Is Google Valuing Opinions More Than Expertise?

  • June 19, 2024
  • SEO
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According to data from Similarweb, Reddit has experienced a 39% increase in website traffic compared to the previous year.

This significant growth appears to be driven by elevated visibility of Reddit in Google search results.

What factors are contributing to Reddit’s rapid growth, and what are the implications for businesses and SEO professionals?

Here is our detailed analysis.

Why Is Reddit Experiencing Rapid Growth?

Several factors contribute to Reddit’s rising prominence. One key aspect is Google’s recent algorithm update that prioritizes “helpful content” from discussion forums, enhancing Reddit’s search rankings and visibility.

A report by Business Insider reveals that an increasing number of users are discovering Reddit through Google searches rather than by directly visiting the website.

Mordy Oberstein, Head of SEO at Wix, corroborates this trend with data showing a steady rise in the presence of Reddit in Google’s “Discussion and Forums” search result feature.

Lily Ray, Senior Director of SEO and Head of Organic Research at Amsive Digital, similarly highlighted Reddit’s rise in Google search visibility. She pointed out a period where Reddit appeared frequently in “Discussions and Forums” for medical queries, though this has diminished recently.

She also noted a slight decrease in the number of Discussion and Forum features that include multiple Reddit URLs over recent months.

Google’s $60 Million Agreement with Reddit

Google has entered into a $60 million deal to license Reddit data for its AI products. The timing of this agreement alongside Reddit’s search visibility growth raises intriguing questions.

Google has denied any direct link between the deal and Reddit’s heightened search presence, but the timing certainly invites scrutiny.

Implications for Marketers and SEO Professionals

The rise of Reddit in Google’s search landscape introduces both challenges and opportunities for businesses.

Challenges

Roger Montti, a staff writer for Search Engine Journal, highlights concerns regarding the credibility of Reddit content:

In his article, “Let’s Be Real: Reddit In Google Search Lacks Credibility,” Montti states:

“Opinions shared on Reddit by individuals who lack relevant expertise and share their views anonymously are dubious. Yet, Google is not only prioritizing Reddit in search results, but also investing millions to access content that lacks expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.”

This scenario is problematic as it implies that expert-authored content might be overshadowed by anonymous opinions on Reddit.

Opportunities

Conversely, Brent Csutoras, founder of Search Engine Journal, offers a more positive perspective. He suggests that marketers should capitalize on Reddit’s rising prominence.

In his article “Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit,” Csutoras asserts:

“If your brand has something meaningful to say and aims to truly connect with your audience, then yes, you should be on Reddit.”

However, Csutoras cautions that Reddit’s community-driven environment demands a nuanced approach:

“Reddit communities can be highly critical of overtly self-promotional content. Yet, if you invest efforts in addressing people’s needs and problems genuinely, Reddit can become a high-performance channel.”

Why Search Engine Journal Cares

SEO professionals and marketers need to recognize that authoritative, expert-written content might be outperformed by Reddit discussions that lack official credibility.

Nonetheless, by genuinely contributing value and adhering to Reddit’s community guidelines, businesses can leverage the platform’s growing influence for better visibility and audience interaction.


Featured Image: rafapress/Shutterstock

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