The cannibalization of keywords in SEO occurs when you try to position yourself with the same word or phrase in Google using several pages or posts within the same domain.
This causes many times that Google does not know which one to choose.
In addition, it may happen that the pages appear and disappear in the Google results.
If you want that your content appears positioned in different results, it is best to position YouTube videos, images, search for more niche and specialized words or even create other content in other domains (never copying).
How to detect a SEO cannibalization problem
To check if we can cannibalize keywords in SEO, we can search Google and see the results over time.
As you can see, this system is quite rudimentary and inefficient.
The appropriate thing is to use a SEO tool such as XOVI that allows you to monitor all the words and see if this situation occurs (looking at the graph of evolution of positions and checking for jumps) to solve it as soon as possible.
How to solve cannibalization
In many cases the quickest thing is to make a redirection 301 from the least important URL to the most important, but it should always be checked before that page is not positioning itself for other keywords.
Another option is to change the keywords of the title and the content to cover new related aspects.
If for example you have a cannibalization problem generated by two pages with a very similar content like this:
“Best PC Keyboards”
“The best computer keyboards”
Google understands that they are similar posts and therefore, depending on the search, the link strategy and the authority of each page, Google may show one result or another.
We must adapt the one that receives fewer visits and converts less to, for example, leave it like this:
“Best PC Keyboards” (we keep it)
“Best keyboards to play” (we look for specialization)
Thus, we can solve the problem of cannibalization.
We need to apply a redirection of the URL to the new one (the redirection plugin does it alone) or simply create new content and redirect the less optimized version to the good one.
The important thing is to look for more niche phrases with which to differentiate each content.
How long does Google show the new results?
Once the problem of cannibalization is solved, Google will need a few days to solve it.
You can use Google Search Console to streamline the process by sending the URL’s back to you as I explained in this post.
Be careful if you add your home keywords in all your photos, labels or posts titles. It is a very common mistake that I see in countless blogs.
Remember, use a unique phrase to position for each page and no more.