimes to pages it doesn’t consider to be important. This may lower the rank for all pages sharing these keywords.

What can you do to prevent this from happening?

How to Identify Keyword Cannibalization

It is quite simple to spot potential keyword cannibalization issues on your website. A search that includes keywords and domains will usually give you the results you are looking for.

If your website is called “DogCare.Com”, and you want to search for keywords that cannibalize dog food, then you would search for DogCare.Com and other similar variants.

There will be a lot of results. But are these the ones you want to see? Do you think the blog post about dog food that you wrote two years ago is ranking higher than your more recent and more important one? This would be an example of keyword cannibalization. There are some things you can do, however, to stop this from happening.

5 Ways to Prevent Keyword Cannibalization

1. Combine Content

You may decide to combine the content from two websites that do similar things. For example, for a website that recommends good dog food and another that lists bad dog foods, you might want to put them all on one page.

Although this solution may not work in every case, it will often simplify your website and improve search engine optimization.

2. Delete Content

Although it’s extreme, you might want to delete all problematic web content. You can delete any older, less professional blog posts that use certain keywords if your business has grown. If the content is no longer available, the problem will not exist.

3. Remove Keywords

You can always remove a keyword from a website if you don’t need it. Although it is slower and more laborious than manual solutions, this method has the advantage of being simple and easy to use.

4. Modify Your Internal Linking

You might be able to improve the quality of links between web content and other content on your site. Search engines like Google consider links to be important. A search engine may rank linked content higher if it includes a link from another web page or piece of content.

Change the internal linking on your website to make less important content link to the content that you want to prioritize and highlight. This will send the search engine result page (SERP), a signal that the linked content should be prioritized. It is important to rank high in SERP.

5. Change Inbound Link Requests

This is one of the more difficult forms of cannibalization that you will need to address. However, it can be extremely important. SEO also considers how many people have linked to your content when ranking search results. You may discover that less-important content ranks higher than more recent, more relevant content if you do a search for it.

If you have the time and resources, and especially if the backlinks are too highly influential websites, you can use software to track them, then contact webmasters to ask that the links be removed or changed. The ideal scenario is that they will swap the links you don’t want with new links that you prioritize. This can help you improve your SEO ranking.


The current search algorithms are more sophisticated and discriminating when it comes to assigning search ranks. A good content strategy is key to achieving a high ranking. Avoiding keyword cannibalization will allow you to better highlight your content and attract the attention you deserve.

Need Help With Your Keyword Strategy?

Are you tired of your website’s search engine rankings not meeting your expectations, despite all your hard work? Do you struggle to create content that both speaks to your target audience and satisfies search engine algorithms? If so, Lux Digital Marketing is here to help. Our team of experienced digital marketers knows how to navigate the complexities of SEO, and we specialize in crafting keyword strategies that will propel your website to the top of search engine results pages.

At Lux Digital Marketing, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to keyword strategy. Instead, we take the time to understand your unique business goals and target audience, so that we can develop a customized plan that is tailored to your specific needs. From researching and identifying the best keywords for your website to optimizing your existing content and creating new, keyword-rich content, we’ll work with you every step of the way to ensure that your website is attracting the right traffic and converting that traffic into customers. 

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Don’t let keyword cannibalization or other SEO issues hold your website back any longer – contact Lux Digital Marketing today and let us help you take your online presence to the next level.