Find and fix keyword cannibalization in 4 steps

Find and fix keyword cannibalization in 4 steps • Yoast

Joost de Valk

Joost de Valk is the founder and Chief Product Officer of Yoast. He’s a digital marketer, developer and an Open Source fanatic.

As your site grows, you’ll have more and more posts. Some of these posts are going to be about a similar topic. Even when you’ve always categorized it well, your content might be competing with itself: You’re suffering from keyword cannibalization. At the same time, some of your articles might get out of date. To prevent all of this, finding and fixing keyword cannibalization issues should be part of your content maintenance work.

Table of contents

Keyword cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization – or content cannibalism – arises when your website has multiple articles with similar content about the same keyword. This issue mainly affects growing websites: More content means a higher chance of the creation of posts and pages that are very alike. For search engines, it’s difficult to distinguish between these similar articles. As a result, they might rank all articles on that topic lower.

Read more: What is keyword cannibalization »

How to identify and solve content cannibalism

In a lot of cases, solving keyword cannibalization is going to mean deleting and merging content. I’m going to run you through some of that maintenance work as we did it at Yoast, to show you how to do this. In particular, I’m going to show you my thinking around a cluster of keywords around keyword research.

Step 1: Audit your content

The first step in my process was finding all the content we had around keyword research. Now, most of that was simple: we have a keyword research tag, and most of the content was nicely tagged. This was also slightly shocking: we had quite a few posts about the topic.

A site:search in Google gave me the missing articles that Google considered to be about keyword research. I simply searched for site:yoast.com "keyword research" and Google gave me all the posts and pages on the site that mentioned the topic.

I had found a total of 18 articles that were either entirely devoted to keyword research or had large sections that mentioned it. Another 20 or so mentioned it in passing and linked to some of the other articles.

The reason I started auditing the content for this particular group of keywords is simple: I wanted to improve our rankings around the cluster of keywords around keyword research. So I needed to analyze which of these pages were ranking, and which weren’t. This content maintenance turned out to be badly needed. It surely was time to find and fix possible cannibalization issues!

Step 2: Analyze the content performance

I went into Google Search Console and went to the Performance section. In that section I clicked the filter bar:

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This article was written by Joost de Valk and originally published on Yoast • SEO for everyone.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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