Solving Keyword Cannibalization Using Ahrefs


Keywords make your SEO work and is the starting point for all of your optimization tasks for you or your client’s website. Keywords are the reason why we do SEO, as it is the only way to reach the top of Google’s highly competitive search landscape.

Keywords help increase the traffic and visibility of your website and having a sound keyword research strategy would allow you to find the best keywords to help you users look for you. It is best to optimize and maintain the performance of your keywords to remain on top, but there are some instances that the performance might be affected by something that people in the SEO circle would call keyword cannibalization.

Keyword cannibalization happens when a website predominantly uses a single keyword to gain rankings in SERPs. This single keyword would be spotted in the website’s landing pages and blog articles, which results to your posts competing for the same position. While this can help increase the traffic for that specific keyword, this can also bring in negative signals to search engines, and may be a reason why your site could get penalized.

How do I solve it?

There are many ways to solve keyword cannibalization to help improve keyword performance, while avoiding getting penalized by Google. This can include the following:

Generate new keywords – There are many ways for users to be able to look for your site in search engines like Google. This means that you can add more keywords that are related to what your website has to offer. This is a standard SEO practice that should always be implemented to keep your website visible. However, don’t fret if you haven’t done this, as this process won’t take you long with the right tools and skills.

Generate new landing pages for new keywords – It is a must to have a landing page for every keyword in your website. This will help generate more leads and traffic, which would help establish your website much better.

Content Optimization – Creating content for your new keywords may always come off as a challenge in the beginning, but a proper content strategy, and avoiding certain types of content would allow your keywords to perform much better.

Using Ahrefs

One of the best keyword research tools available, Ahrefs is one of the most valuable tools in our SEO toolbox. It is in invaluable tool that is mainly used by our content management and link building teams. One of the best ways to keep your keywords in check is by clicking the “Organic keywords” option. This will allow you to access a list of keywords that are used within your domain.

Keyword Cannibalization Ahrefs 2

The next step is to click on the “Show History Chart” icon, which allows you to view the performance of the keyword over a certain period of time.

Keyword Cannibalization Ahrefs

This chart would help you see signs of keyword cannibalization immediately. The dark blue line represents the ranking of the keyword, which means that it has been steadily performing. One sign that keyword cannibalization happens is when another line is present in the chart, which means that the keyword is competing against itself.

Ahrefs helps you find these types of keywords, and make sure that they do not bump into each other and create multiple rankings and dropped indexes. This is one off the quickest ways to track down keyword performance, and give you more solutions by looking for quality and competitive keywords for your website using the Keyword and Content Explorer as well.

Let’s start with our solution using Ahrefs. Let’s say that you have a video game e-store, and your main keyword is “video games for sale”. Ahrefs allows you to not only view data for that keyword, but also look for similar keyword options that can bring in a similar amount of search volume.

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer Example

For this case, you can use search terms such as “vintage video games for sale” or “arcade video games for sale” which makes the search more specific, and would give your users another way to look for you. These variations would allow you to receive more traffic using new keywords, while ensuring that your rankings would not be affected by keyword cannibalization. Once you are done with this, it is time to go to the Content Explorer.

Ahrefs Content Explorer Example

As usual, content explorer helps you find the most relevant topics that you can write about for your website. In this case, the keyword takes you to content such as video game sales figures and news. You can filter down the content as well by choosing different sorting options. After creating and publishing the content, you can do the same process over again, until you have the optimal amount of keywords for your website.

This simple method would help you diagnose and solve keyword cannibalization at the same time, ensuring that you have keywords and content that are optimized for search engines. If you want to know more about the other functions of Ahrefs, you can take a look at our review. You can also take a look at their new Blogging for Business course, which is a series of lessons that will help you create an income generating blog for your business.

Key Takeaway

Keyword cannibalization is a pressing concern for a lot of websites, and can cause issues within the search rankings. By solving it using Ahrefs, you not only get to fix the problem, but look for an immediate solution within the tool itself.

If you have questions and inquiries about SEO tools and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

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Sean Si

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.