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How To Identify & Eliminate Keyword Cannibalization To Boost Your SEO

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How To Identify & Eliminate Keyword Cannibalization To Boost Your SEO

Do you have multiple pages on your website ranking for the same keyword?

That may sound like a good thing.

After all, the more pages you have in search results, the more impressions you will receive from search users, right?

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

Targeting a specific term across multiple pages can have the opposite effect. You may do more harm than good to your SEO for that keyword.

The reason is simple — when you have multiple pages ranking for the same keyword, you force your pages to compete with each other.

Consequently, each page has a lower CTR, diminished authority, and lower conversion rates than one consolidated page would have.

We call this SEO misstep keyword cannibalization.

What Is Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is known as such because you’re “cannibalizing” your own results by splitting CTR, links, content, and (often) conversions between two pages that should be one.

When you do this, you aren’t showing Google the breadth or depth of your knowledge. You aren’t improving the authority of your site for that query, either.

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Instead, you’re asking Google to weigh your pages against one another and choose which ones it thinks suits the matching keywords best.

For example, let’s say that your website sells shoes, and [shoes] is the only keyword you target. You’re essentially telling Google that every page is about shoes regardless of whether they’re hiking shoes, tennis shoes, sneakers, etc.

Instead of capitalizing on a lot of valuable longer-tail keywords such as women’s shoes, running shoes, etc., you’re competing against yourself for one keyword that may be too broad to have commercial intent.

6 Negative Effects Keyword Cannibalization Can Have On Your SEO

Keyword cannibalization can have disastrous consequences for your SEO. Many people suffering from keyword cannibalization aren’t even aware there’s an issue.

They might even be happy that one page is ranking in the fifth and sixth slot for their targeted keyword, without realizing that one authoritative page would probably rank higher and convert better.

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The practical consequences are clear. However, lost site traffic, queries leading to the wrong page, fluctuating SERP rankings, and ultimately lost sales may also result, and are more difficult to detect.

Why?

Because…

You’re Diminishing The Authority Of Your Page

Instead of having one highly authoritative page, you’re splitting your CTR among multiple moderately-relevant pages.

Essentially, you’ve turned your pages into competitors and now you’re fighting for pageviews and SERP rankings.

Consider it from the point of view of a reader looking for a new book on Amazon. Would you rather have one, in-depth book about a topic that demonstrated your expertise?

Or would you prefer to have two or more less complete books about a topic, each leaving you wishing there was more information?

You’re Diluting Your Links & Anchor Text

Backlinks that could have gone to one consolidated source of information are now being split between two (or more) pages.

The outreach efforts spent on acquiring 10 links for one page and 15 links for another could have been spent acquiring 25 links for one better-performing page.

Furthermore, a complete, in-depth page is more likely to be linked to than lighter, less comprehensive pieces.

Similarly, your anchor text and internal links are leading visitors to multiple different pages instead of one authoritative page on the subject.

Google May Devalue The More Relevant Page

Keywords are one of the main ways in which we help Google understand what our pages are about.

If all of your keywords are the same, Google tries to understand which page is the best fit – and if your content is too similar, it might get it wrong.

For example, let’s say you have two pages ranking for the same keyword. If the higher converting page ranks lower, you could be missing out on high-value, converting traffic.

You’re Squandering Crawl Budget

Your crawl budget is the number of times a search engine spider crawls your website in a given time period.

Having multiple pages devoted to the same keyword results in the crawling and indexing of pages that aren’t needed.

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Note: Small sites probably won’t notice a difference or ever have to worry about their crawl budget, but large ecommerce sites or vendors with multiple products may.

It’s A Sign of Poor Page Quality

Multiple pages targeting the same keyword tells your users that your content is probably stretched thin. It also signals to Google that your content may not match your keywords on each page.

Your Conversion Rate Will Suffer

Inevitably, one of your pages will convert better than the rest.

Instead of directing new visitors to that page and making it the most authoritative page possible, you’re instead losing potential leads when they land on less relevant pages.

How To Identify Keyword Cannibalization

Fortunately, once you’ve identified the problem, fixing keyword cannibalization is easy.

Identifying keyword cannibalization is as easy as creating a keyword matrix.

Simply create a spreadsheet that lists all of your site’s important URLs and their associated keywords.

