Are Reddit r/SEO Moderators Biased Against Google?

r/SEO Reddit Subreddit

A post on Google’s Danny Sullivan’s r/SEO subreddit that was intended to dispel an ill-informed observation was apparently removed by a moderator, then returned. This is not an isolated incident, John Mueller’s posts have also been removed without explanation, giving the perception that r/SEO moderation is biased against Google to the point of actual hostility.

This isn’t the first time a Googler’s posts have been removed. It has also happened to John Mueller.

It was bad enough that the original post misrepresented what SearchLiaison had said, but it was even worse that a moderator removed a post by a Google representative correcting the misinformation.

You have to ask the question, what’s the value of the r/SEO subreddit if it doesn’t allow Google representatives to respond to misinformation and offer help?

Redditor misinterprets Google

The original publication it was a statement that was taken out of context in a much larger tweet by SearchLiaison.

The context that went through the Redditor’s head was that SearchLiaison was recommending that if publishers do things, they do it for their readers and not because they read somewhere that’s good for ranking.

Here’s the context:

“You want to do things that make sense to your visitors, because what ‘shows Google’ that you have a great site is to be…a great site so that your visitors don’t add things that you assume are just for Google.

Doing things you think are just for Google is falling behind what our ranking systems are trying to reward instead of being ahead of them.”

SearchLiaison listed the things SEOs do because they think Google will rank better.

A partial list of what was he tweeted:

“- Something says that an “expert” reviewed the content because someone mistakenly believes this ranks them better

– The weird stuff in the table of contents got pushed to the top because who knows, along the way, somehow that became something that I guess people assume ranks you better

– The page has been updated within a few days, or is even fresh on the exact day, although the content doesn’t particularly need anything fresh and someone probably did a very light rewrite and a new date because they think “Google shows ” have fresh content and you will rank better.”

Redditor commented:

“To me, it was silly that the Search Link said that because it’s so lame to believe that using a TOC or not would make any difference in SERP ranking.

If you take the point of view of not showing yourself to Google, you may remove the stripes, internal links and related posts. In other words, anything that has SEO value.

So that was really pointless advice from Google.

But I’m sure many bloggers will take this as gospel and, in desperation, remove OCD from their sites.”

Of course, as most objective people can see, SearchLiaison was not advising anyone to remove their table of contents from their articles. I was just recommending doing what’s best for your users, which makes sense. If your users hate the table of contents, it’s a good idea to remove it because it makes no difference to Google.

And this tip was actually a gift because it helps people avoid wasting their time doing things that might annoy readers, which is never a good thing.

r/SEO subreddittors upvote misinformation

The weird thing about this thread is that misinformation gets upvoted and people who actually understand what’s going on get ignored.

Here is one example post who totally misunderstands what SearchLiaison posted and repeats the misinformation and gets sixteen upvotes while someone with the correct understanding gets only five downvotes.

This unhelpful post has received 16 upvotes:

“I didn’t understand why you thought the table of contents was not useful. Even before we used the Internet, we were using the table of contents of books and magazines to find what we were looking for… We do the same with long publications …”

And this only got five upvotes:

“He never said that tables of contents aren’t useful. Sometimes they are.”

Danny Sullivan’s post has been restored

Posted by Danny on the r/SEO subreddit was later restored. It was a thoughtful 1,120 word response. Why would a moderator of an r/SEO subreddit delete this? There is no good reason to remove it and easily at least a hundred good reasons to keep Danny posted.

Partial screenshot of Danny’s 1,200 word response

John Mueller’s posts were also deleted

Myself and others who write about SEO have noticed that John Mueller’s posts have also disappeared. It’s been a practice at Search Engine Journal to take a snapshot of Mueller’s posts when he writes about them because they tend to disappear from time to time.

Composite image of four of John Mueller’s deleted posts

Composite image of four posts that were removed from the r/SEO subreddit

Is the R/SEO subreddit broken?

The inexcusable removal of posts by Danny Sullivan and John Mueller creates the perception that the r/SEO subreddit moderation team is biased against Google and does not accept their contributions.

Did the moderators remove these posts because they are biased against Google? Have they removed posts from a wrong anti-spam link rule?

Whatever the reason for the action against the Googler, the r/SEO subreddit looks very bad.

Featured image by Shutterstock/Roman Samborskyi

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About the Author: Ted Simmons

I follow and report the current news trends on Google news.

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