Keyword Cannibalisation

  • SEO
  • 11 February 2021
keyword cannibalisation

If you have a website of significant size, with various page types (product, category and information pages) you may hit a problem with keyword cannibalisation.


Essentially this it when a website (intentionally or unintentionally) has multiple pages FIGHTING for the same keyword. It can cause google some confusion and can be a bit of pain to resolve – however it can be done if you know how.

The example below shows a website which had many pages fighting for the same keyword (antique silverware) – product pages and blog posts where fighting against the main category (purple line below) that was the page needing to get the top spot.

what is keyword cannibalisation


Most website owners find the main issue is that their desirable page is being outranked by another page on their website. With the main problem for the business being that the page they want to rank has a higher conversion rate , or maybe a product page which has a significantly higher profit margins for the business.

Ranking implications

Backlinks carry a lot of weight in ranking factors (to what degree many will argue, but that’s a separate debate). Imagine there was just one powerful page bringing in 50 backlinks instead of 2 bringing in 25 links each. If you had a page with 50 then it would likely rank higher (as long as no other major issues ofc).

Diluting Your Content

Lets imagine you have three posts ranking for the same keyword – the content may be thin on all of these posts and it would be better to merge the content to create one master post (and a more linkable asset). Separate note don’t forget to redirect your old posts to the new MASTER.


Not remember it may work in your favour to rank multiple pages so there can be occassions where this doesn’t need fixing. HOWEVER lets assume you want to fix this and see some tips on getting the page you don’t want to rank removed from the search engine for that keyword.

De-optimise the content

Rummage through the content and remove references to the undesired keyword.

Internal Links

Go through Internal links for the page you want to rank and the pages you dont want to rank and remove any links with the keyword as anchor text.

External Links

Does the page have external links and what are the anchors. Reach out to the external sites and ask nicely for an anchor text edit.

New Keyword ?

Re run your keyword research processes incase the page you don’t want to rank will be well suited to another keyword that you dont currently have a page ranking for.

Merge Pages

If you have a few pages ranking merge them to make a master piece of content, redirect old pages and re run keyword research to see if you can improve the content further with some related keywords or questions.

Delete Pages

You can delete the pages you don’t want ranking, HOWEVER please check they aren’t pulling in traffic from elsewhere, ranking for other keywords or have external links that matter to your site. Its not as simple as clicking DELETE.

Blog Comments

Very good article. I am facing some of these issues as well.. Ignacio Bickleman

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