Web Page Cannibalization! Discover How to Avoid This Traffic Devourer on Your Site

Web page cannibalization is a term that has been circulating in the digital marketing and SEO world in recent years. If you’re still unsure what it means or you’re looking for ways to prevent this phenomenon, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll dive deep into what web page cannibalization is, why it’s a problem, and how you can prevent it from devouring your online traffic.

Are you ready to delve into the world of web page cannibalization? Let’s go!

What is Web Page Cannibalization?

Web Page Cannibalization! It sounds a bit terrifying, doesn’t it? But don’t worry, we’re not talking about a monster that eats your Internet pages. Web page cannibalization is a term used in the digital marketing world to describe a situation where two or more pages on your site compete against each other in Google search results.

Example of Web Page Cannibalization

Imagine you have a website about cooking recipes and you’ve published two different articles, one on “How to Make the Best Burgers” and another on “Secrets to Perfect Burgers”. Both articles are about burgers, right? The problem arises when both pages compete on Google for the same keyword, like “homemade burgers”.

When this happens, Google may have difficulty determining which of the two pages to show in the search results, leading to a decrease in traffic for both pages. In other words, your own pages are cannibalizing each other.

Why is Web Page Cannibalization a Problem?

Web page cannibalization can be a serious problem for your site for several reasons:

  • Traffic Reduction: When multiple pages compete for the same keyword, it’s likely that all of them will receive less search traffic. This can reduce your online visibility and negatively impact your audience.
  • Confusion for Google: Google may struggle to determine which of your pages to show in the search results, which can lead to none of them ranking well.
  • User Experience: Visitors to your site may become confused if they find multiple similar pages. This can result in a poor user experience and a higher bounce rate.
  • Authority Dilution: Instead of concentrating your site’s authority on a single strong page, you spread it across several similar pages, making it difficult for any of them to stand out.

How to Avoid Web Page Cannibalization

Now that we understand why web page cannibalization is a problem, it’s time to address how you can prevent this from happening on your site. Here are some effective tips:

1. Conduct a Content Audit

Before taking action, it’s important to identify if you have a web page cannibalization problem on your site. To do this, follow these steps:

  • List Keywords: List the main keywords you want to rank for in search engines.
  • Google Search: Perform searches with those keywords and check if multiple pages of yours appear in the results. If so, you have a cannibalization problem.
  • Use SEO Tools: Use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to perform a deeper analysis of keywords and competing pages.

2. Merge or Redirect Similar Pages

Once you’ve identified pages that compete with each other, it’s time to take action. Here are two options:

  • Merge Pages: If the pages are very similar, consider merging them into a single strong and comprehensive page. This will help concentrate authority on one page.
  • Redirect One Page: If you don’t want to merge the pages, you can redirect one to the main page. This will ensure that Google ranks the main page instead of the secondary one.

3. Optimize Existing Content

Instead of creating new pages on similar topics, spend time optimizing existing content on your site. Here are some tips:

  • Update Content: Ensure the content is up-to-date and relevant. Update the information as necessary.
  • Improve Quality: Add additional information, images, videos, and any other elements that enrich the content and make it more valuable to users.
  • Optimize Keywords: Ensure the page is optimized for specific keywords and use descriptive meta tags.

4. Link Strategically

Another way to avoid web page cannibalization is through internal linking strategy. Here are some tips:

  • Use Relevant Links: Add links from one page to another only if they are relevant and add value to the user.
  • Use Appropriate Anchor Text: The anchor text of the links should be descriptive and related to the content of the linked page.
  • Prioritize Your Links: If you have multiple related pages, ensure to establish a clear hierarchy in the links, highlighting the main page.

5. Monitor and Adjust

Web page cannibalization is not a static problem; it can arise over time as you add new content. Therefore, it’s important to establish a process of continuous monitoring and adjustment. Here are some tips:

  • Use Tracking Tools: Use keyword and traffic tracking tools to identify any signs of future cannibalization.
  • Adjust as Necessary: If you notice pages competing again, take immediate action, whether by merging, redirecting, or optimizing content.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Web Page Cannibalization

Question 1: Is web page cannibalization always harmful to SEO?

Not always, but it can be. Web page cannibalization can dilute your site’s authority and reduce your visibility in search results. However, if handled properly, you can avoid its negative effects.

Question 2: Should I delete one of the competing pages?

Not necessarily. You can choose to merge the pages or redirect one to the main page instead of deleting it. This will help maintain authority and valuable content on your site.

Question 3: What tools can I use to identify web page cannibalization?

You can use SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Google Search Console to identify pages competing for the same keywords and analyze the performance of your content.

Question 4: How can I prevent new pages from causing future cannibalization?

To prevent new pages from causing cannibalization, ensure you conduct solid keyword research before creating new content and use a consistent internal linking strategy to guide Google on which page is the main one.


Web page cannibalization is a real problem in the world of SEO and digital marketing. It can have negative effects on your site’s traffic and user experience. However, with proper content auditing, merging or redirecting similar pages, and optimizing your existing content, you can prevent this traffic devourer from ruining your online presence.

Remember that web page cannibalization is not a static problem, so keep a vigilant eye on your site and adjust as necessary. With the right strategies, you can ensure your pages work together harmoniously rather than competing against each other in the relentless arena of search engines. Don’t let your website be devoured by cannibalization!

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