I manage a serviced based website whereby we have lots of indexed pages and traffic continues to increase which is great.
However...for the big keyword terms I am getting the feeling we have too many 'similar pages' (not duplicate as everyone one is unique, but similar') that are holding rankings back, google will index one page one day and then the next day a page that is very similar and then back again and then down 5 positions and then back up again with the similar page. you get the idea
as a really simple example lets say you wanted to rank for 'debt management plan' (not the keyword I am going for just for illustration purposes) but i have one page for each of the following:
what is a debt management plan?
debt management plan advice and support
on reflection way to similar and both answer the query in the same way.
My gutt feeling is to take the page that is highest in my site architecture and the 301 redirect all the 'similar' pages to that page, get all this tidied up and basically not write any content again for something that is already answered and too similar elsewhere in the site.
Or is using a canonical tag on all the 'lower key' similar pages the better route to go?
Before I do this I just wanted some advice as to whether this is a good idea or not as it is not a usually duplicate content issue its a similar content issue.