OpenAI & Google Are in Love With Reddit – Here’s Why & What It Means

Why Trust Techopedia

Reddit must be feeling very flattered right now — OpenAI and Google have both signed multi-million dollar deals with the community network to use its user posts for artificial intelligence (AI) training data.

Simultaneously, if you are a regular internet user, you are likely to have noticed Reddit posts floating to the top of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Google announced in 2022 its intention to finetune its search results by sieving out spammy or unoriginal content from its SERP as well as its intention to bring generative AI to search through Gemini.

Following these major algorithm tweaks by Google, Reddit posts are now experiencing a surge in visibility.

While this step could help users access original and interactive content faster, many question its implications for the future of SEO practices and digital content marketing — let alone the millions of Redditors out there.

This Techopedia article examines Reddit’s prominence in Google search results and Google’s stance on the matter.


Key Takeaways

  • The partnership between Reddit, OpenAI, and Google brings Reddit user data into AI — and has propelled Reddit posts to the top of Google searches.
  • This surge in visibility is attributed to Google’s preference for user-generated content and its data deal with Reddit.
  • Reddit’s active discussions provide fresh, relevant content favored by search algorithms.
  • The partnership signifies a shift in SEO strategies, favoring human-centered content over traditional SEO optimization and is an opportunity for content creators — but brings problems to SEO teams.
  • The full impact on Redditors and SEO best practices remains to be seen.

What Drives Reddit’s Posts to the Forefront of Google Search Results?

The secret sauce that drives Google’s search algorithm is as famously guarded as the recipe for Coca Cola. So while Google has not offered any explanations as to why Reddit’s forum-like content now ranks high on Google search outcomes, this development, according to many SEO experts is likely influenced by the following reasons:

Google’s New Preference for Human-Centered Content

Reddit thrives on user-generated content across various niches and topics. Google search engine is now prioritizing fresh and relevant content, and Reddit’s constant stream of new posts, comments, and discussions provides a treasure trove of information for search engine crawlers.

Users often have a sense of trust and reliability on Reddit posts since most ideas originate from real-life individuals sharing their opinions and experiences.

For example, a Reddit thread discussing the latest advancements in artificial intelligence might contain insights and updates not yet covered by mainstream publications, and this makes it more appealing to search engine crawlers to pick it up to the top page when keywords related to AI are detected in the search.

Keyword Optimization

While Reddit posts may not be directly optimized for search engines like traditional web pages, they often contain relevant keywords and phrases naturally woven into the discussion.

Reddit’s search functionality relies heavily on keywords, tags, and user-generated titles to categorize and retrieve content. When users search for specific topics or questions on Google search engine, well-optimized Reddit posts that match their queries may be favored to appear first in the search results.

Reddit’s Community Engagement and Self-reinforcing Feedback Loop

People are now seeking out firsthand experiences and genuine conversations over traditional authority-based sources.

The mutual interaction between Reddit and Google may have kicked off a self-reinforcing loop pattern that draws users into Reddit posts via the search results. Posts that receive numerous upvotes, comments, and shares signal to search engines that the content is popular and potentially valuable to users.

This increased visibility in SERPs draws more traffic to the post, boosting engagement. This cycle continues to go on and on and as such, leads to broader visibility and engagement back to the Reddit system.

Data is King: Reddit’s New Data Sharing Deal With Google and OpenAI

Some also attribute Reddit posts’ recent upward visibility in Google searches to Google’s data deal with Reddit. Bloomberg reported last February that Reddit signed a new deal to sell its data to an AI company which later turned out to be Google for $60 million per year.

With this deal, Google has gained access to Reddit’s data API which provides real-time, structured, and exclusive content that aligns with the search intent of many internet users. Google, in a blog post confirming the partnership, said the move would enable it have access to Reddit’s Data API and depend on it to deliver authentic content based on human conversations and experiences.

This data will also play an important role in improving Google search algorithms and in training AI models to comprehend and process human language efficiently, thereby making it easier for AI to respond to complex user queries.

Naturally, there is gold in that data, so OpenAI did not want to be locked out. On May 16, 2024, OpenAI also announced a partnership with Reddit,

OpenAI will bring Reddit content to ChatGPT, accessing Reddit’s data application programming interfaces (APIs) in a deal expected to be worth the same as Google’s.

In return Reddit moderators will gain access to as yet undisclosed AI-enhanced moderation tools.

Will Reddit’s Content Alter the Landscape of SEO Practices?

Following Reddit’s place on Google search results, one might be tempted to ask what the implications might be for standard SEO-optimized content on web pages. Will Google’s new-found romance with Reddit be the end of current SEO strategies?

Well, it’s safe to assume that the partnership between Reddit and Google is disruptor for SEO on the largest search engine.

Google wants to focus its search algorithm in a way that prioritizes user-generated content found on discussion pages over any other website content. This means informative content from human conversations and experiences, which can be found in their numbers on platforms like Reddit and Quora communities could become more crucial for SEO ranking.

For marketers and content creators alike, the evolving relationship between Reddit and Google could also offer opportunities to improve their content strategies. They could leverage Reddit’s broad discussions to enhance their content’s alignment with Google E.E.A.T principles.

However, some challenges might occur with this development. Critics suggest that this partnership may lead to SEO manipulation patterns on Reddit.

If this happens, it will undermine the originality of search results, and also be painful for Reddit users — raising critical questions about the measures Google plans to put in place to checkmate such practices.

While there are genuine reasons to entertain these concerns, Google is adamant about its strategy. This was contained in a March announcement where the tech giant claimed it was ready to pick off spammy content from search results.

In April, Google added: “As of April 19, we’ve completed the rollout of these changes. You’ll now see 45% less low-quality, unoriginal content in search results versus the 40% improvement we expected across this work.”

The Bottom Line

Reddits upward ranking on Google searches isn’t a coincidence. The community structure, the constant engagements, discussions, and data deal with Google have all contributed to its clear success on search engines.

While this development unfolds, content marketers may need to find a way to adapt their content to reflect Google’s preference for content based on human conversation, experience and authenticity.

Although the E.E.A.T principle remains a good approach to ensure quality and search engine-friendly content, Google is now rewarding original user-generated content, and that makes it a good year for Reddit as a company.

Whether it will be helpful for Redditors remains to be seen.


Related Reading

Related Terms

Franklin Okeke
Technology Journalist
Franklin Okeke
Technology Journalist

Franklin Okeke is an author and tech journalist with over seven years of IT experience. Coming from a software development background, his writing spans cybersecurity, AI, cloud computing, IoT, and software development. In addition to pursuing a Master's degree in Cybersecurity & Human Factors from Bournemouth University, Franklin has two published books and four academic papers to his name. His writing has been featured in tech publications such as TechRepublic, The Register, Computing, TechInformed, Moonlock and other top technology publications. When he is not reading or writing, Franklin trains at a boxing gym and plays the piano.