Monday, July 22, 2024

Is Google Prioritizing Opinions Over Expertise?

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Is Google Prioritizing Opinions Over Expertise?


Reddit’s website traffic has grown 39% compared to the previous year, according to data from Similarweb.

This growth seems fueled by Reddit’s increased visibility in Google search results.

Why is Reddit growing so fast, and what does this mean for businesses and SEO professionals?

Here’s our take on it.

Why Is Reddit Growing?

Several factors, including Google prioritizing “helpful content” from discussion forums in a recent algorithm update, have likely contributed to Reddit’s improved search rankings and visibility.

A report from Business Insider indicates that more people are now finding Reddit through Google searches than by directly visiting the reddit.com website.

Mordy Oberstein, Wix’s Head of SEO, shared recent data showing a consistent increase in the share of Reddit sources appearing in Google’s Discussion and Forums SERP feature.

Lily Ray, Senior Director of SEO and Head of Organic Research at Amsive Digital, tweeted about Reddit’s increased visibility in Google search results.

She noted that Reddit appeared in “Discussions and Forums” for various medical queries in recent weeks but not anymore today.

Ray also observed that the number of Discussion and Forum features with multiple Reddit URLs has decreased slightly over the past months.

Google’s $60 Million Deal with Reddit

Google recently signed a $60 million deal to license Reddit data for AI products.

The timing of the deal and Reddit’s search growth raise questions.

Google has denied a direct connection between the deal and Reddit’s search visibility, but the coincidence is notable.

Implications For Marketers & SEO Professionals

Reddit’s newfound dominance in Google search results presents business challenges and opportunities.

Challenges

Roger Montti, a staff writer for Search Engine Journal, raises concerns about the expertise and trustworthiness of Reddit content:

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

“Opinions shared on Reddit by people who lack expertise and are sharing opinions in anonymity qualify as dubious. Yet Google is not only favoring Reddit in the search results, it is also paying millions of dollars for access to content that is lacking in expertise, experience, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.”

This is challenging because it means your expert-written content could get outranked by the opinions of anonymous Reddit users.

Opportunities

Search Engine Journal owner Brent Csutoras offers a more optimistic view, believing marketers should lean into Reddit’s newfound prominence.

In the article “Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit,” Csutoras states:

“If your brand has something meaningful to say and is interested in truly connecting with your audience, then yes, you should be on Reddit.”

However, Reddit’s community-driven nature requires a delicate approach, Csutoras adds:

“Reddit communities can be highly negative toward self-serving promotion. But if you put in the effort and solve people’s needs and problems, Reddit has the potential to be a high-performance channel.”

Why SEJ Cares

SEO professionals and marketers should be mindful that expert-written resources could be outranked by Reddit threads that reflect personal opinions rather than authoritative information.

However, by providing genuine value and respecting Reddit’s community guidelines, businesses may be able to leverage the platform’s prominence for increased visibility and audience engagement.


Featured Image: rafapress/Shutterstock





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