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Article complaining about being outranked on Google being outranked by Reddit

How Google is killing independent sites like ours from HouseFresh talks about an ongoing complaint from smaller publishers and site owners about how they are constantly being outranked by larger publishers and site owners in Google Search. The irony here is that story is currently being outranked by Reddit – no joke.

Google ranking Reddit above HouseFresh. Here is a screenshot for a search on [Google is killing independent sites] where Reddit, a large popular forum, is outranking the original site that published the content, HouseFresh, for its own article. And the Reddit post links to the original story!

Housefresh Outranked By Reddit

The issue. The complaints are not new, Google has been fielding complaints about large sites outranking smaller sites for a couple decades now. Former Googler, Matt Cutts, even posted about it a decade ago, asking for site owners to post examples of smaller sites that should rank better.

But often enough, smaller publishers are right and they should rank higher than they are. This is not in all cases, but in some cases, where the content is better, from the original source and have all of those helpful content and EEAT elements, why should Reddit outrank that piece.

Google responds. Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, said, “my thoughts that I’d like to see us do more to ensure we’re showing a better diversity of results that does include both small and large publications.” “I hope we’ll be doing better in the future for these types of issues,” he added.

He later wrote:

As for the broader question of, let’s call it, “big site versus small site,” I’ve also raised this concern over the past weeks, because it shouldn’t be that way (and it’s not always, either). But yes, we should be rewarding the best content, regardless of site size. As I said, I hope we’ll get better here.

Irony. The irony here of Reddit outranking this story from a smaller publisher is just a bit over-the-top. Especially since that Reddit post links directly to the original story from the smaller publisher.

The article even wrote, “After Google’s latest Helpful Content Update, Reddit and LinkedIn started ranking heavily in Google search results. If you want to find out more about Reddit specifically, you should read this article from Glen Allsopp.”

Why we care. Does this mean smaller publishers are doomed and won’t be able to rank well in Google Search? No. Does it mean it will be harder for smaller publishers to rank higher than larger publishers? Not necessarily.

But if you think about it, it isn’t too far off from a small mom-and-pop home improvement store trying to compete with Home Depot down the block. It is possible, you can earn your niche and do well, but it isn’t easy.

That being said, Google has been making promises for decades to provide a more diverse set of search results for smaller publishers but has it delivered? Will Google ever be able to deliver on that promise? Is it even a promise that Google wants to deliver on? Does the searcher care if they read it on Reddit or on the original site? Does Google care?

For many smaller publishers, we sit here and wait for Google to release a new search algorithm update that we hope resolves some of our complaints. When Google does release that update, we will, of course, write about it here.

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About the author

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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