Reddit post hits Google in 5 minutes
7 mins read

Reddit post hits Google in 5 minutes

Google's Danny Sullivan disputed claims made in a Reddit discussion that Google favors Reddit in search results. But one Reddit user's example proves that it's possible for a Reddit post to hit the top ten search results within minutes and actually move up to #2 a week later.

Discussion about Google preferring Reddit

A Reddit user (gronetwork) complained that Google is sending so many visitors to Reddit that the server is struggling to keep up with the load, and shared an example that proved it can take just a few minutes for a Reddit Post ends up in the top ten.

This post was part of a 79-post Reddit thread in which many in the R/SEO subreddit complained about Google's perceived preference for Reddit over reputable sites.

The person who ran the test (gronetwork) wrote:

“…The website is already broken (server down, double posts, comments not showing) because there are too many visitors.

…It only takes a few minutes (you can test it) for a post on Reddit to appear in Google's top ten results for keywords related to the post title… (while I have to wait months for one Article on my website is referenced). Do the math, the whole world will be spamming here. The loop is complete.”

Reddit post ranked within minutes

Another Redditor asked if he had tested whether it took “a few minutes” to get into the top ten, and gronetwork replied that he had tested it with a post titled “Google SGE Review.”

gronetwork posted:

“For example, yes, I previously created a post called “Google SGE Review.” After less than 5 minutes, it ranked 8th in the Google SGE Review (no quotes). According to, there are six reputable SEO websites and's overview page for SGE (Search Generative Experience). It ranks third in the SGE Review.”

It's true that not only does this particular post (Google SGE Review) end up in the top 10, but the post also started at number 8 and actually improved in ranking, so that it is currently in the top result for the search query “SGE Review “ is listed.

Screenshot of a Reddit post that ranked within minutes

Screenshot showing a Reddit post ranking on Google within minutes

Anecdotes versus anecdotes

Okay, the above is just an anecdote. But it's a damn good anecdote because it proves that it's possible for a Reddit post to rank within minutes and stay stuck at the top of search results compared to other potentially more reputable sites.

hankschrader79 shared that Reddit posts in the Toyota Tacoma forums rank higher than a sentence referring to mods for this truck.

Google's Danny Sullivan responded to this post and the entire discussion, disputing that Reddit does not always take precedence over other forums.

Danny wrote:

“Reddit doesn’t always take precedence over other forums. [super vhs to mac adapter] I did it this week, it's on the Apple Support Community, the MacRumors Forum and further down there's Reddit. I also did that [kumo cloud not working setup 5ghz] recently (it's a nightmare) and it was the Netgear community, the SmartThings community, GreenBuildingAdvisor before Reddit. Was connected to that [disable 5g airport] The Apple Support Community has this via Reddit. [how to open an 8 track tape] – Really, it was the YouTube videos that helped me the most, but ahead of Reddit is the Tapeheads community.

In your example for [toyota tacoma], I don't even get Reddit in the top results. I get Toyota, Car & Driver, Wikipedia, Toyota again, three YouTube videos from different creators (not Toyota), Edmunds, a Top Stories unit. No Reddit, which doesn't really support the idea of ​​always wanting to drive traffic to Reddit.

Looking at the more specific request you may have made, perhaps [overland mods for toyota tacoma], I get a YouTube video first, then Reddit, then Tacoma World in third place – not at the bottom. So yes, Reddit is higher for this search query – but not at the top. It's not always the first either. And sometimes it doesn’t show up at all.”

hankschrader79 acknowledged that they were generalizing when they wrote that Google has always prioritized Reddit. However, they also insisted that, in their opinion, this does not take away from the fact that Google's “prioritization” of forum content has benefited Reddit more than real forums.

Why is the Reddit post rated so highly?

It's possible that Google “tested” this Reddit post to position 8 within minutes and that user engagement signals indicated to Google's algorithms that users would prefer to see this Reddit post. If that's the case, it's not because Google favors the Reddit post, but rather because users show the preference and the algorithm responds to those preferences.

Nevertheless, it can be argued that user preferences for Reddit may be an expression of familiarity bias. Familiarity bias occurs when people show a preference for things that are familiar to them. If a person is familiar with a brand due to the many advertisements they have been exposed to, they may show a preference for the branded products over unfamiliar brands.

Users who are familiar with Reddit may choose Reddit because they are unfamiliar with the other sites in search results or because they believe that Google ranks spammy and optimized sites and feel safer reading Reddit.

Google may collect user engagement signals indicating favorability and satisfaction with Reddit results. However, these results may simply be biases and not an indication that Reddit is trustworthy and authoritative.

Does Reddit benefit from a self-reinforcing feedback loop?

It may very well be that Google's decision to prioritize user-generated content has triggered a self-reinforcing pattern that attracts users to Reddit via search results, and because the answers seem plausible, those users begin to favor Reddit results. As they are exposed to more Reddit posts, their exposure increases and they begin to show a preference for Reddit. so what could The problem is that users and Google's algorithm create a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

Is it possible that Google's decision to show more user-generated content started a cycle where more users are exposed to Reddit, which then feeds into Google's algorithm, which in turn increases Reddit's visibility, regardless of lack thereof Expertise and authority?

Featured image from Shutterstock/Kues