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How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalization – ReadWrite

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Nate Nead


Search engines are one of the most commonly used tech tools in the world, with the vast majority of the global internet-connected population conducting dozens of searches each day. That’s why so many business owners have turned to the power of search engines, with strategies like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising, to promote their businesses.

But if you’re not careful, your best search-focused efforts can result in redundancies, ultimately costing you time and money without a resulting boost in your bottom-line results.

A key example of this is keyword cannibalization. But what exactly is it, and how can you avoid falling victim to it?

What Is Keyword Cannibalization?

In the digital marketing world, both SEO and PPC advertising strategies rely on keywords and keyword phrases as their foundation. When people conduct searches, they type specific queries into the search bar; targeting the appropriate user queries can help you reach the right audience, avoid competition, and establish greater relevance for specific user intentions simultaneously.

Keyword cannibalization occurs when some aspect of your strategy, such as an ad campaign or a piece of onsite content, encroaches on the keyword territory of another aspect of your strategy. Note that this isn’t an issue with competitors; this is an example of your own content competing with itself.

It’s easiest to understand keyword cannibalization with an SEO example. Let’s say you have a piece of onsite content that’s currently at position 6 for the term “custom skateboard wheels,” and another piece of content is ranking at position 8. Instead of one central, defining piece ranking highly, you’ve effectively split your resources for this keyword term, resulting in two inferior pieces.

In the world of PPC advertising, the concept of keyword cannibalization is similar, but distinct, because there are multiple types of cannibalization that can occur.

  •         Keyword overlap. If you have multiple sets of ads targeting the same keywords or groups of phrases, neither of those ad groups will reach their maximum efficiency.
  •         Geographic overlap. You can also run into a problem if you’re running ads for two geographic areas that overlap; for example, you can run an ad in Cincinnati and one in Ohio, but because Cincinnati is a city in Ohio, you may run into some conflicts.
  •         SEO and PPC overlap. While it’s possible to benefit from having both a dominant piece of organic ranking content and a paid ad on the same page, for the most part, you want to avoid SEO and PPC overlap.

Keyword cannibalization can be a major problem because:

  •         Detraction from your best pages. If you have an exemplary piece of content you want to show off at the highest rankings, any encroachment from inferior content could detract from it, weakening its potential.
  •         Ranking loss. You know that rankings matter, but you may not realize just how important it is to reach rank one. If you have a secondary page competing for SERP space with a primary page, neither will be able to reach its full potential; in turn, you’ll likely suffer a loss of organic traffic.
  •         User confusion. If a user conducts a search and sees two different pieces of content from your site, how should they know which one to choose? At best, you’ll have confused users. At worst, they could end up on a page you don’t want them to see.
  •         Wasted time, money, and effort. The biggest problem is that keyword cannibalization results in wasted time, money, and effort. Your secondary, encroaching pages won’t hold much value, but you’ll take time and spend money creating them. Similarly, your infringing paid ads won’t provide much value, even though you’re paying full price for them.

Keyword Cannibalization: Is It Always an Issue?

Is keyword cannibalization always a bad thing?

Strictly speaking, no, and we can prove this with a simple thought experiment. If you have two pieces of content ranking at positions 1 and 2 for a given query, they’re not really compromising each other’s ranking or traffic potential. In fact, if the keyword is valuable enough, it might be better to rank at 1 and 2 for that term, rather than trying to reach rank 1 for a separate query.

That said, most cannibalization issues don’t play out this favorably.

Researching and Planning: The Ultimate Way to Prevent Keyword Cannibalization

How do you avoid keyword cannibalization?

The best approach is to be diligent in your research and planning. If you’ve thoroughly researched and organized the keywords and phrases you want to target, you shouldn’t have multiple pieces of content competing for the same terms.

These should be your biggest priorities:

  •         One keyword or phrase per page. For the most part, you should have one unique target keyword or phrase for each page of your site, and no more than one. It’s fine to work with semantic variations and use multiple pages to boost the relevance of your entire domain for a specific keyword, but you shouldn’t have multiple pages competing for the same terms.
  •         Quality over quantity. Your content should be focused on quality, rather than quantity. Instead of optimizing many different pages for a single target, you should focus on creating the best possible piece of content (or ad) for each target phrase.
  •         Carefully balanced SEO and PPC efforts. SEO and PPC are often described as totally separate strategies, but they share some interesting synergies. Try to cover as much SERP ground as possible by making your SEO and PPC targets complementary.
  •         A deliberately orchestrated PPC strategy. You’ll also need to work hard to plan and balance your PPC strategy. Avoid all forms of overlap to maximize your potential.

Detecting a Keyword Cannibalization Problem

You don’t need any advanced coding skills to detect a keyword cannibalization problem. Instead, you can simply examine your current keyword rankings using a third-party tool. You can discover instances of keyword ranking overlap and identify the pages responsible for the problem.

You can also review your research documentation or your ad campaigns to see if you’ve intentionally targeted the same keyword with multiple pieces of content.

Correcting a Keyword Cannibalization Problem

If you do find a keyword cannibalization issue, there are several options for how you can fix it. Your first goal is to determine which piece of content is your main target and which one is secondary.

Then, you can practice:

  •         Deletion. Simply delete the secondary page. It’s the simplest option, but potentially the least valuable.
  •         Noindexing. You can use backend tags to ensure Google doesn’t index your secondary page.
  •         Reset keyword targeting. Edit or completely rewrite the secondary page so that it targets a different phrase.
  •         Combination. Combine the competing pieces of content into one comprehensive piece. Your biggest priority here should be ending up with a highly polished, attractive final product.
  •         Campaign adjustments. Tweak your PPC ad campaign settings to avoid overlap.

The Importance of Regular Audits

No matter what, it’s a good idea to audit your SEO, PPC, and other digital marketing strategies on a regular basis to see if there are any persistent keyword cannibalization or other issues with your website. At least once every few months, take a look at your current rankings, your index of content, and the structure of your site; you can also hire a third party to take care of these responsibilities. It’s an opportunity to refocus your campaign strategy, weed out content that isn’t serving your end goals, and revisit and/or improve the remaining content on your site.

With the help provided in this guide, you should be able to identify and remediate any keyword cannibalization issues currently faced by your website. You should also have no trouble preventing keyword cannibalization from arising in the future. There’s no such thing as a perfect approach, so minor keyword cannibalization issues may continue arising now and then – but it won’t be anything powerful enough to derail your campaign. 

 

Nate Nead

Nate Nead is the CEO & Managing Member of Nead, LLC, a consulting company that provides strategic advisory services across multiple disciplines including finance, marketing and software development. For over a decade Nate had provided strategic guidance on M&A, capital procurement, technology and marketing solutions for some of the most well-known online brands. He and his team advise Fortune 500 and SMB clients alike. The team is based in Seattle, Washington; El Paso, Texas and West Palm Beach, Florida.

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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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