Reddit Losing Search Visibility in Google – Affected by Penguin 3.0 or Pirate 2.0

Posted On : November 7th, 2014   By : Diptimayee Mohanty   To : Penguin Update, SEO Analysis

Reddit is considered to be one of the most popular social sharing sites; countless users are active on daily basis and hence a hot target by both business sector & marketing agencies specially SEOs. But the surprise news is that its search visibility has been consistently decreasing in last 2 weeks which can be seen from the data of Search Metrics & SEMRush.

Reddit Search Visibility SEMRush

Reddit Search Visibility SM

Well, Google is always full of surprises for us and is in a habit of punishing big players of the search industry.

What happened to Reddit?

To dig deep into the case, I focused my attention on Google search algorithm changes happened recently to find out any clue from them.

Recently Google has launched Pirate 2.0 update & Penguin 3.0 update. Penguin started rolling out from 17th October and in the very next week Pirate was released; thanks to John Muller & Far Pierre for publicly sharing the news. As from the Search Metrics graph, it looks like Reddit has lost search visibility after both the updates.

So, out of these what exactly affected Reddit; well, we’ll discuss about a little later but let first see what happened to Reddit in Google SERP.

What the tools say…..

Looking further into the analysis, I found that Reddit has lost visibility for high search volume keywords for which it was getting top 10 rankings before the dropdown started. For example some of some of such keywords I mentioned below for which it has lost visibility.

Keywords        Search Volume                               Affected URL

music                    823,000                  

fifa                     1,830,000                  

pokemon          1,220,000                  

wallpaper            450,000                   

military                   74,000                  

The pattern of drop is somewhat predictable like common keywords like music, wallpaper and for many generic keywords like pokemon & porn related queries, the site has shown huge drop in rankings.

Another interesting point is while previously Reddit used to come in top for domain level queries like or, after these updates it has lost some top places in Google. So we can say that the drop in ranking is for URLs like

Reddit SM Drops

The drop in top rankings for various keywords is more which you can see in the graph added below.

Top 10 Drops Reddit

While checking the data of Reddit for last few months, it’s found that the site has been losing more & more keywords in top 20 of Google search continuously, which can be seen from the image added below.

Top 20 KWs Drop Reddit

Reason Of Drop: Penguin 3.0 or Pirate 2.0

The pages which have lost visibility or have huge drop in rankings don’t have any kind of content rather full of links only shared by users linking to poor quality pages having no valuable information for users major links are DF passing link juice.

So, which one is responsible for it; Penguin 3.0 or Pirate 2. Well, it can’t be said exactly as both happened in same time duration. Google declared that Penguin 3.0 would be rolling out for couple of weeks and Pirate was happened just within that time period.

As I mentioned that those pages are full of links containing exact keywords, so may be Penguin responsible for it. After all, Penguin is all about over optimization.

Even there are equal chances that during Google Pirate update, Reddit pages like music & wallpaper which are sharing pirated contents are affected.

Whatever may be the reason, it is for sure that Reddit is losing its credibility in Google.

We may find more updates about the search visibility trend in Search Metrics in coming days that will definitely put more light on the fate of Reddit  in Google SERP.


Diptimayee Mohanty
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  1. Bill Slawski says:

    There are a lot of things that could be done to improve Reddit’s SEO. I’m tempted to cover a number of those in a blog post, especially if it will help the suite from being buried.

    • Hi Bill,
      I feel honored you commented on my post! You are one of the best inspirations for me and I always try to go through your articles on patents to sharpen my understanding how Google works. I’m waiting for your planned blog post on this topic. Thanks.

  2. Durga Prasad Kundu says:

    Yes, Reddit is one of the most popular social sharing sites and its less visibility genuinely created a question mark in my mind. Here, I come to know about the reason. From the above two graphs, I can see how badly Reddit losing its visibility in Google search after the two updates from Google. I heard about the Penguin 3.0 update but, Pirate 2.0 update is completely new for me and from here I come to know about this Google update. So, thanks for posting such amazing article.

  3. Gurkirat says:

    Hii..reddit is a very good social sharing site but its downward graph creates some confusions. I analyse the above graph which shows the steep down of reddit popularity and its top 20 keywords ….and thanks for the post and hope in future you give more updates.

    • Thanks for your comment. Reddit like social platforms don’t depend on Google to decide their fate. But at the same time, we can’t ignore the steps taken by Google as these are intended to stop spam so that users would not directed to such results. Hope, big players would understand such reality and make changes accordingly.

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