Internal competition

Writing a blog for a website is very important because it means you are doing search engine optimization. You do have to watch out for Internet competition. What is internal competition (also called keyword cannibalization ) and how do you prevent it? You can read about that here!

What is internal competition?

Internal competition is a term to denote multiple pages on a Web site with many similarities in content. When there is internal competition, it potentially exerts a lot of negative influence on organic findability.

Internal competition in practice

Setting up a website is sometimes trickier than you think. Putting a blog on a website or online store must meet a number of requirements when search engine optimization is your goal. For example, certain keywords should not appear excessively on multiple blogs, as this affects search results.(1)

Multiple blogs on the same topic and with the same keywords potentially creates internal competition and this enters the online findability in the search engine is not beneficial. In addition, it is also often better for the readability of texts to apply diversity in topics. It is therefore important to pay close attention to this when writing a blog for your website. (2)

The ways to counter internal competition

Internal competition occurs when different pages of your website compete for the same keywords. This can lead to confusion for search engines and ultimately have a negative impact on search results. Here are some strategies to combat internal competition:

StrategyExplanation
Search answer assignmentAssign unique primary keywords to each page of your site. This ensures that each page has a unique focus and purpose, and reduces the chance of overlap and competition.
301 RedirectsIf you find that multiple pages are competing for the same keyword, consider redirecting some of those pages to the most relevant or highest performing page.
Consolidation of contentConsider merging competing pages into one powerful page that provides thorough coverage of the topic. This can help increase the authority of that page and reduce competition.
Site restructuringIf cannibalization is a widespread problem, you may need to revise the structure of your website and organize it around distinct themes or topics, each with their own unique set of keywords.
Use of canonical tagsIf merging or redirecting pages is not an option, you can use a canonical tag to tell search engines which version of a page is the “official” version to be indexed.
Adjusting the internal link structureMake sure your internal links point to the most relevant pages for certain keywords. This helps search engines understand which pages are most relevant to particular searches.

Each of these strategies can be effective, but which one works best depends on your specific situation. It is important to regularly evaluate your SEO strategy and website performance to identify and address any issues with internal competition.

The impact of internal competition on SEO

Internal competition certainly impacts the SEO of a website or page, but not in a positive way. It causes the search algorithm to fail to distinguish between multiple pages, making the ranking not optimized. Thus, the effect of internal competition on SEO is actually counterproductive, so it is important not to lose sight of this. An SEO consultant will be happy to help you with this.

My advice

It is important to make sure that internal competition does not appear on your website so that you do not suffer from it.

We recommend making the pages on your website or webshop as unique as possible. Provide more diversity in keywords: using synonyms or specific terms to indicate something. Another solution is to merge multiple pages. Never delete existing pages to solve Internet competition.

Resources

  1. Handley, R. (2023, March 20). Keyword Cannibalization: How to Find, Fix, and Prevent It. Semrush Blog. https://www.semrush.com/blog/keyword-cannibalization-guide/
  2. Hardwick, J. (2024b, January 10). Keyword Cannibalization: What It (Really) Is & How to Fix It. SEO Blog By Ahrefs. https://ahrefs.com/blog/keyword-cannibalization/

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Internal Competition?

By internal competition within SEO, we mean that a website contains multiple pages whose content is largely similar. You need to avoid this because it can negatively affect your ranking in search results.

What is the impact of Internal Competition on SEO?

Internal competition directly impacts your website’s SEO, but in a negative way. It will contribute to a search engine’s search algorithm not being able to properly distinguish between pages. As a result, you will rank much lower in search results.

What are the consequences of internal competition?

From experience, I can tell you that setting up a website is sometimes more difficult than many people think. Suppose you want to introduce a blog on your website you need to know what your goal is and how you want to achieve it. Always be careful that keywords do not appear excessively on multiple blogs. This will otherwise affect the search results and that should be avoided.

If there is internal competition, it negatively affects the ranking of your website or page in the search engines. It’s something you don’t want to think about, but unfortunately many people encounter it anyway. It is better to avoid internal competition. This can possibly be done by merging pages that are very similar.

If you can’t figure it out, an SEO specialist can always look with you, too. I can then see where the internal competition occurred and how it can be resolved. But try to avoid it by carefully considering which pages you will set up and which you already have (make sure you have enough diversity).

How can I identify internal competition?

It may be that if you have multiple blogs on the same topic and also use the same keywords, then there is internal competition. But think further; it’s not always nice for readability, either. You need to apply diversity in the topics so that it also remains interesting and relevant to visitors when they read something. You can recognize internal competition itself.

With internal competition, you need to look carefully to see if that you have pages that are very similar to each other, what overlap do they have and is that perhaps too much? It is then important to change it quickly because it negatively affects your search engine results. You must be careful to create pages with unique texts and unique topics. If you have terms that are too similar, then your page will not be indexed and so you miss an opportunity.

I would advise you to watch out for internal competition, is it happening to you or do you think it is? Then you can always have an SEO specialist look at it with you. I’ll be happy to give you advice on how to solve this, or I’ll do it for you.

What is the best way to avoid internal competition?

When it comes to internal competition, I mean that there are many similarities in content on multiple pages of a website. This could potentially negatively impact ranking in search engines such as Google. Therefore, there is work to be done because this must be prevented but how best to prevent internal competition?

For starters, make sure you keep the pages on your website as unique as possible. Diversity in keywords plays a big role in this, remember to use synonyms. It can also help you work out what you want to do with your website and what pages you want to work on. This allows you to see in advance which pages are too similar and you can merge them in advance. A good way to try to avoid internal competition.

A good structure is important for any website. Therefore, know what you already have and what you still want. When in doubt whether it is too similar, it is better not to take a risk and choose a completely different subject, prevention is better than cure.

What is the best way to solve internal competition?

Should your site be subject to internal competition, it will impact the SEO of the page in question or your site. This prevents a search engine from distinguishing between multiple pages, resulting in unoptimized rankings. Therefore, my advice to you is to avoid internal competition. After all, you don’t want to experience the disadvantages.

Therefore, keep the pages on your website as unique as possible. Also make sure you have more diversity in keywords. I can give you some tips in that. Indeed, you might choose to use synonyms. Another option is to merge several pages. You should never remove existing pages to solve competition.

You may still be unsure what to do about internal competition, which is why an SEO specialist can also help. I know from experience what to do about this and am happy to explain it to you. In any case, one thing is certain, internal competition needs to be addressed and preferably as soon as possible.

Is it wise to engage a specialist as soon as I suspect internal competition?

Internal competition can be very tricky and have a big impact on how that ranks your website in the search engines. Therefore, my advice is to get something done about this quickly, and an SEO specialist like me can help you with that.

You may want to try to solve it yourself first, you could do this by merging pages and using synonyms. But it is no guarantee that everyone will succeed. Some people think too quickly that it is already good or suddenly stop because it takes a lot of time. The advice then is to outsource it to an SEO specialist.

The point is to resolve the competition so that all pages can be indexed. It will take some time and adjustments will have to be made, but it is for a good cause and then you will also get a better position in Google and other search engines.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
Five stars
My clients give me a 5.0 on Google out of 75 reviews

I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 3 April 2024. The last update of this article was on 3 April 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.

Articles you might like