September 23, 2023

The writer’s views are solely their very own (excluding the unlikely occasion of hypnosis) and should not all the time replicate the views of Moz.

On this Whiteboard Friday, Jon discusses how you can determine, repair, and stop cannibalization. He identifies three particular sorts of cannibalization: inside, worldwide, and subdomain.

Digital whiteboard on the topic 'Identifying, Fixing, and Preventing Cannibalization'

Click on on the whiteboard picture above to open a excessive decision model in a brand new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey, Moz followers. How’s it going? My identify is Jon Earnshaw. I am the Chief Product Evangelist at Pi Datametrics, and right this moment I’ll be speaking a couple of topic that’s tremendous near my coronary heart, and it has been near my coronary heart for over 15 years. Once I was analyzing the SERP in the future and I began to find this uncommon flux, and what I used to be seeing was content material that was doing very well on web page 1 and instantly it drops.

Then after a number of weeks, we observed that it wasn’t dropping for no purpose. This content material was dropping attributable to different content material by some means conflicting. Now, we all know there is no such factor as a reproduction content material penalty, and Google has all the time mentioned that. However what now we have understood since then is that Google and different search engines like google and yahoo as nicely have gotten more and more delicate to content material of the same nature, and that is what cannibalization is all about.

So right this moment we’re going to check out the way you determine it briefly as a result of you are able to do that with instruments. I’ll present you ways you repair it, and at last the way you forestall it from taking place within the first place, and in the event you get that bit proper, you clearly need not fear about one or two.

Step 1: Establish the kind of cannibalization

image showing the three types of cannibalization that you need to identify

So cannibalization, there are three varieties. Effectively, there are extra, however there are three varieties that we form of want to concentrate on.

The primary one is inside battle or cannibalization. I will use these phrases interchangeably. That is the place your content material conflicts with itself. Then now we have worldwide battle, and that is a completely completely different kettle of fish, as a result of that is handled, for instance, by hreflang. So we’ll maintain that out of the combo.

Then now we have subdomain battle, and subdomain battle is one thing that may all the time occur. For instance, when you have a assist subdomain,, and you have got content material on there that is much like the content material in your foremost area, that is all the time going to battle. However we’re not going to speak about that right this moment. Actually, we will discuss inside battle and the way you repair it to begin with.

Step 2: Repair cannibalization points

image showing step two for fixing cannibalization

So we could say you get up in the future, you had been on web page 1 for “males’s blazers.” All of us wish to be on web page 1 if we’re promoting males’s blazers. Then instantly you discover your content material drops. Then once you take a better look, you may uncover that you’ve got a number of URLs returning over a time frame for a similar key phrase. Some extent to notice about cannibalization, it occurs at key phrase stage.

It is not content material stage. It is all concerning the key phrase. So one piece of content material is probably not in battle for an additional time period, for a by-product time period, for instance “males’s jackets” or “males’s summer season jackets,” and that web page could exist fantastically on web page 1. However we could say that you’ve got one, two, three, 4 pages.

These could possibly be males’s summer season blazers, males’s winter blazers, males’s 2023 blazers, for instance. The possibilities are if these pages are related and in the event that they include the key phrase that you just’re attempting to place for, i.e., “males’s blazers,” within the title, chances are high you are going to get battle as a result of we all know that the HTML title is among the strongest indicators to Google from a theming perspective.

URL, title, Header 1, meta description, content material, all of that counts. However you may discover once you make modifications to the title, that may have a reasonably instantaneous impression on visibility in lower than 24 hours. So again to our state of affairs of cannibalization. For URLs, what can we wish to do? Effectively, we have got to decide.

Which one can we wish to be the doorway into our ecosystem? As a result of if we do not decide on which one is the doorway into our ecosystem, then Google goes to make that call for us and we will find yourself in a state of affairs of cannibalization. Cannibalization, it could possibly be in line. It may all be taking place on the backside of web page 1. Typically folks say, “Effectively, I am on web page 1, however I do not actually care.”

However it’s best to care, as a result of think about your viewers are trying to find the boys’s blazer and so they discover your piece of content material and so they like it, and so they come again the subsequent day and so they Google it once more, and so they discover it once more, “Oh, it is a completely different web page.” They go into the location in a special space. Abruptly, I am confused as a result of we have got incoherent, uncoordinated, and haphazard doorways into our world.

So we have to make the choice and never depart that to the major search engines. There are a selection of issues that we are able to do to really repair this. However the very first thing we have to do is test the place of the URLs for different phrases, for by-product phrases. Do these items of content material place in their very own proper?

