The Effect Of Optimising Multiple Pages On A Site For Very Similar Keyword Phrases

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Keyword research can be a tedious process, especially when trying to optimise your site for multiple keyword phrases. There are many facets that need consideration and an overall strategy needs to be developed in order to find the best results without losing time or resources.

“The Effect Of Optimising Multiple Pages On A Site For Very Similar Keyword Phrases” is a blog post that discusses the benefits of optimizing multiple pages for very similar keyword phrases. Read more in detail here: keyword cannibalization.

The Effect Of Optimising Multiple Pages On A Site For Very Similar Keyword Phrases


This is the first of a new series of blogs I’ve planned called “The Effect Of.”

“If you duplicate text across pages, that’s duplicate text,” says the narrator. It’s not that the sites are awful; it’s simply that the text is duplicated, and we’d have to choose one of them to display when someone searches for that content.” Google 2021, John Mueller

The graph above shows the impact of using extremely identical language to optimize several sites for the same keyword phrase (both phrases are synonyms, and to be accurate, single and plural occurrences of the “synonym”).

Google continues to provide cautionary statements:

QUOTE: “I believe your sites are in competition with one another…” Google 2021, John Mueller

Keyword cannibalization is another term for this.

When I say “synonym,” I’m referring to:

QUOTE “A word or phrase that signifies precisely or nearly the same in the same language as another word or phrase.” 2021, Oxford Languages

In reality, Google displayed either Page A or Page B in SERPs, with one ranking far lower than the other. Also, I’ve never seen a case where this method increased ranks or traffic.

It is always a ranking impact that is negative.

RECENT NOTE: I’m not sure how Indented listings affect this occurrence right now, but I felt it was worth mentioning.

I believe what this implies is that your rankings might be minus 10-100 (for example), e.g. rankings for certain synonyms, variants, or long-tail variations of a keyword synonym set that you have purposely dispersed among worse sites are impacted quite severely.

When you combine that effect with a doorway page arrangement, you can see the impact:

QUOTE “We just rank the stuff as it comes in.” If you have a handful of pages with essentially the same material, they’ll compete with each other…. and someone else will eventually overtake them:). Personally, I prefer fewer, stronger pages than a large number of inferior ones; don’t dilute the value of your website.” 2019: John Mueller

Important Points to Consider

I’m not referring to a change in Google’s searcher intent algorithm. This does not seem to be the case here.

The advice is straightforward: don’t optimize several pages of varying quality for the same keyword phrases.

I think:

  • Multiple sites optimized for the same keyword phrases and variants has a detrimental influence on your rankings and clicks for those keyword phrases and variations.
  • Multiple sites optimized for the same keyword, particularly with duplicated text content, may be a negative ranking factor, resulting in lower ranks.
  • Keep track of your standings. In rank monitoring, look for “Page Switching,” which involves significant jumps upward and lower in rankings for synonyms, or when two sites rank for the same phrases.
  • Page Switching in SERPS is a bad ranking impact created by SEOing numerous pages for the same term with duplicated or extremely identical material.
  • Page Switching is resolved by combining ranking signals for certain keyword phrases on one page (the most relevant, highest quality page), while also removing repeated material from lower quality sites (de-optimising Page B, in this experiment).
  • In these types of circumstances, consolidating ranking signals on one page offers the chosen page the highest probability of always ranking for keyword phrases at its top-ranking position, i.e. there is no page switch ranking impact.


“We’ll rate the stuff as we receive it,” Google said.

If you give Google two options for ranking a piece of important text content on your site, Google will choose one, and that’s usually not good for your rankings. When page B begins to rank in place of page A but at a much lower position than page A did, that means “your pages are competing with themselves”… and “someone else slips in ahead”…. in my example, 60+ can slip in ahead.

If you use shortcuts to rank higher in Google SERPs, Google reduces the ranks you would have had if you hadn’t. You have a detrimental impact on your own ranks.

In most cases, it made me think;

When you do this, Google does not penalize you. You are punishing yourself.

The “keyword cannibalization solutions” is the effect of optimizing multiple pages on a site for very similar keyword phrases. This can cause a decrease in rankings and traffic to your website.

Related Tags

  • should i use the same keywords on every page?
  • how to identify keyword cannibalization
  • how to avoid keyword cannibalization
  • keyword cannibalization semrush
  • keyword cannibalization seo

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