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What is Keyword Cannibalization and how can I avoid doing it?



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What is Keyword Cannibalization and how can I avoid doing it?

So I was just reading an answer given in the CD for Do old pages need to be constantly updated to continue to rank in Google search. And Cristian pointed out that you shouldn't create a new article as well as having the old one around else you'll fall into "keyword cannibalization".

But what if your old content is old and you want to write about the latest version of the product that content was talking about? Should you update your old content? Or should you leave it as is and create new content instead?

Keyword Cannibalization isn't really a term many come across much while doing SEO. I know about it and I know what the gist of what it is in a nutshell, but it's not something I've ever considered trying to avoid for the reasons that you should try to avoid cannibalizing your keywords. I mean I've never considered that I might be cannibalizing my keywords on my site when creating similar posts or pages on the same sort of thing. And sometimes I simply had to create that other post and it simply had to have a very similar title and text on the page as there's no way around it.

Is this something you consider when writing or blogging about something that you've already previously wrote/blogged about before?

What insight into what Keyword Cannibalization do you have and why as webmaster or blogger, should you avoid cannibalizing your keywords?

What are the problems that can come about with Keyword Cannibalization?

And what are the solutions to avoid cannibalizing your keywords when you want to write or post about a very similar or very same subject?

In those cases, is it simply unavoidable?

Thanks!

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Cristian

Is this something you consider when writing or blogging about something that you've already previously wrote/blogged about before??

Yes. I try to avoid smaller, lower quality posts on the same subject. I prefer having everything I can share in one detailed, high-quality article.
What insight into what Keyword Cannibalization do you have and why as webmaster or blogger, should you avoid cannibalizing your keywords?

I've seen it in action. I've optimized blogs and websites and merged similar articles into one piece of high quality content and the effects were very good.
What are the problems that can come about with Keyword Cannibalization?

You get good ranks with any of your target keywords. Or you'll end having a mediocre rank with a lower quality article.
And what are the solutions to avoid cannibalizing your keywords when you want to write or post about a very similar or very same subject?

If you plan to write multiple posts on the same subject. Don't.
If you plan to write multiple posts on very similar subject. Well, I don't recommend it. Better to have one monster of an article then bits and pieces all of over the place. Think about giving potential users the full experience and everything they would ever need on that subject in one article, so they won't have to search for additional information. Google will see your effort, the quality of your content and will rank you accordingly.

Hope I've answer all your questions. Cheers.




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idealmike

Awesome insight Cristian thanks a lot! This is very useful to know because as times change, relevancy changes along with it. What used to be relevant a year or more back isn't always so relevant today. It makes a lot of sense to do what you're saying and to merge content together like that for those reasons. This is all definitely something to consider for our older blogs. I've never actually thought about it like that before to be honest. I think I'll go over my old content and see which can be merged if there's good reason for it. Do you suggest 301'ng the old content in an old post to the new content in the new post (new location) or just remove altogether? Cheers!




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Lynne

I had never heard the actual term Keyword Cannibalization before, but I was aware of the fact I shouldn't create pages/ posts with similar content.

I think there is a time to update old content and there is a time to also expand on a subject and to create more content to add to old content.

I am sure if you on occasion add new content that is along similar lines to an old post it won't cause a major problem, but if you do it on a regular basis then it would be classified as keyword cannibalization.




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idealmike

Yeah right! I had heard that you shouldn't change the time stamp on your blogs posts as well as Google considers that a form of cheating effectively as well. We all know how Google likes to show the most latest results sometimes and how people like to search by the most latest too. So there are people who deliberately change the timestamp of their posts by updating it a little bit just so it is. But doing that can be seen as cheating and actually get you in trouble with Google from that perspective. Apparently they have an algorithm that can detect that. So if you're doing it too much for that reason it could be a problem or turn into one for you but if you're only doing it every now and then such as once or twice a year and for good reason the benefits of doing so far outweigh any consequence like that. I would imagine the Google web spam team understands this!




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Corzhens

To be honest, I find it insane to be advised to update old contents for a better SEO ranking. Perhaps they think that updating old contents is easy but in reality, it is harder than writing new contents. So if given a choice between updating an old content or writing new content, I would choose the latter. And now, which do you think stands a better chance when it comes to SEO ranking? I am assuming that you have to agree with the new contents as long as it is your original, interesting to the readers and relevant to your niche.




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