Tracking and identifying the number 1 issue in search: Keyword cannibalisation
What is keyword cannibalisation?
Keyword Cannibalisation is when two or more pages within your site compete for the same search term. The conflict occurs when there is duplicate theming and Google can not determine which page should appear.
This usually happens for quite general terms that you don’t have a (strong) landing page for or indeed when a sub page or lower page gets more prominence than a landing page.
Chart: Position explorer chart, keyword cannibalisation, Site: The Daily Mail, Google UK
An example of this is the Daily Mail and their World Cup page. The Daily Mail had the right strategy by introducing a landing page based on the theme “World Cup”. However, the page was weak. Every new article the Daily Mail published about the World Cup would usurp the weak landing page.Therefore in the eyes of Google those article pages were stronger for the themed phrase “The World Cup” than the actual landing page. Therefore the strategy was good, but the execution was poor.