What is Keyword Cannibalization?
Keyword cannibalization is one of the things that you should definitely steer away from in regard to website content. Cannibalization, as well as stuffing, can be viewed as spammy from search engines, such as Google, and can ultimately get you downgraded in terms of ranking. Making this mistake can be an honest mistake, but oftentimes, people do this on purpose, in order to get their pages ranking for one specific keyword.
Keyword cannibalization is defined as the usage excessively of one keyword across all pages of a website, so that you seem to be cheating the system, with “the system” being search engine algorithms. These algorithms are looking for keywords, and the keywords percentage of the entire content, so that it can recognize what the piece is about and how relevant it is for a searcher.
This, as mentioned above, can be viewed as spammy, but also, you are essentially hurting yourself, hence the word cannibalization. You are highlighting so many pages with one single keyword that some pages are outranking others, meaning that you are making your pages compete against each other, instead of targeting different keywords and extending your reach.
What Do Individuals Get Wrong About Keyword Cannibalization?
One of the main issues that individuals get wrong about keyword cannibalization is that just because you have multiple pages talking about a specific keyword, that you will have them competing against each other, meaning decreased traffic and conversions. This, however, is not necessarily true.
One of the things that Google and other search engines look for is the intent of the piece. With a strong intent towards one meaning and a different intent and bias towards another meaning, you will find that pages will not be competing with each other and that your traffic and whatnot will continue to stay on track.
Keyword cannibalization is something to look out for, but not something to harp on when writing organic pages on a site.