In August 2018, Google’s John Mueller conducted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit.
During the course of the two hour session John received a number of intriguing questions from users.
One in particular was whether having multiple pages on the same topic, known as keyword cannibalisation could in fact hurt search rankings.
John responded with the following advice, that he personally prefers to see less pages with higher quality, than a higher number of pages:
We just rank the content as we get it. If you have a bunch of pages with roughly the same content, it’s going to compete with each other, kinda like a bunch of kids wanting to be first in line, and ultimately someone else slips in ahead of them :). Personally, I prefer fewer, stronger pages over lots of weaker ones – don’t water your site’s value down.
Whilst John’s response may not be in the most technical format, it does allude to the fact that competing pages aren’t positive in the eyes of Google.