Eliminate Keyword Cannibals

This happens all the time:

You publish a short article targeting a specific keyword. Like “toys for big dogs”.

Then, a few years later, you launch a big buyer’s guide on the same subject.

Now you have two different pieces of content that are targeting the same keyword. They’re “Keyword Cannibals”, competing with each other. And neither one ranks well on Google or brings in much search traffic.

You can solve this cannibalization problem by combining those two pages’ content into one. And you’ll often get a lot more traffic from the new, combined version.

Here’s how to do it:

Step #1: Decide which page is the “loser” and which is the “winner”. You’ll keep the URL of the winner, so that’s one good way to decide: which one has the better, more keyword-targeted URL?

You can also consider which one is currently ranking better and which one has more backlinks. But you’ll be redirecting from the loser to the winner anyway, which makes those factors less important.

Step #2: Move any useful content from the losing URL to the winning one. ​​Next, you’ll actually combine the content. Just take the best parts of the losing piece of content and fold them into the winning piece, in a natural way.

This step may not be necessary if the content on the winning URL is already super thorough. But other times, you may want to completely replace the content on the winning URL. The point is not to throw away good content that’s helping you rank.

Step #3: Set up a 301 (“permanent”) redirect from the losing URL to the winning one. This final step is critical. You’ll need to set up a 301 redirect from the losing URL to the winning one.

After setting up the redirect, anyone who tries to go to the losing URL will instead get sent to the winning one. The redirect also tells Google to give the ranking power of both pages to the winning page alone.

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