For example, if your site sells shoes, then your spreadsheet might look like this:

Screenshot Taken by Author

Alternatively, you can use a keyword mapping tool, which might look like this:

Keyword Cannibalization Mapping ToolScreenshot Taken by Author

Once you’ve listed your URLs and their keywords, run down the list and look for any duplicate entries.

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If you spot any – especially across core pages – you’re probably suffering from keyword cannibalization.

Now it’s time to fix those pages!

Note that keyword cannibalization can even occur if the meta information in your title tags seems to target the same keyword, so double-check those, too.

If you’re using a rank tracking tool, you may also want to take this opportunity to search for thin content and keywords mistakenly applied to the wrong page.

It’s a good time to give your site a little TLC.

How To Fix Keyword Cannibalization

How you solve keyword cannibalization depends on the root of the problem.

More often than not, the issue is simply one of organization. But particularly stubborn cases may require that you break out the 301s or new landing pages.

Here are five possible solutions.

1. Restructure Your Website

The simplest solution is often to take your most authoritative page and turn it into a landing page, which links to other unique variations that fall under the umbrella of your targeted keywords.

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If we return to our shoe-product example, it might make sense to make “shoes” our canonical source page and link all more specific variations back to it.

2. Create New Landing Pages

Alternatively, you might lack a landing page that consolidates all of your product pages in one place.

In this case, you’d benefit from creating a unique landing page to serve as your authoritative source page and link to all of your variations from there.

In our example, we might create a page called “hiking shoes” and another called “sneakers for men.”

These should allow you to target both broad keyword terms with your consolidated pages and long-tail keywords on your variations.

3. Consolidate Your Content

If your pages aren’t unique enough to warrant having multiple pages targeting the same keyword, consider combining them into one page.

This is a chance to take two underperforming pages and turn them into a more authoritative source. It may also solve thin content issues.

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Start with your analytics to determine which page performs best in terms of traffic, bounce rate, time on page, conversions, etc. You may find that one page receives most of the traffic, but the other has the content that converts more users.

The goal, in this case, could be to consolidate the converting copy content on the page with the most traffic. Ideally, you would be able to maintain the same ranking and convert more of the traffic.

An added benefit of this approach is that you won’t have to worry about having your website penalized for content that Google considers thin or cookie-cutter-like.

4. Find New Keywords

Finally, if you’re already blessed with highly diverse, content-rich pages, and the only thing your website is suffering from is a poorly planned keyword strategy, maybe all you need to do is find new keywords.

Just make sure your keywords accurately describe your page’s content. Will a website visitor who searched for the target keyword be satisfied by the content on each page that ranks for it?

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If the answer is no, it may be time to do some keyword research.

Looking at your pages in a spreadsheet with the following details can help you spot better keyword opportunities for similar pages:

  • Keyword & rank.
  • The page URL.
  • SEO title & meta description.
  • Word count.
  • Organic traffic.
  • Bounce rate.
  • Conversions.

This should help you spot pages targeting the same keywords.

From there, you can determine which pages are most valuable, which can be consolidated, and which need new keywords.

In most cases, you can use your keyword research tool to find the most relevant keywords for all of the pages you want to keep.

If you have two pages ranking well for a long-tail keyword, see if there is a related broad term you could be focusing on for one of them to capture more traffic.

Once you find that keyword, reoptimize for it accordingly and update the details in your spreadsheet for future reference and performance tracking.

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5. Use 301 Redirects

While I generally advise against using too many 301 redirects (see my list of the 10 Most Harmful Mobile SEO Mistakes), they might be necessary if you already have multiple pages ranking for the same terms.

Using 301s allows you to consolidate your cannibalized content by linking the less relevant pages to a single, more authoritative version.

Keepin mind though that this tactic is suitable only for pages with similar content and those matching specific keyword queries.

Conclusion

These five solutions will fix most cases of keyword cannibalization. Still, if you manage an ecommerce website, you should be particularly careful to note how your CMS separates products with variable sizes and colors.

Some CMS programs create separate pages for every product variation.

If your CMS is organizing products like this, you should either restrict duplicate pages from being indexed using robots.txt or <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”> tags, or you should use canonical URLs to consolidate link signals for the duplicate content.

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Keyword cannibalization is more prevalent today than ever before.

Ironically, its victims are usually webmasters who recognize the importance of SEO for their business. Yet while they intend to optimize their site, they don’t fully understand how to ‘speak’ Google’s language.

Fortunately, if your website is cannibalizing its target keywords, solutions aren’t hard to come by — and the damage isn’t permanent.

