SEO keyword strategy

How to Eliminate Keyword Cannibalization

Brittany Charbonneau Writer at Pedestal Search

Brittany Charbonneau Writer

February 17, 2023 | 5 Min Read

Article updated on March 3, 2023

Keyword cannibalization is one of the many reasons why keyword stuffing doesn’t work. If a website has too many similar keywords spread throughout various pages, those pages become each other’s competitors, which may result in SEO performance dips. This blog will outline how to identify keyword cannibalization and how to tackle it.

Keyword cannibalization

Some might not even know their content is working against them. Even if they know to avoid keyword stuffing, cannibalization is still a risk. It isn’t a good thing to have multiple pages on a website targeting the same keyword. To Google, this means the pages are competitors and have similar content. Either one of the pages will do poorly, or both will.

Keyword cannibalization isn’t purposeful keyword stuffing, but it looks that way to search engines. With multiple pages targeting the same keyword with the same intent, click-through rate, conversions, and SERP ranking are slashed. Google will choose what it thinks is the stronger page and only show that one in search results, competing with the other pages.

This often happens when multiple pages should be consolidated into one, when new content has been published that’s similar to an old topic, or when the used keywords are too general.

What’s failing?

  • Page authority: Keyword cannibalization splits the results of multiple pages so none of them offer good results.
  • Backlinks: Links to the content are now being sent to two or more pages which scatter traffic.
  • Inbound links: Visitors are led to various pages with less value as opposed to one governing page with authority on the subject.
  • Relevant pages: Because Google can’t determine which of the pages was meant to go with that keyword to begin with, it might devalue the more relevant page and promote a different page for the same search query.
  • User perception: With multiple pages targeting the same keyword and topic, users will get the impression that the business doesn’t have much to say.
  • Conversion rate: If a user is directed to a page with less value that doesn’t address their concern, they’ll look elsewhere even though that same business has the answer.

SEO keyword strategy to address keyword stuffing

Restructure the website

Ensure there are pillar pieces that can branch off into smaller pages if relevant. Give the authority pages a clear place to shine, such as turning them into landing pages. Merge topics that focus on the same keyword but make sure to avoid repetition.

For example, if the business offers yoga classes, that would be a pillar piece. Then branch off into similar but different topics, such as yoga classes for kids, outdoor yoga classes, or yoga classes for the elderly.

Don’t forget about keyword stuffing in metadata. Review meta titles, descriptions, URLs, and image alt tags to check that the same keyword isn’t being used in multiple places.

Merge content

To avoid having pages that compete with one another, merge the content. Take the best parts from both pages and create one strong page instead of multiple weak ones. This avoids the problem of sending users to irrelevant pages.

Use an analytics tool to determine what is performing best on each page, and how the keywords are working. Use that to create the best page. Google won’t penalize a page that’s unique and performs well.

Update your SEO keyword strategy

Consider reworking the keyword strategy through research. Perhaps another thing holding the business back is the choice of keywords. Look for terms that users are actively searching for. Learn from the “People also ask” section. Use a mix of short, medium, and long-tail keywords.

Work with Pedestal Search

Get a specialized SEO partner to work on all of this. Don’t be overwhelmed by the potential of an SEO keyword strategy, get excited instead. There are so many ways to boost a business’s position in the industry. Contact us today.


Keyword research, SEO

Brittany Charbonneau Writer at Pedestal Search

Brittany Charbonneau