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How do you deal with Keyword Cannibalization?

Is Page A out-ranking Page B for the same desired target term? If so, then you’re dealing with keyword cannibalization.

Out here, Sameer Panjwani talks about the 3 things you could do in dealing with keyword cannibalization issues. He also talks in brief about how you could go about “Page-Keyword Mapping” to prevent keyword cannibalization in the future.

Is page A outranking page B for the same desired target term? If so, then you are dealing with keyword cannibalization. So, I am going to talk about how you can deal with such issues.

So, let’s say you have one page – page A and you have another page – page B. Now, both of them are ranking for the same term. Now, keyword cannibalization is where one page outranks the other page. Now, in Google, if you have both your pages ranking up, that’s a very good sign and you don’t need to do anything.

What I am talking about is where one page cannibalizes the other page and that’s not a good thing when page A is not the page that you want ranking and page B is the page that you want ranking on top. So, what are the three things that you could do?

There are three simple things that you can do – the first thing you could do, let’s see is you could use page A to link to page B with the right anchor text. So, suppose page A was about negotiating a lease agreement and page B was also about that same term. So page A is not the page that you want ranking, you would link from page A to page B with that anchor text and if there are any other sites’ pages on your site you want to link to those pages page B with that anchor text. Do that, wait for a week or so, see if things change. If they don’t then you might want to move onto step 2.

Now step 2 is basically where you put an rel=canonical in your meta tags in your header in the head section of your page. If you put a link rel=canonical in your in the page A which points to page B, the search engines like Google and Bing will deem page B to be the original page, the page that you want ranking. So all the link juice will go from page A to page B and page B should start ranking.

The last thing if that also doesn’t work it should work is to do 301 redirect from page A to page B and that’s the worst solution because the page A will not open. It’s like removing page A completely and pointing it to page B so that’s the last resort. A canonicalization should be a good midway solution if your first solution which is the most preferable solution, we are trying to tell the search engine that okay you are trying to point all the link juice trying to tell the search engine that okay page A itself is linking to page B with the anchor text so hopefully that should work. If that doesn’t then you want to resort to point 2 and point 3. So, there you go. Keyword cannibalization is something that you can avoid if you do your planning with your page keyword mapping properly.

Now, what I mean by page keyword mapping? Now, whenever you start your SEO, you ideally want to make an excel sheet where you have a list of your target pages and target keywords for each page. So you have page A with keyword 1 keyword 2 page B keyword 3 keyword 4. You want to ensure that you do not overlap your keywords so if you do that you will never suffer from keyword cannibalization again.

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Sameer Panjwani

Sameer Panjwani is the CEO & Founder of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats and research your competitors'. A man of many talents, Sameer occasionally writes about social media marketing, content marketing and SEO. In his free time, he loves reading about the latest trends in SEO as well as spending time with his two little daughters.

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