Episode 47 – The One About Duplicate Content and Keyword Cannibalization

This week, instead of pointing to the latest SEO news, we’re going to talk about Keyword Cannibalization, and want to share a great article that breaks it down, from Joshua Hardwick at ahrefs.

Amber’s favorite part of the article:

Keyword cannibalization is when a single website (e.g. ahrefs.com) unintentionally targets the same keyword across multiple posts or pages.

Many SEOs believe that this “confuses” Google.

In other words, they believe that it becomes difficult for Google to decipher which page (if any) should rank for a particular keyword. As a result, sometimes neither page will rank for the target keyword.

This is usually incorrect.

I’ll let Patrick Stox, a columnist at Search Engine Land, explain why:

I’ve heard arguments where people say having multiple pages for the same term somehow confuses search engines. This whole idea is preposterous. Search engines know what is on individual web pages. Other people think there are times when Google shows the wrong page for a search term, but that’s not right, either. What you consider your best, most relevant page for a query may not be what the search engines deem to be most relevant. Search intent is critical here. If your page doesn’t have relevant information or is surrounded by informational “how to” articles or pages from Wikipedia, there is a high likelihood your pages aren’t going to show.”

So let’s talk about turning this entire idea on its head. How do you plan your content to support ranking higher, instead of the idea of cannibalization, which supports the theory that you’d drag yourself down?

Now let’s talk about duplicate content. Rumors are making their way through the groups again that syndication will cause you to be dinged for duplicate content. 

  • What is Syndication?
  • How do you do it correctly?
  • What if the site I syndicate to outranks me?

Jill Castle – jillcastle.com

I have a handful of recipes that are missing “aggregate rating” — I seem to remember Amber Bracegirdle saying we could rate our own recipes on a past episode. When I go to do that, Google asks for name/email/comments…it seems weird to rate my own recipe and put my own name in there…(if I’m to do this the honest way) — should I care about no ratings? Should I go ahead and rate myself (5 stars haha) and skip filling out the details?

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/review-snippet

https://schema.org/AggregateRating

Amber’s Note: The bottom line is, there don’t seem to be any guidelines that a rating has to start at 0 and move up, or start at 5 and move down, but what we do know is that Google wants you to have ratings. 

From this page, we see:

If the recipe structured data contains a single review, the reviewer’s name must be a valid person or organization. For example, “50% off ingredients” is not a valid name for a reviewer.”

Keep in mind that Reviews and Ratings are two different things. Just like on Amazon, where you can leave a star rating without leaving an actual text review. If you decide to add a Review in addition to your Rating, I would absolutely advocate for disclosing that you are the author, and why you feel the recipe or craft is rated the way you did. 

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