potato cannibals

SEO Cannibalisation: Should I Target The Same Keyword On Different Pages And Blog Posts?

by | Feb 8, 2022

As a general rule, cannibalism isn’t a great idea. You might get a reluctant pass if your jet plane happens to go down in the Andes; however, more often than not, you’ll get fast-tracked to jail instead. Fortunately, we’re not talking about real-life cannibalism today (our two cents, though: don’t do it). We’re discussing the pros and cons of SEO cannibalism, a much more palatable affair.



What Is SEO Cannibalisation?


Simply put, SEO cannibalisation is the idea that using the same keyword on multiple pages or sites can negatively affect your SEO, as you’ll have two different aspects competing for the same ranking.



Should I Target The Same Keyword In Different Blog Posts?


There’s a bit of confusion as to whether SEO cannibalisation is actually an issue. Certain folks argue that it signals to Google that your site contains poor-quality content, as well as diluting the value of your external and internal links. Logically, it also doesn’t make sense that several pages are converting on the same topic; one should be doing it better than the rest – making the latter obsolete.

On the other side of the argument are people who think cannibalisation is, “Perfectly OK, Your Honour.” They reckon intent is key, as opposed to simply generalising numerous rankings as a hanging offence. Pages rank for multiple keywords anyway; the goal is to be seen, and regular blogs are the way to do it.

A little overlap is inevitable and not necessarily a bad thing. Consolidation of your terms might prove more useful than painstakingly deciding which page gets what, especially if you have a large number of pages or sites.


beef burger

Of course this burger is made of beef! We’re here to talk about how to avoid keyword cannibalisation, not…the other kind.



Should I Target The Same Keyword On Different Blog Pages Of My Site?


Is SEO cannibalisation real? The answer to this conundrum probably lies somewhere in the middle of these two positions, and, as always when it comes to SEO, context and nuance is vital. SEO cannibalisation is real – but not in the way that people think.

It’s not a crime to have keywords rearing their collective heads in multiple blogs, as they’ll come up naturally through the content you’re creating. But on the other hand, crafting 20 blogs around the same keyword is a waste of your resources.

It might be an impressive feat in terms of sheer tenacity, but ultimately it’s not worth it. You can get the same effect by creating one robust blog and then allowing that keyword to come up naturally elsewhere.



How To Avoid Keyword Cannibalisation


If you want to cannibalise, you’ve got to focus. The trick here is to assign one Focus Keyword for each article (Yoast can help you hone one down), changing them just enough so that they can be differentiated.

You then treat these articles as your ‘cornerstone’ content: the home base for each particular keyword, optimised and ready to convert. Once they’re established, you can branch out with supporting content that links back to your cornerstone.

The bottom line: don’t worry too much about a few overlapping keywords and potential cannibalisation. Outline your foundational strategy, identify your focus keywords and then work on supporting them. (If it’s real cannibalism you’re worried about…we can’t help you there, unfortunately. But we wholeheartedly suggest consulting a lawyer and/or a nutritionist.)


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