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SEO has never been the same for a number of years now. Say an SEO company in India today has to employ newer SEO strategies with each passing year. One substance that has always been lurking though, is the thing they call Keyword Cannibalism.
Keyword cannibalization refers to the phenomenon where a website has to focus on multiple numbers of pages for the exact same keyword. As a result, it then wants the search crawlers to determine which page is more useful.
But search crawlers have a definitive algorithmic approach to base their results on, which means that they cannot efficiently decide which pages need to choose by themselves. This confusion can then exclude the pages from showing that perhaps you want. (the thesis is debatable and will be reviewed upon later)
Hence the name, since one keyword feasts on another one by getting an edge over it, which sometimes isn’t deserved. Digital Marketing services also these days take note of it for a number of objectives.
At this point, it should be clear that Keyword Cannibalization ( from here on KC) isn’t the desired entity, but in recent years, many people look at it as an opportunity, but first let’s discuss the widely accepted harmful consequences it leads to-
1. Poor content gets picked: An obvious bad influence of KC is believed to be that it can lead to poorly constructed and structureless content seeing the light of day.
Of course, all search engines want their viewers to be viewing the cream of the crop when it comes to content, but that becomes difficult to deliver when one keyword focuses on a number of pages.
2. Declining conversion rates: Another apparent scenario to arise with KC is that some websites greatly benefit from it compared to others, and it is akin to a group of kids waiting in line in front of an ice cream truck. If the number of bars left is 5 for 10 kids out there, then it goes without saying some would be left empty-handed.
So the websites that would be ignored will suffer from plummeting conversion rates here.
3. Unrelated content gets displayed: Sometimes when KC occurs, even title tags in the meta description can target the same keywords. This can then lead to a scenario where a content not entirely in relation to your search can achieve higher page ranking.
4. It affects linking: Generating both the external as well as internal links gets typical with the emergence of KC. Again, when a keyword has multiple pages to consider, the influence of linking gets diluted.
As mentioned earlier, it is still a debate on whether search engines do actually get confused when choosing appropriate content to show, and Google unsurprisingly has dismissed the thesis every time.
But what’s rather interesting to note here is the other side of the spectrum. The current vision sees it more as an opportunity to expand your viewer base and that is the case because-
1. Your traffic increases: Naturally, when a website generates similar content over two similar topics, the thing gets sweeter. So for two pages that rank for the same keyword, there’s a chance to double your traffic as a website.
2. It boosts your search visibility: When a number of keywords with higher rankings are involved, it upsurges the overall visibility for your website. So maybe think of KC as a Robin hood but with mood swings. As it benefits you sometimes and other times, you wish the thing never existed.
But if you aren’t convinced that Keyword Cannibalism is actually a bad thing and serves you no purpose, then there are a number of steps you can take in order to avoid it.
1) Eliminate Similar title tags
2) Reorganize your content structure etc.
Conclusion: So while Keyword Cannibalizing has often been looked at as an evil doer, many users today still argue if it actually exists (it does). Even the ones who do, are starting to look at it as a breakthrough chance to take their website to the next level. So in the end, maybe you can call it a necessary evil.
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