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How to Solve Keyword Cannibalization When Doing SEO

In an attempt to optimize your website, it’s very easy to overcapitalize and actually cause problems.

One example of this is what’s known as keyword cannibalization.

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is what happens when more than one page targets the same keyword (often inadvertently) and as a result, Google is not sure which page is more relevant for that particular keyword and in the end neither of them end up ranking very well.

A good example of this would be wills and will disputes. If you have a separate page for will disputes, it would be very easy to cause keyword cannibalization.

The reason why is because will disputes contains the word “will”, and if you were to try to target “will dispute lawyer”, now you would directly have the keywords “will” and “lawyer” on two pages, making the chance of keyword cannibalization high.

While it is possible to target both of those, you need to be aware of the risks if you are doing your own law firm SEO, and what to do if cannibalization does occur.

How to Check For Keyword Cannibalization

One way you can check if your site is suffering from keyword cannibalization is to check if two pages are ranking for the same keyword. If they are, this is usually a sign that there is crossover. This method won’t always work, as Google doesn’t usually rank two pages from the same website for a keyword. However occasionally you will see it happen.

Another thing that could indicate keyword cannibalization is if only one page is ranking but it’s not the page you wanted.

If either of these two isn’t happening, then you will have to manually go through your website and see if there are multiple pages targeting the same keyword.

How to Fix Keyword Cannibalization

One of the methods you can use is to combine the two pages that are conflicting. Then you redirect the old pages to the new “super page”. By combining the content and making one big “super page”, you are more likely to end up with a page that is ranking well. And by redirecting the old pages, you are passing on all the relevance from backlinks etc onto the new page.

Another option is to just redirect one of the pages to the other, more relevant page.

Either of these two are likely to solve the problem and help the new page ranking better than what was happening before.

In the future, when making new pages, always keep in mind keyword cannibalization and consider adding to a current page if the topic is very close to a page that you already have on there.