In lay terms “keyword cannibalism” is a situation where multiple pages are targeting the same keyword. Keyword cannibalism will not bring you a Google penalty, of course, but such a situation is not effective for bringing targeted traffic. When multiple pages target a keyword, it creates confusion for the search engines. You do not want to compete between your own pages when your real competitors are waiting for your rankings to fall.
Keyword cannibalism may also occur when social media pages gain rankings quicker than your website pages. Social media pages are often viewed as authoritative enough to replace your primary content in the search listings. Competing with your own social media profiles is not necessarily a bad situation to have.
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