How Paraphrasing is Your Solution to Keyword Cannibalization?

keyboard cannibilization

Keyword cannibalization is one of the many problems that can plague websites and harm their overall performance when ranking in the SERPs. But, like every other problem, there are solutions for it, and there are measures that you can take to resolve it.

In this post, we’ll be taking a look at what keyword cannibalization is, what paraphrasing is, and how the latter is a solution for the former.

What is keyword cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is basically the problem that arises when two pages on the same website start ranking for the same keyword(s). 

When the pages start ranking for common keywords, they become their own competitors despite having the same parent website.

The pages start competing with one another to get a good rank on the keywords, and as a result, neither of them is able to perform well.

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing, on the other hand, is the simple act of rephrasing or restating something. When a piece of text is rephrased or changed using different words and phrases, but it conveys the same meaning (without any added or subtracted details), we call it paraphrasing.

The process of paraphrasing typically involves:

  1. Replacing the original words with their synonyms
  2. Breaking and merging sentences to make them look different
  3. Changing the structuring and arrangement of the sentences

And so on.

There are different ways in which paraphrasing can be done nowadays. You can do it the good old way i.e., by just making the changes yourself. 

Or you can take the easier route and use an online paraphrasing tool for it instead.

How does paraphrasing help with keyword cannibalization?

Now let’s talk about how paraphrasing is a good remedy to keyword cannibalization.

When you write the content for two different blog posts or pages, etc., they can start ranking for the same keywords even if the focus keyword you’ve added in the metadata is different for each. 

In other words, if the focus keywords are different, but the same types of LSI keywords or secondary keywords are used commonly and regularly in both of them, then they could still start cannibalizing.

You basically have to make sure that the primary and secondary keywords you use for each page are different.

If you have written some content for a web page and then you write some other content that starts using the same type of keywords as the first, you can try paraphrasing the latter. 

If the paraphrasing is thorough and heavy enough, the keywords in the content could get replaced with their synonymous variants.

This would, in turn, create enough diversity in both contents that they could rank on their own set of keywords without any cannibalizing issues.

How to effectively utilize paraphrasing as a remedy for keyword cannibalizing?

While paraphrasing is a good remedy and everything, it has to be done in a specific way when utilized as a solution for keyword cannibalizing. We’ll talk about some tips that you can follow for that below.

Focus on synonymizing

Normally, the process of paraphrasing involves a whole bunch of different steps, as we’ve mentioned above. 

However, when you’re trying to fix keyword cannibalization, you need to focus on the synonymizing part rather than everything else.

This is actually one of the trickier parts of paraphrasing – whether you’re using a tool or doing it yourself. You have to add and use synonyms that don’t have just the same meanings as the original words but also the same tenor and context.

You also have to take care not to change any words in the text that can’t logically be changed. For example, if there is a properoun mentioned i.e., like the name of a person or place, you can’t change that.

Here is an example of how a successfully synonymized piece of text looks like:

The accuracy of the study is not reliant on the number of people participating in it.

The accuracy of the research is not dependent on the number of individuals taking part in it.

Focus on changing the keywords in particular

When you’re paraphrasing as a way to fix keyword cannibalization in content, you have to focus on changing the keywords and replacing them with appropriate variations.

Technically, this is something that we could have talked about in the heading above i.e., about the whole synonymizing thing, but keyword variations go a bit beyond that.

In a lot of situations, variating a keyword can also mean lengthening or shortening it. For example, the keyword “best typing keyboards” can be substituted as “best keywords for typing in 20XX”, etc. They are variants of one another, but they’re not exactly synonyms.

You have to specifically focus on changing the keywords in the text because that is the whole purpose of using paraphrasing in this setting.

Here is what an example of this looks like:

If you are looking for used cars in Boston, head on over to our website. From second-hand luxury sedans to SUVs, we offer a range of automobiles that you can affordably purchase.

We’ve highlighted the keywords in the text above. Here is what a paraphrased version would look like:

If you are looking for second-hand cars in Boston, head on over to our website. From used luxury saloons to SUVs, we offer a range of automobiles that you can affordably purchase.

If you’re using a paraphrasing tool, pick a good one

There are two main ways to paraphrase text, whether it is for fixing cannibalization issues or whether it is for any other purpose. You can either do it yourself, or you can use a paraphrasing tool. 

There are upsides and downsides to both methods, but nowadays, thanks to the incorporation of AI in paraphrasing tools, they’re the safer and quicker way to go.

But, if you are using a paraphrasing tool, you have to make sure that you pick a good one. If you don’t pick the right tool, it could end up making the text worse instead.

Keeping the above in mind, there are three paraphrasing tools that we recommend using.

  1. Paraphrasing tool by

All of these tools are AI-based, and they have a lot of helpful features. Plus, they are all free to access and can be used indefinitely without any sort of signing up.


There you have it.

Keyword cannibalization is a problem that can arise – often without the webmaster realizing it. It has to be fixed so that the rankings of the web pages are not negatively affected.

In the post above, we’ve talked about how paraphrasing can be a good way to solve this problem. Be sure to follow the tips we gave above to get the most out of it.


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