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How to Identify & Eliminate Keyword Cannibalization to Boost Your SEO

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How to make sure you are not fighting your own site when it comes to ranking your keywords. A very good article over at SEJ on finding and fixing any keyword cannibalization you might have going on.

 

 

 

There’s a common misconception that the more pages you have targeting a keyword, the better you’ll rank for that keyword. After all, the more pages you have trumpeting your niche, the more likely Google is to pick up on your keywords and elevate your SERPs ranking, right?

 
Actually, no. That isn’t true.
 
In fact, targeting a specific term across multiple pages almost always has the exact opposite effect. You’ll probably end up doing more harm than good to your SEO.
 
The reason is simple: when you have multiple pages ranking for the same keyword, you’re actually competing with yourself. Consequently, each page has a lower CTR, diminished authority, and lower conversion rates than one consolidated page will have.
 
We call this SEO misstep keyword cannibalization.

 

 

 

 

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This is things that I have not even thought about checking on my site I am going to guess I have some work to do. These types of articles are great because most people probably do not dig that deep which gives us an advantage. 

 

This is especially true when it comes to on site ranking factors. Even seo people spend too little time making sure their site is setup properly and focusing too much time on links. 

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If you have a large number of pages on your site it seems like it would be a bit harder to fix than the article says. Especially if your site is targeted on a fairly narrow niche.  Hard to balance more content and not have your pages fighting each other for keywords. 

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If you have a large number of pages on your site it seems like it would be a bit harder to fix than the article says. Especially if your site is targeted on a fairly narrow niche.  Hard to balance more content and not have your pages fighting each other for keywords. 

 

It just shows that yes you can have too much content so you should be spending more time promoting your site. 

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How can you have 'too much content'? I find it hard to see how that is possible. 

 

 Well per the article if you have a bunch of posts that are targeting the same keywords you are actually hurting your chances of rankings because you are diluting your "ranking power" between too many pages. 

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 Well per the article if you have a bunch of posts that are targeting the same keywords you are actually hurting your chances of rankings because you are diluting your "ranking power" between too many pages. 

 

Well that is a bit different from just having too much content. You can just make sure that you target your different pages to different keywords. 

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Well that is a bit different from just having too much content. You can just make sure that you target your different pages to different keywords. 

 

True but most niche sites are targeting a limited number of keywords. Whether it is 10 or 100 at some point you are going to run out of keywords to target so spending more time promoting your site rather than just creating a lot of content a limited number of people are reading is the way to go. 

 

Now this is from an SEO perspective so if you are promoting your site and getting mostly non search engine traffic than additional content is not really a problem. 

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True but most niche sites are targeting a limited number of keywords. Whether it is 10 or 100 at some point you are going to run out of keywords to target so spending more time promoting your site rather than just creating a lot of content a limited number of people are reading is the way to go. 

 

Now this is from an SEO perspective so if you are promoting your site and getting mostly non search engine traffic than additional content is not really a problem. 

 

What would you recommend doing if you already have more than enough content to target your keywords? 

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What would you recommend doing if you already have more than enough content to target your keywords? 

 

Work on promoting your site to increase non-search engine traffic. 

 

You should also look to see if there are additional keywords that you can target. 

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True but most niche sites are targeting a limited number of keywords. Whether it is 10 or 100 at some point you are going to run out of keywords to target so spending more time promoting your site rather than just creating a lot of content a limited number of people are reading is the way to go. 

 

Now this is from an SEO perspective so if you are promoting your site and getting mostly non search engine traffic than additional content is not really a problem. 

 

OK

 

Work on promoting your site to increase non-search engine traffic. 

 

You should also look to see if there are additional keywords that you can target. 

 

How far off from your main keywords is a good idea when looking for new ones to target?

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How far off from your main keywords is a good idea when looking for new ones to target?

 

It is really going to depend on your niche and your current keywords on the site. The more specific your site is currently targeted the harder it is going to be to make additional keywords make sense. 

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OK

 

 

How far off from your main keywords is a good idea when looking for new ones to target?

 

I always look at how forced or stupid it sounds. For instance if you have a site focusing on hobbies you have a pretty large umbrella that can cover a huge amount of keywords that will not seem forced. On the other hand if you have a site targeting model trains than adding board game keywords is going to look awkward at best. 

 

Now there is nothing wrong with expanding your site by redoing your homepage a bit so you can target more sort of related niches. This is a good reason to stay away from narrowly targeted domain names as it does make it harder to expand later on if you want/need to do so. 

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I always look at how forced or stupid it sounds. For instance if you have a site focusing on hobbies you have a pretty large umbrella that can cover a huge amount of keywords that will not seem forced. On the other hand if you have a site targeting model trains than adding board game keywords is going to look awkward at best. 

 

Now there is nothing wrong with expanding your site by redoing your homepage a bit so you can target more sort of related niches. This is a good reason to stay away from narrowly targeted domain names as it does make it harder to expand later on if you want/need to do so. 

 

If you want to widen the keywords you are targeting does the domain name really matter all that much? I would not think that google would care much since the domain does not seem all that important from what I have read. 

