SEO

Google And Reddit Are Killing It! (In Both Its Meanings)

Google and Reddit are killing it

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The blogging world is going through a storm, and no one knows how long it will last.

Many websites have plummeted in traffic since the September 2023 Helpful Content Update.

Google Helpful Content Update of September 2023 causing massive drops in website traffic

And now, with the new March 2024 Core Update, Google will raid and hit yet another batch of site owners publishing spammy and low-quality content (especially those using AI tools to automatically generate content at scale in order to game the system).

Reddit Sells API Access to Google

Things are getting worse since Google recently bought Reddit’s API access as a way to diversify its AI feed. This means that Google will soon be training its AI models on Reddit’s platform.

Earlier in 2024, the San Francisco-based company struck a deal with the search giant to allow access to the platform’s API, according to an exclusive by Reuters.

In a deal reportedly worth $60M per year, Google’s AI models will gain access to—and learn from—a massive dataset of diverse user-generated content, created by a reported 850 million monthly active users in 2023.

Considering that Reddit is already being given preference over smaller sites in the SERPs, I’m curious to see how the social platform will change as a result of this agreement.

Google and Reddit are killing it!

Google and Reddit high five cartoon

Google Is Killing It (In Both Ways)

Take this example:

When searching on Google for “best pre-workouts,” Forbes is at #1.

Google search for best pre workouts

After examining both articles, I found that number 2 clearly wins in terms of expertise, authority, personal experience, and other aspects.

And get this: the contributor author of Forbes is not an expert in this field.

Forbes author bio box Bailey Berg

On the other hand, the second position for this query was written on a website that falls into the sports niche and by a trusted and reviewed author.

Dr Krissy Kendall PhD author box

If you read both articles, you’ll see that the differences are huge in showing experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (what Google calls E-E-A-T).

The only thing that Forbes has is authoritativeness (but not in terms of the topic). Its domain rating (DR) is 94, while the GarageGymReviews has a DR of 67.

Forbes and GarageGymReviews DR compared

After all, backlinks are important, aren’t they?

And it doesn’t stop there!

Number 4 is also a Forbes article on the same topic! Keyword cannibalization, anyone?

It seems that Google is clearly killing blogging, at least the way we know about it. If you’re not a big media site, writing about competitive topics can be a waste of time.

On the other hand, Google is “killing it” in a positive sense. It’s getting rid of spammy sites on the SERPs and trying to serve only those it thinks are helpful.

We are in a conundrum of meanings: what’s helpful to you might not be to me. Fortunately, we have Google to decide for us (feel the irony).

Reddit Is Killing It Also

Yes, you probably have noticed how Reddit is climbing the search rankings at a steady pace.

As an example, typing “how to bypass AI detection” returns these results:

Google search how to bypass AI detection Reddit at first spot

Reddit, one of the most loved forums of all, is ranking #1 even though many websites are writing about the same topic with first-hand experiences to tell.

Here’s what I think is on Google’s mind:

"Forget websites and personal blogs! We have user-generated content in forums answering the questions our users are looking for. They're real people writing people-first content, and that's what we want."

We might as well just go to a Facebook group and search there. Why bother doing it on Google?

Besides, the forum doesn’t give clear answers—it’s just options and possibilities from random users trying to figure out a way to solve the question the user typed on Google in the first place to search for a reliable and final answer that personal blogs offer!!! Phew!

And here’s another problem with Reddit. Anonymous users can post pretty anything and recommend foolish things such as doing drugs (something Google wouldn’t approve, I guess), as you can see in this Twitter thread.

But there’s also another side to it.

By reading different perspectives from several people facing the same issue, I can find the answer I want. However, as an experienced forum user, I know this means going back and forth between different solutions with trial and error.

But if you go to a blog where its author shares their experience, you’ll get the final solution you sought. The author wouldn’t write it anyway if they didn’t have a solution.

This bears the question: Is Google mistaking people-first content for user-generated content?

By seeing Reddit ranking high, I’m sure it is.

Not only that, since the Helpful Content Update, LinkedIn has also started ranking high.

Google search how to bypass AI detection LinkedIn at second spot

Another question that pops up is, who cares if the user finds the answer in a forum or another website? I think no one, not even Google.

Does this mean small publishers won’t have a chance to make a living from blogging? I don’t think so—it’s getting harder, but it’s still possible.

I guess we’re going to see bloggers narrowing down their niches instead of going all over different topics, no matter how close they are to the original niche itself.

Becoming the authority is the key, and it’s probably best to have different websites for different topics rather than thrusting them all into one. The one-size-fits-all approach won’t work anymore. I could be wrong, though.

Vaslou is a passionate digital creator and blogger who loves to explore unique paths to generate online income. He’s also a musician, always looking for exciting paths to articulate his inventive spirit in the musical realm. When he’s not at work on his online endeavors, Vasco loves to delve into spiritual realms to become a better version of himself.

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