With the right tools and a “can-do” attitude, you can give your SEO a well-deserved boost.


Featured image: Paulo Bobita/SearchEngineJournal




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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

Elon Musk, owner and CEO of Twitter, announced that starting today, Twitter will share ad revenue with creators. The new policy applies only to ads that appear in a creator’s reply threads.

The move comes on the heels of YouTube launching ad revenue sharing for creators through the YouTube Partner Program in a bid to become the most rewarding social platform for creators.

Social networks like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have similar monetization options for creators who publish reels and video content. For example, Instagram’s Reels Play Bonus Program offers eligible creators up to $1,200 for Reel views.

The catch? Unlike other social platforms, creators on Twitter must have an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meet the eligibility requirements for the Blue Verified checkmark.

The following is an example of a Twitter ad in a reply thread (Promoted by @ASUBootcamps). It should generate revenue for the Twitter Blue Verified creator (@rowancheung), who created the thread.

Screenshot from Twitter, January 2023

To receive the ad revenue share, creators would have to pay $8 per month (or more) to maintain an active Twitter Blue subscription. Twitter Blue pricing varies based on location and is available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

Eligibility for the Twitter Blue Verified checkmark includes having an active Twitter Blue subscription and meeting the following criteria.

  • Your account must have a display name, profile photo, and confirmed phone number.
  • Your account has to be older than 90 days and active within the last 30 days.
  • Recent changes to your account’s username, display name, or profile photo can affect eligibility. Modifications to those after verification can also result in a temporary loss of the blue checkmark until Twitter reviews your updated information.
  • Your account cannot appear to mislead or deceive.
  • Your account cannot spam or otherwise try to manipulate the platform for engagement or follows.

Did you receive a Blue Verified checkmark before the Twitter Blue subscription? That will not help creators who want a share of the ad revenue. The legacy Blue Verified checkmark does not make a creator account eligible for ad revenue sharing.

When asked about accounts with a legacy and Twitter Blue Verified checkmark, Musk tweeted that the legacy Blue Verified is “deeply corrupted” and will sunset in just a few months.

Regardless of how you gained your checkmark, it’s important to note that Twitter can remove a checkmark without notice.

In addition to ad revenue sharing for Twitter Blue Verified creators, Twitter Dev announced that the Twitter API would no longer be free in an ongoing effort to reduce the number of bots on the platform.

While speculation looms about a loss in Twitter ad revenue, the Wall Street Journal reported a “fire-sale” Super Bowl offer from Musk to win back advertisers.

The latest data from DataReportal shows a positive trend for Twitter advertisers. Ad reach has increased from 436.4 million users in January 2022 to 556 million in January 2023.

Twitter is also the third most popular social network based on monthly unique visitors and page views globally, according to SimilarWeb data through December 2022.


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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

We live in an age when AI technologies are booming, and the world has been taken by storm with the introduction of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is capable of accomplishing a wide range of tasks, but one that it does particularly well is writing articles. And while there are many obvious benefits to this, it also presents a number of challenges.

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle that AI-generated written content poses for the publishing industry is the spread of misinformation.

ChatGPT, or any other AI tool, may generate articles that may contain factual errors or are just flat-out incorrect.

Imagine someone who has no expertise in medicine starting a medical blog and using ChatGPT to write content for their articles.

Their content may contain errors that can only be identified by professional doctors. And if that blog content starts spreading over social media, or maybe even ranks in Search, it could cause harm to people who read it and take erroneous medical advice.

Another potential challenge ChatGPT poses is how students might leverage it within their written work.

If one can write an essay just by running a prompt (and without having to do any actual work), that greatly diminishes the quality of education – as learning about a subject and expressing your own ideas is key to essay writing.

Even before the introduction of ChatGPT, many publishers were already generating content using AI. And while some honestly disclose it, others may not.

Also, Google recently changed its wording regarding AI-generated content, so that it is not necessarily against the company’s guidelines.

Image from Twitter, November 2022

This is why I decided to try out existing tools to understand where the tech industry is when it comes to detecting content generated by ChatGPT, or AI generally.

I ran the following prompts in ChatGPT to generate written content and then ran those answers through different detection tools.

  • “What is local SEO? Why it is important? Best practices of Local SEO.”
  • “Write an essay about Napoleon Bonaparte invasion of Egypt.”
  • “What are the main differences between iPhone and Samsung galaxy?”

