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Keyword Cannibalization: How to Avoid Internal Competition in SEO

Keyword Cannibalization

The world of SEO is exciting, but it is also a field where every detail counts. One of the key concepts you must understand to be successful in search engine optimization is “keyword cannibalization.” It often goes unnoticed, but it may be holding back the potential of your website. In this article, we will discuss what keyword cannibalization is and how you can avoid it to boost your SEO strategy.

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on your website compete with each other in Google search results for the same keyword or key phrase. Instead of helping a page rank better, this internal competition can confuse search engines and cause none of your pages to rank properly.

Causes of Keyword Cannibalization

Before addressing how to avoid it, it is essential to understand the common causes of keyword cannibalization:

Similar or duplicate content

If you have multiple pages with similar or duplicate content that focus on the same keyword, they are likely competing with each other.

Confusing URL structure

An unclear URL structure can cause Google to be unable to determine which of your pages is the most relevant for a specific keyword.

Overuse of keywords

Overuse of a keyword on different pages can lead to cannibalization, as Google won’t know which one to consider as the most important.

Also Read: What is Article Marketing?

How to avoid keyword cannibalization

Now that we understand the causes, here are some strategies to avoid keyword cannibalization:

Conduct a content audit

Do a thorough review of your website to identify pages competing for the same keywords. Once identified, consider merging them or redirecting them to a main page.

Optimize your URL structure

Make sure your URLs are clear and descriptive. Use folders and subfolders logically to organize your content and make it easier for Google to index.

Use 301 redirects

If you decide to merge pages or change URLs, use 301 redirects so that search engines and users are directed to the correct page.

Diversify your keywords

Instead of focusing on a single keyword, diversify your SEO strategy. Use synonyms and keyword variations to address different aspects of your topic.

Conduct keyword research

Before creating content, research keywords to identify unique opportunities and ensure your pages aren’t directly competing with each other.


Keyword cannibalization is a SEO hurdle that may go unnoticed but will negatively impact your website’s performance in search results. However, with careful auditing, strategic planning, and a clear URL structure, you can avoid this problem and improve your search engine rankings. Contact us to guide you!

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