Is Reddit the current champion of Google’s SERP Rankings? Maybe.

Midjourney’s interpretation of “Reddit at the top of the SERP results”

If you’ve been following SEO and search ranking updates lately from Google and others from the digital marketing crowd, you’ve probably have heard recently that Google has been favouring content from “user-generated sites.”

This also apparently includes any content that has a personal (or first-person) viewpoint.

Now, the potential for this to give smaller, niche blogs a boost is pretty evident. Anything where the author is writing from their own personal experiences or putting themselves into the story would seem like the most immediate beneficiaries, as opposed to, say, an ecommerce store or any blog that resorts to a more corporate speak style of voice.

However, the largest winner lately seems to be none other than Reddit.

The one-time self-styled front page of the internet is a massive community. Estimate range from 850 million monthly users and somewhere between 40 and 50 million daily ones.

While not all of those millions of users are producing content daily, many of them are – and by the nature of the site and its discussions, its almost entirely stories, experiences, and commentary written in the first person.

Anechdotally, I’ve noticed links from that site ranking more and more (and often higher and higher) than pretty much ever before. So I did a little test to see if it was largely in my head or if maybe rankings are starting to really favour that site.

For the first test, I tried a couple of Google searches about SEO that included the word “Reddit.”

Now, normally, if you include a brand name in the search Google gives it some priority, so you can expect to see content from them but also discussion from other sites, news, what have you.

In this case, my first assumption was that any of these searches might point me to either SEO or marketing blogs discussing the platform.

Instead, in almost all cases, the first 10-25 results were exclusively URLs from Reddit.

Take for example some of these searches:

  • is reddit a good site for seo
  • why do people use reddit
  • is google favouring reddit in search rankings
  • does google give reddit favourable rankings

Here are some screens that capture what the results were like.

t was a bit of an eye opener, if I can be honest, so I tried to test from some more angles.

The usually reliable “what are some sites like X” and then adding “Reddit” did a little better, but still had roughly 50% of the results coming from Reddit itself.

Another angle I tried was comparing searches to other brands and those from Reddit. In this case, I tested “is nike an unethical brand” – which seems to be a perennial question people ask the internet about shortly after discovering the origins of their shoes – and then the same thing for Reddit.

In the case of Nike, well, it looks like the rest of the world has something to say about this.

For Reddit, I stopped counting after about 30 results from Reddit.

Now, in all honesty, it’s probably because Nike’s checkered past (and ongoing present) is more of a news item that the same question about Reddit.

I tried another sarcastic search, this time asking “is reddit the worst site on the internet” and of the first 15 results, two were not from the platform:

  • 1x from Quora (a Q&A site that predominantly is told via first-person, and which I am frankly surprised did not appear more often.
  • x1 from the Steam forums (another source of user experiences).

This got me thinking. What about searching for video game related topic, such as with “what are the best videogames of 2024”.

Well… fortunately, most of the top results were rightly from major digital publishers such as GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, and their ilk.

But right there in the middle of the page was a Reddit discussion.

And not only that, but it ranked higher than several games-only focused publishers such as PCGamesN and Game Rant.

In sum, while this was no more than a selective survey, Reddit’s ranking power certainly seems to be on the rise.

Looking at the big picture, I can see a few things coming from this unless there is a change.

  • Reddit and its communities to grow even faster (why wouldn’t you join if more than half the results of any search come from there?)
  • People start using other search engines. If Google is basically just a glorified Reddit search, why not head over to Duck Duck Go or even TikTok for some variety in your content.
  • It’s probably already hurting a lot of smaller websites. Ones that are struggling to compete with Reddit.
  • It may be a long term win for the sites that are already using personal voices in their content over impersonal, robotic verbage.
  • Could it help prioritize real, human content over AI powered content? We’ll have to see – but hopefully!

By alexander

Drinker of bad wine and writer of many things. Alexander writes fiction, manages a team of SEOs, and dabbles in food history. He also has a Doctorate in North American Religion and Culture and used to teach at Concordia University.