Here is how each tool performed.

1. Writer.com

For the first prompt’s answer, Writer.com fails, identifying ChatGPT’s content as 94% human-generated.

Writer.com resultsScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the second prompt, it worked and detected it as AI-written content.

Writer.com test resultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the third prompt, it failed again.

Sample ResultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

However, when I tested real human-written text, Writer.com did identify it as 100% human-generated very accurately.

2. Copyleaks

Copyleaks did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written.

Sample ResultScreenshot from Copyleaks, January 2023

3. Contentatscale.ai

Contentatscale.ai did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written, even though the first prompt, it gave a 21% human score.

Contentscale.aiScreenshot from Contentscale.ai, January 2023

4. Originality.ai

Originality.ai did a great job on all three prompts, accurately detecting them as AI-written.

Also, when I checked with real human-written text, it did identify it as 100% human-generated, which is essential.

Originality.aiScreenshot from Originality.ai, January 2023

You will notice that Originality.ai doesn’t detect any plagiarism issues. This may change in the future.

Over time, people will use the same prompts to generate AI-written content, likely resulting in a number of very similar answers. When these articles are published, they will then be detected by plagiarism tools.

5. GPTZero

This non-commercial tool was built by Edward Tian, and specifically designed to detect ChatGPT-generated articles. And it did just that for all three prompts, recognizing them as AI-generated.

GPTZeroScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

Unlike other tools, it gives a more detailed analysis of detected issues, such as sentence-by-sentence analyses.

sentence by sentence text perplexityScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

OpenAI’s AI Text Classifier

And finally, let’s see how OpenAi detects its own generated answers.

For the 1st and 3rd prompts, it detected that there is an AI involved by classifying it as “possibly-AI generated”.

AI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generated

But surprisingly, it failed for the 2nd prompt and classified that as “unlikely AI-generated.” I did play with different prompts and found that, as of the moment, when checking it, few of the above tools detect AI content with higher accuracy than OpenAi’s own tool.

AI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generated

As of the time of this check, they had released it a day before. I think in the future, they will fine tune it, and it will work much better.

Conclusion

Current AI content generation tools are in good shape and are able to detect ChatGPT-generated content (with varying degrees of success).

It is still possible for someone to generate copy via ChatGPT and then paraphrase that to make it undetectable, but that might require almost as much work as writing from scratch – so the benefits aren’t as immediate.

If you think about ranking an article in Google written by ChatGPT, consider for a moment: If the tools we looked at above were able to recognize them as AI-generated, then for Google, detecting them should be a piece of cake.

On top of that, Google has quality raters who will train their system to recognize AI-written articles even better by manually marking them as they find them.

So, my advice would be not to build your content strategy on ChatGPT-generated content, but use it merely as an assistant tool.

More resources: 


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Five things you need to know about content optimization in 2023

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5 Things You Need To Know About Optimizing Content in 2023

30-second summary:

  • As the content battleground goes through tremendous upheaval, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance
  • ChatGPT can help content marketers get an edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content
  • Making sure your content rank high enough to engage the target audience requires strategic planning and implementation

Google is constantly testing and updating its algorithms in pursuit of the best possible searcher experience. As the search giant explains in its ‘How Search Works’ documentation, that means understanding the intent behind the query and bringing back results that are relevant, high-quality, and accessible for consumers.

As if the constantly shifting search landscape weren’t difficult enough to navigate, content marketers are also contending with an increasingly technology-charged environment. Competitors are upping the stakes with tools and platforms that generate smarter, real-time insights and even make content optimization and personalization on the fly based on audience behavior, location, and data points.

Set-it-and-forget-it content optimization is a thing of the past. Here’s what you need to know to help your content get found, engage your target audience, and convert searchers to customers in 2023.

AI automation going to be integral for content optimization

Technologies-B2B-organizations-use-to-optimize-content

As the content battleground heats up, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance as a key source of intelligence. We’re optimizing content for humans, not search engines, after all – we had better have a solid understanding of what those people need and want.

While I do not advocate automation for full content creation, I believe next year – as resources become stretched automation will have a bigger impact on helping with content optimization of existing content.

CHATGPT

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful language generation model that leverages the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) architecture to produce realistic human-like text. With Chat GPT’s wide range of capabilities – from completing sentences and answering questions to generating content ideas or powering research initiatives – it can be an invaluable asset for any Natural Language Processing project.