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If you want to widen the keywords you are targeting does the domain name really matter all that much? I would not think that google would care much since the domain does not seem all that important from what I have read. 

 

For the most part Google does not care but if you have a narrowly targeted domain name then from I have seen you get less click throughs from the search results. 

 

For instance

 

rccars. com/puzzles/rubickscubes

 

vs

hobbies. come/puzzles/rubickscubs

 

The first result will seem odd to people and they are going to be less likely to click on it where the second example makes sense and will get more clicks. This means that even if Google ranks them exactly the same you are going to end up with less traffic repurposing a narrowly targeted domain when you go to widen the keyword groups you are targeting.  

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For the most part Google does not care but if you have a narrowly targeted domain name then from I have seen you get less click throughs from the search results. 

 

For instance

 

rccars. com/puzzles/rubickscubes

 

vs

hobbies. come/puzzles/rubickscubs

 

The first result will seem odd to people and they are going to be less likely to click on it where the second example makes sense and will get more clicks. This means that even if Google ranks them exactly the same you are going to end up with less traffic repurposing a narrowly targeted domain when you go to widen the keyword groups you are targeting.  

.

What would you recommend for someone with an EMD type domain that wants to expand their keyword set?

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.

What would you recommend for someone with an EMD type domain that wants to expand their keyword set?

 

You really have two choices.  You can move to a new domain or you can just use the one you have and  just accept that it is not the optimal choice. 

 

For me the decision would really be decided by how much I am planning on expanding the site. If am only adding one more set of keywords then I would go with what I have, if I was going to be doing a large expansion I would go with a more brandable domain name. 

 

If you decide to change domains you need to recreate as close as possible your current urls and then make sure you 301 every single one to the new correct page. 

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You really have two choices.  You can move to a new domain or you can just use the one you have and  just accept that it is not the optimal choice. 

 

For me the decision would really be decided by how much I am planning on expanding the site. If am only adding one more set of keywords then I would go with what I have, if I was going to be doing a large expansion I would go with a more brandable domain name. 

 

If you decide to change domains you need to recreate as close as possible your current urls and then make sure you 301 every single one to the new correct page. 

 

 

Thanks I probably need to think about it some and decide on what I want the end game to be. 

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It is really going to depend on your niche and your current keywords on the site. The more specific your site is currently targeted the harder it is going to be to make additional keywords make sense. 

 

 

I always look at how forced or stupid it sounds. For instance if you have a site focusing on hobbies you have a pretty large umbrella that can cover a huge amount of keywords that will not seem forced. On the other hand if you have a site targeting model trains than adding board game keywords is going to look awkward at best. 

 

Now there is nothing wrong with expanding your site by redoing your homepage a bit so you can target more sort of related niches. This is a good reason to stay away from narrowly targeted domain names as it does make it harder to expand later on if you want/need to do so. 

 

So true on the narrow emd keywords they are not really a good choice any longer. Thanks for the replies and help

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You really have two choices.  You can move to a new domain or you can just use the one you have and  just accept that it is not the optimal choice. 

 

For me the decision would really be decided by how much I am planning on expanding the site. If am only adding one more set of keywords then I would go with what I have, if I was going to be doing a large expansion I would go with a more brandable domain name. 

 

If you decide to change domains you need to recreate as close as possible your current urls and then make sure you 301 every single one to the new correct page. 

 

How would you structure a new site when  you want to expand and would you move the whole sit over or maybe just go with a new site and leave the old site where it is?

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How would you structure a new site when  you want to expand and would you move the whole sit over or maybe just go with a new site and leave the old site where it is?

 

There is really no right or one way to approach this as there are so many variables. However there are a few things I would take into consideration as I am making a decision. 

 

How well the current site is doing. The better a site is doing the less likely I am going to make any big changes as the risk is higher if something goes wrong. So if I had an EMD kind of site that was doing great and bringing in a good amount of income I would less likely to roll it up into a bigger site. 

 

How much of an upside there would be by making a change. If there is a big upside then I would be more likely to make a change and do all the work than if the upside was smaller. 

 

How much work is going to be involved in making the change. The more work there is the more money the site needs to make to get a positive ROI on the time to set it all up. 

 

As far as I would recommend doing it if that is what you decide to do I would create the new site (lets stay with the hobby/rc car example) and then move the EMD site to take up a category keeping the site structure the same and forwarding all the existing pages to the new location. 

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For the most part Google does not care but if you have a narrowly targeted domain name then from I have seen you get less click throughs from the search results. 

 

For instance

 

rccars. com/puzzles/rubickscubes

 

vs

hobbies. come/puzzles/rubickscubs

 

The first result will seem odd to people and they are going to be less likely to click on it where the second example makes sense and will get more clicks. This means that even if Google ranks them exactly the same you are going to end up with less traffic repurposing a narrowly targeted domain when you go to widen the keyword groups you are targeting.  

 

OK I was not thinking about click through rate and conversions, makes sense though as I had read the same thing about using multiple hyphens in the domain name as well. 

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