Understanding the Consequences of Keyword Cannibalization in SEO
You may think that having more pages targeting the same keyword will contribute to improving your rank in search engines for that phrase. However, that is not the case. In fact, this is known as keyword cannibalization, and it will likely cause more harm than good for your SEO efforts.
It is referred to as “keyword cannibalization” because this practice counteracts and dismantles your own results. Essentially, multiple pages ranking for the same keyword phrase puts you in competition with yourself. By doing so, each of your pages actually receives a lower authority, click-through rate, and conversion rates than if there were only one page with a particular keyword phrase. All leading to lost traffic and lost sales, here are the consequences of keyword cannibalization explained.
Authority of Your Page is Undermined
Instead of one consolidated page with high authority, keyword cannibalization divides your click-through rate to multiple somewhat relevant pages. With this, you are fighting yourself for SERP ranks and pageviews
Links and Anchor Text are Diluted
Backlinks could have gone to one valuable source; instead, they are now being cycled between multiple pages. Not only that, but your internal links and anchor text are scattering visitors to different pages rather than one authoritative page that is a wealth of information.
The More Relevant Page May Be Devalued
Keywords are a major tool in SEO efforts to direct Google to the purpose of your pages. If more than one of your pages have the same keywords, search engines may get it wrong in trying to understand which page is the most valuable to rank.
Users Perceive Poor Page Quality
Multiple pages with similar content that target the same keyword phrases show users that you are spreading content thin. In turn, your website may not be perceived favorably as a valuable information resource.
Conversion Rates Suffer
One of the inevitable consequences of keyword cannibalization is that only one of your pages with the same keyword will convert better than the others. By diminishing the authority of one page, you are missing out on potential customers who land on pages that are not as relevant.