ChatGPT-for-content

The introduction on ChatGPT has caused considerable debate and explosive amounts of content on the web. With ChatGPT, content marketers can achieve an extra edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content. It offers assistance with generating titles for blog posts, summaries of topics or articles, as well as comprehensive campaigns when targeting a specific audience.

However, it is important to remember that this technology should be used to enhance human creativity rather than completely replacing it.

For many years now AI-powered technology has been helping content marketers and SEOs automate repetitive tasks such as data analysis, scanning for technical issues, and reporting, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. AI also enables real-time analysis of a greater volume of consumer touchpoints and behavioral data points for smarter, more precise predictive analysis, opportunity forecasting, real-time content recommendations, and more.

With so much data in play and recession concerns already impacting 2023 budgets in many organizations, content marketers will have to do more with less this coming year. You’ll need to carefully balance human creative resources with AI assists where they make sense to stay flexible, agile, and ready to respond to the market.

It’s time to look at your body of content as a whole

Google’s Helpful Content update, which rolled out in August, is a sitewide signal targeting a high proportion of thin, unhelpful, low-quality content. That means the exceptional content on your site won’t rank to their greatest potential if they’re lost in a sea of mediocre, outdated assets.

It might be time for a content reboot – but don’t get carried away. Before you start unpublishing and redirecting blog posts, lean on technology for automated site auditing and see what you can fix up first. AI-assisted technology can help sniff out on-page elements, including page titles and H1 tags, and off-page factors like page speed, redirects, and 404 errors that can support your content refreshing strategy.

Focus on your highest trafficked and most visible pages first, i.e.: those linked from the homepage or main menu. Google’s John Mueller confirmed recently that if the important pages on your website are low quality, it’s bad news for the entire site. There’s no percentage by which this is measured, he said, urging content marketers and SEOs to instead think of what the average user would think when they visit your website.

Take advantage of location-based content optimization opportunities

Consumers crave personalized experiences, and location is your low-hanging fruit. Seasonal weather trends, local events, and holidays all impact your search traffic in various ways and present opportunities for location-based optimization.

AI-assisted technology can help you discover these opportunities and evaluate topical keywords at scale so you can plan content campaigns and promotions that tap into this increased demand when it’s happening.

Make the best possible use of content created for locally relevant campaigns by repurposing and promoting it across your website, local landing pages, social media profiles, and Google Business Profiles for each location. Google Posts, for example, are a fantastic and underutilized tool for enhancing your content’s visibility and interactivity right on the search results page.

Optimize content with conversational & high-volume keywords

Look for conversational and trending terms in your keyword research, too. Top-of-funnel keywords that help generate awareness of the topic and spur conversations in social channels offer great opportunities for promotion. Use hashtags organically and target them in paid content promotion campaigns to dramatically expand your audience.

Conversational keywords are a good opportunity for enhancing that content’s visibility in search, too. Check out the ‘People Also Ask’ results and other featured snippets available on the search results page (SERP) for your keyword terms. Incorporate questions and answers in your content to naturally optimize for these and voice search queries.

SEO-and-creating-content-in-2023

It’s important that you utilize SEO insights and real-time data correctly; you don’t want to be targeting what was trending last month and is already over. AI is a great assist here, as well, as an intelligent tool can be scanning and analyzing constantly, sending recommendations for new content opportunities as they arise.

Consider how you optimize content based on intent and experience

The best content comes from a deep, meaningful understanding of the searcher’s intent. What problem were they experiencing or what need did they have that caused them to seek out your content in the first place? And how does your blog post, ebook, or landing page copy enhance their experience?

Look at the search results page as a doorway to your “home”. How’s your curb appeal? What do potential customers see when they encounter one of your pages in search results? What kind of experience do you offer when they step over the threshold and click through to your website?

The best content meets visitors where they are at with relevant, high-quality information presented in a way that is accessible, fast loading, and easy to digest. This is the case for both short and long form SEO content. Ensure your content contains calls to action designed to give people options and help them discover the next step in their journey versus attempting to sell them on something they may not be ready for yet.

2023, the year of SEO: why brands are leaning in and how to prepare

Conclusion

The audience is king, queen, and the entire court as we head into 2023. SEO and content marketing give you countless opportunities to connect with these people but remember they are a means to an end. Keep searcher intent and audience needs at the heart of every piece of content you create and campaign you plan for the coming year.

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