Earlier than we begin tampering, earlier than we begin taking part in with titles, earlier than we begin redirecting, earlier than we do something, do they place in their very own proper? Then now we have selections to make. One doable selection, and I’ve seen numerous shoppers do that, is to really merge one of many older bits of content material and put that in with the brand new content material, and that works splendidly as a result of we’re not dropping something.

So we merge that, after which, in fact, we 301 the unique article. So we instantly get that injection of authority. Okay, downgrade the theme. How do you downgrade the theme? Bear in mind the title, the strongest factor on the web page? We are able to really change the title so it isn’t about males’s blazers. We are able to say “males’s outfits for the summer season,” if that is applicable.

Once more, let’s not do this if that web page positions in its personal proper as a result of we do not wish to lose that visitors. We are able to additionally test the visitors to the web page as nicely. Internally hyperlink. If we determine, for instance, that A is the web page that we wish to be our doorway, let’s give it the authority that it must place.

Let’s hyperlink internally from B, C, and D to A utilizing the anchor textual content “males’s blazers.” What are we doing? Effectively, we’re saying to Google this web page over right here is all about males’s blazers, and the anchor textual content and people hyperlinks are going to present that web page the authority that it wants.

So we do this together with a few of these different choices. We are able to additionally No Index if applicable. So now we have numerous instruments in our arsenal. However simply think about that we love all of those pages and we do not wish to lose these as a result of that is summer season blazers, winter blazers, linen blazers, and different blazers.

One other factor that you are able to do, in case your CMS permits, is to really construct a hub web page. Let’s name that hub web page Males’s Blazers, and let’s hyperlink down from the brand new web page, name that Web page X, Males’s Blazers, to this one utilizing the anchor textual content “summer season blazers,” to this one, Winter, Linen, and so on. Then crucially, we take the inner linking right here and we hyperlink again from all of those to the hub web page.

What have we created there? This glorious hub and spoke construction inside our web site that your viewers are going to make sense of and Google goes to make sense of it as nicely. So actually it is about sending alerts to Google in order that Google would not get confused.

So that is all the way down to us as a result of the search engine is extremely delicate. In order that’s how one can repair it, and you have got numerous selections.

Step 3: Stop cannibalization

Lastly, my favourite half, how do you forestall it? How can we not should undergo this and this? Effectively, the important thing to stopping it truly is to make use of one of many 4 pillars of contextual optimization.

Step 3: Preventing Cannibalization through contextual optimization

Contextual optimization is all about optimizing within the context of the SERP, optimizing within the context of your opponents, optimizing within the context of Google’s algorithms, and optimizing within the context of your ecosystem. So what we imply right here is about earlier than I inject any new content material with reference to males’s blazers into my ecosystem, I’ve obtained to cease and suppose and ask the query, “Is there something inside my ecosystem that’s doubtlessly conflicting?”

That is the primary query you ask, as a result of if there are different items of content material within the ecosystem with “males’s blazers” within the title, chances are high they are going to battle, and you could find yourself taking one web page of web page 1 of Google and your web page by no means will get to web page 1. So you could lose out throughout. So a very easy method of analyzing your ecosystem is with a web site operator.

So web intitle, and also you usher in intitle, and we’re in search of, in inverted commas, “males’s blazers” as a result of that is going to return all of the pages out of your web site, that Google has listed, which have “males’s blazers” within the title.

Bear in mind, the strongest theme. So we would discover earlier than we inject the brand new content material, hey, I’ve obtained A, B, C, and D in my ecosystem. So we then return right here, and we make the choice. If this can be a new piece of content material, I can begin to undertake and deploy a number of of those methods to stop it from taking place within the first place.

Actually, cannibalization of content material is inflicting a lot lack of visibility. I might estimate someplace round 40% of content material that is sitting on web page 2 and three is all the way down to this. Establish the conflicts. As soon as we have finished that, we determine the enhances. How do you determine the enhances and why?

Effectively, I will let you know why. As a result of once you put a brand new piece of content material into your ecosystem to go sit alongside these, it wants authority if it is going to carry out nicely, and the perfect and quickest method of authority is to get that from different pages on a associated theme that discuss blazers or males’s type or males’s trend. We do one other web site operator right here, web

Overlook the intitle. Let’s search for “males’s blazers” within the physique copy. We are able to do this, and we are able to discover enhances. As soon as you’ve got discovered the enhances, you wish to create hyperlinks utilizing “males’s blazers” because the anchor textual content to your new piece of content material. How do you discover older items of content material?

Inverted commas, “2019” or “2018.” Add that, you may instantly begin to discover older content material that you have completely forgotten about and, along with these hyperlinks, which might be going to inject authority. You’ll be able to then add some redirects. Actually, in a nutshell, that is all there’s to it, figuring out, fixing, and stopping, and I assure these are all going to give you the results you want.

Thanks for watching.

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