There is a hypothesis about Google’s ‘content cannibalization penalty’ which is commonly discussed in social media and blogs.
The case studies related to this scenario are real because when you remove bad content, you start getting your website ranked again. But is it really the case of penalty?
Can’t it be the case in which the web page just doesn’t rank? In this article, we will try to cover the difference between this so-called ‘penalty’ and the idea about what search engine algorithm can do.
Is content cannibalization a penalty?
Talking about the penalty, it’s something which involves discussion about search engine algorithms. In fact, this discussion about penalty turns into discussion about algorithm quite sooner.
Here, majority of people believe that search engines do not work openly and their objectives are secret. The SEOs and marketers have to observe things in order to know the impact of certain actions. This is not true. Search engines work openly and they convey things promptly. Here is something which Google says in this regard.
“Google publishes hundreds of research papers each year. Publishing is important to us; it enables us to collaborate and share ideas with, as well as learn from, the broader scientific community. Submissions are often made stronger by the fact that ideas have been tested through real product implementation by the time of publication.”
Pop SEO basics
People working on pop SEO usually consider things which make some sense. As a result, they like to talk about things without giving references. Thus, it has been commonly observed that such SEOs almost never cite links to prove what they say is right.
If we look at this approach from an unbiased angle, it makes sense that you should research more and develop logic before writing it down. This way, you will be able to write about things by describing the reasons and logic behind their occurrences. However, all this mentioning and describing doesn’t move beyond an act of hypothesis which has the tendency to be proved wrong anytime. The major difference between a hypothesis and a concept is that hypothesis is based on observation and guess work; on the other hand, a concept is purely based on solid evidences. Google prefers the latter one.
What difference does it make?
Guessing what search engines do and knowing what they do are quite different things. When you make a guess about algorithms and develop your strategy based on this guess, it’s called pop SEO strategy and it has the tendency to not staying true to certain terms of search engine. Hence, you can go deep down in ranking. One thing worth mentioning here is that pop SEO doesn’t involve something which is banned by Google. For instance, low quality and spam approach can get you a penalty by Google. This is what pop SEO would say too. But it might not be able to cover the current changes in algorithm due to which you may not be able to catch up with the updates about ranking factors. Hence, you may get demoted with this approach. This demotion is not a penalty. You can just trim the fat related to content or you can make the content complying with the new rules to regain your position.