What are branded searches, and what can they do for your site’s organic traffic? Based on the revealing example of Reddit, Kevin Indig offers us keys to boost this lever and convince Google of the reliability and usefulness of your content.
There’s been a strong increase in organic traffic despite a context of tension. In his article, Kevin Indig reminds us of the principle of brand searches, as well as searches combining a brand name and other generic keywords. These combined searches can represent powerful signals of relevance for generic keywords. The author takes the example of Reddit, the world’s largest forum, which is currently in the midst of negotiations with generative AI players.
A few months ago, an announcement from Reddit about increasing the prices of its API provoked the ire of some users, causing several thousand subreddits to go private. So much content that Google has not been able to explore during this entire period. A problem for Reddit? Well, not really! As the author of the article points out, organic traffic paradoxically exploded from mid-June to be multiplied by 2.5x in mid-October.
Google has reportedly moved Reddit up its SERPs to offer more human-generated content. It should be noted that Quora, whose traffic is still lower than Reddit, saw a similar increase around the same time.
Why such an increase? Internet users would actually be dissatisfied with the results provided by Google and would tend to add “Reddit” to their searches, also to bypass Reddit’s unconvincing internal search. This would have prompted Google to create a custom integration for Reddit (and Quora) to bring up more results from discussions and forums. Data provided by Semrush shows that of the 118 million monthly visits recorded by Reddit from organic search, 45% come from queries that include the term “Reddit.” For comparison, this percentage is 31% for Amazon. Along with this, Google has also placed the famous forum in the top positions, arguably having identified it as a valuable source of information.
It should be remembered that for Google and all AI players looking for content in quantity, moderated by humans, to train their LLMs, Reddit is a real gold mine, as is the case with Wikipedia or Quora.
Boost combined searches that include a brand. With this in mind, Kevin Indig wondered how it was possible to stimulate combined searches that included brands to benefit his site. The advantage, he says, is that it’s relatively easy to measure these types of searches on your own, such as based on impressions in Search Console or a tracking tool. On the other hand, adopting this approach requires work: excellent quality content, a user experience to match, and the resolution of the various problems that may arise.
Kevin Indig advises focusing on positive engagement. This can be reflected in the quality of the exchanges, the time spent on the page, or the depth of scrolling, the number of visitors who arrive on the next screen, who enter a query, or click on the CTA. To improve the quality of experience, it’s essential to run tests, survey users, and record actions taken, like what Microsoft Clarity offers.
Finally, as Kevin Indig mentions, if recent algorithm updates have shown a clear trend, it is that the person who creates the content is now just as important as the content itself, as perfectly illustrated by the E-A-T concept and the Helpful Content system developed by Google!