Does having multiple similar pages cause problems for SEO? Can you write about the same topic many times and still get all those pages ranking? It can seem like a real conundrum, but there are solutions. In this post, we’ll consider the issues and options for getting multiple posts about the same topic to rank.
Can you cover the same topic twice in your blog? The simple answer is ‘yes’, you definitely can. But it’s worth thinking about whether that’s something you really want to do. It’s much easier to get your content ranking when you stick to one page per topic. If you really need to have multiple posts covering the same topic, it is possible to rank them all. You just need to make some careful adjustments.
What can go wrong with your SEO?
When creating multiple similar pages, there are a couple of issues that can arise: duplicate content, and keyword cannibalization.
When you have a lot of content similarity across multiple pages, search engines don’t know which one they should show in the search results. As a result, all of those pages can end up ranking lower than they otherwise would. This is known as a duplicate content problem.
Meanwhile, keyword cannibalization can occur even if the content on your pages is very different. If both posts target the same keyword, you can end up competing with yourself in the search results. Again, Google and other search engines won’t know which page to rank higher. Both pages can suffer as a result.
Can you avoid creating similar content?
Of course, the best way to avoid duplicate content and keyword cannibalization issues is not to create them in first place! It’s worth asking yourself these questions:
Firstly, do you really need multiple pages on this topic? Would it be possible to combine those posts instead? If you do need both pages to exist independently, do they both need to appear in the search results? You could set your preferred page as canonical if the others don’t need to rank. Or stop search engines from showing certain posts by noindexing them.
If you’ve decided it’s best to keep all of your similar pages, and you want them all to appear in the search results, then you need another solution. There must be some difference between your pages, if you’ve decided to keep them all separate, right? Thinking about why each post needs to exist can help you figure out what the difference is. And how to make that difference clear to search engines.
Think about long-tail keywords
Are your pages about different aspects of the same topic? Then you might want to think about targeting long-tail keywords, instead of having them all target one head keyword. Long-tail keywords can help you drill down into various related topics and subtopics, creating many more opportunities to rank. It also helps you to tailor your content to answer more specific questions and meet different needs. This can be a powerful strategy if you’re producing a lot of content around similar topics.
Same topic, different search intent?
If the topic is truly identical, maybe the difference is that each page targets a different search intent. For instance, one page might offer in-depth information about guitars, while another similar post exists for users to actually buy a guitar. Often, Google or other search engines can pick up on the search intent different pages will be suitable for (even when they target the same keyword). However, there is a better way to make sure they know the difference: schema!
Use schema to show the difference between similar pages
Structured data is a special kind of metadata for your posts. It gives search engines extra information to help them understand what each post is about. In the case of similar pages with different search intents, that can be a great solution.
Rather than relying on search engines to figure out that one page is an informative post about guitars, and another one is a sales page, you can just tell them what the difference is. By marking up the first post as an article and the other page as a product page, you can make each page’s purpose absolutely clear.
“But isn’t schema hard to get right?”
It’s true, working with Schema.org structured data can get very technical. But with Yoast SEO you don’t need to worry about that! Our plugins do all the hard work behind-the-scenes, so all you need to do is let us know what kind of page you have and fill in the gaps. Developed with some of the world’s top schema experts, you can rely on Yoast SEO to get your structured data right.
Tip: If you’re working with product pages, be sure to check out our WooCommerce SEO plugin. It comes with a whole bundle of schema dedicated to making sure your products stand out in the search results. Not a WooCommerce user? We have a Yoast SEO for Shopify app, too!
So there you have it: how to rank with multiple similar pages
As you can see, it is possible to rank with two very similar pages. But it can take some work! It’s always best to consider why you want to create similar content first. If you have good reasons, then it’s all about finding the difference between those pages, and making that difference clear to search engines. That’s really all there is to it!
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