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Establishing a 'root' services page and prevent pages competing with each other



New Member
I have a website with 5 different root service pages which I have optimised in the usual way (title, description, keywords in heading tags, alt tags in images etc). These pages were initially performing well. My client has since provided many case studies which I have added over the months, and Google is now pointing to some of these case studies instead of the services page on my targetted keywords, even though some case studies are tiny and contain little information.

Each case study I add:
- Has multiple occurrences of the keyphrase throughout the content and headings. So in effect does have similar information to the root service that it's referencing.
- Links to the main services page it represents by the service's keyword

So in effect, although the main services pages have LOTS of incoming links from the case studies, I can see that the case studies are competing with the services pages.

How do I get around this, so ideally all my main 5 services pages are found using the main keyphrases involved.

Should I simply not optimise the case studies and miss out the headings with keyphrases in them (so only the services page has all of these?)

An on page SEO checker told me that I should not use the targeted keyphrase as anchor text to the main service page in each case study.


Staff member
Established Memeber

Sounds like a classic case of keyword cannibalism.

Depending on the SEO person you'll find hefty debate as to whether keyword cannibalism even exists, I have recently had a change of heart in this regard. You have a few options typically.
  • 1. De-optimise the case studies for the main phrases especially in headings, titles and incontent mentions, maybe changing the phrases to a variant or LSI of the phrase that your primary landing pages do not target but still means the same thing. Keep internal linking appropriate and useful to the user experience.

  • 2. Redirect the case studies to the main landing pages. Really need to be decided on a case by case instance, not something we could recommend here without further detail but something to consider.

  • 3. Merge offending content with landing pages, making a better source of information if viable, redirecting the case study URL's after.
I've noticed this alot more especially in the situation you have described recently. I think that this is possible algorithmic change which may not be intended, but I guess we'll never know that for sure.

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