Keywords are the words that tell the search engine which query to show on our page. So what happens if you write blog articles optimized for the same keywords as other pages on your site? It would seem that this emphasizes the subject of the site, which makes search engines happy to crawl your page. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
In this article, we’ll explore the often-asked question, “Should I use the same keyword on every page?”. In short, the answer is no – one keyword should be used on each page, and not on other pages. We’ll go more in-depth as to why this is in the article below.
In SEO, query cannibalization refers to the use of the same keywords to optimize content on several pages within one site. The term cannibalization itself comes from marketing, where it refers to the negative impact of sales of one product to another product of the same company within an umbrella brand. So in a similar way, keyword cannibalization refers to the negative impact of using the same keywords on different site documents. This can lead to the following problems:
The same keywords on different pages can confuse the AI that generates search queries. Here’s an example: let’s say the site promotes the sale of Casio watches. The site has a section with the same name, which combines all models of Casio watches. Then you decided to write an article on the site “Casio – the most practical watches”.
What will be the result? Search engines do not know which page of the site to show up in a search for a particular query. After all, you have done everything to put it at a dead-end. So that’s why it’s likely that the search will show the wrong page that you planned to promote.
As a result, the potential buyer will get to the article — not the product catalog. If he’s taken to the article and not his intended search, then he may be more likely to move on from the site altogether — which means a lost sale.
Proper search engine optimization implies that all internal links within the same topic directs to the exact subject of this text. In this case, the weight will get only the main page that safely affects its place in search engines. If internal links lead to multiple pages, then there’s a decrease in weight similar to the thematic pages of the site — that is, it competes with itself. And there’s nothing good about this.
When several pages publish the same or similar information, this leads to “disappointment” of users and search engines. The first ones leave the site, and the second ones lower positions in the search engine. In addition, the frequent use of keywords make the content monotonous, boring, and difficult to read in some places.
The amount of your traffic will be much less on each page because each page on the site will begin to share it with one another. It may happen that the search engine will not come across your main pages. Moreover, most visitors will go to the wrong page and immediately close it, which will greatly reduce the number of visitors to the pages.
Search engine cannibalization is more susceptible to large and dynamic sites whose structure is constantly expanding. In the zone of risk are also sites managed by different contractors, each changing the structure of the site in their own way.
There are no adequate web tools to solve this problem in an automated way. You have to search for and fix competing pages manually, which takes a lot of time and effort. The best way to guard against cannibalization is to take preventive measures. Check each new page for duplicates or analogues, which are similar in purpose.
In addition, when creating a site, focus on the semantic core with a competent clustering of queries. This will help to build a logical architecture for users and search engine friendly. Create large pages, which join several clusters of search queries. It’s much more effective to send 20 links to the same page than to redistribute four pieces between five. Also pay attention to the meta tags, Title, H1, Description for the different pages of the site.
"Just recently, I was able to take a pretty competitive keyword from #12 (page 2), up to #5 on page 1 in 14 or 15 days."