Search Engine Optimisation

Rise of Reddit

Reddit’s sudden surge in SEO visibility has left many in the digital marketing world intrigued. A year ago, the site hovered around the 80th position in SEO visibility on Today, it sits comfortably at number six. This dramatic rise, captured by the SISTRIX Visibility Index, has elevated Reddit’s score from 77 to a staggering 1,000 VI points, largely attributed to Google’s March Core Update.

Reddit’s ascent coincides with Google introducing the “Discussions and Forums” feature, where the platform consistently outshines authoritative websites in YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) keyword rankings. For instance, a Reddit result ranked prominently on Google’s first page when searching “how to lose 10 pounds in 1 week?” showcasing the platform’s newfound dominance in SEO.

Deal or No Deal?

Concerns about Reddit’s rising SEO visibility have been brewing in the digital marketing community. There are theories connecting this growth to Google’s recent $60 million annual partnership with Reddit. Although many marketers have avoided speculating too much, the surge in Reddit’s organic reach makes it difficult not to question potential influence.

Another possible explanation for Reddit’s growth is Google’s push to highlight “first-hand experience” content over generic, AI-generated information. This approach aligns with Google’s Helpful Content Update, aiming to spotlight quality personal experience content. Quora, another forum-style site, has also seen a significant rise in SEO visibility, supporting this hypothesis.

Despite the conspiracy theories floating around, it’s clear that Reddit has successfully capitalised on changes in Google’s algorithm and user behaviour. The trend suggests that forums and discussion platforms offering unique, firsthand perspectives may continue to enjoy a higher presence on Google’s search results.

Reputation Abuse

However, Reddit’s image is becoming increasingly tarnished. SEO spammers are taking advantage of Reddit’s platform by flooding it with affiliate links, while crypto enthusiasts dominate the moderation of many key subreddits, including r/seo. This has introduced new levels of toxicity and misinformation, causing many Reddit moderators to abandon their posts.

So, the perception that Reddit is the most authentic and uncorrupted platform on the internet (by some) may no longer hold true. This manipulation of site authority has prompted Google to announce a “Site Reputation Abuse” update scheduled to roll out on 5th May 2024. This update aims to curb such exploitative practices, but the battle to maintain the integrity of online platforms like Reddit remains an ongoing challenge.

Is it a Problem?

Any major change in the SEO landscape is worthy of investigation. We’re always on the hunt for opportunities that will give our clients an edge. Many keywords affected by Reddit’s rise are informational, research led or simply general FAQs – these differ greatly from the high-intent, commercial keywords we target for many of our clients. Using Reddit as a case study, we can openly see Google’s shift towards certain types of content which will help to inform our future strategies.

If you’d like to learn more about Reddit, the Helpful Content Update or any of marketing services, give us a call.

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