Do you notice how discussion forums like Reddit consistently appear on the first page of search results, regardless of the query? Whether you’re seeking advice, troubleshooting an issue or researching a topic, these platforms tend to surface highly relevant content. This phenomenon is particularly evident in product reviews and discussions, where they achieve significant search visibility despite lacking sophisticated optimization tactics. Unlike websites employing SEO strategies, the high search rankings of Reddit seem to result from genuine, grassroots consensus.

This raises the question: why do these discussion forums rank so prominently in commercial spaces? Could it be an overcorrection by Google to prioritize user-generated content? How should businesses adapt to this trend?

discussions and forums on SERPs

New SERP Feature: Discussions And Forums On Google Search Results

The Impact Of Reddit On SEO

We all know that Google loves new and original content. Reddit is a place where millions of people come together every day to talk about anything and everything, from the latest news to the most obscure hobbies. They form lively subreddits that cater to different interests and preferences. By doing so, they create a rich source of information highly relevant to searchers. This gives Google’s crawlers ample content to index.

An analysis by Search Engine Land found that discussions/forums appear 77% of the time for 10,000 key phrases. Specifically, the specific platform appeared in 7,509 search results and was featured 14,263 times – far more than any other forum. Granting this phenomenon is not due to the algorithm overcorrection, we can assume Google seems to recognize this thirst for authenticity and now displays Reddit snippets directly in search results to provide more context. Google has also increasingly attached the word ‘Reddit’ to keyword suggestions and added a “Discussions and Forums” search engine results page (SERP) feature in addition to “People Also Ask” and “Related Searches”.

Reddit Search Snippets Showing On First Page

Public Forums Showing On Page 1 Of Search Results

Unlike other sites that depend on traffic and money to produce AI-generated content, Reddit communities are based on real interactions and personal stories. The honest, user-generated discussions contrast with the bland, cookie-cutter content that often appears on the web.

As more sites resort to bots and content farms, the original, human conversations on Reddit offer a refreshing change for searchers tired of robotic content. Google seems to appreciate this need for authenticity and often ranks forum results high for popular keywords like in the case below where I keyed ‘husky green eyes’ on the search tab.

Adding Reddit To Google Search

Is there really someone out there adding ‘Reddit’ at the end of their search queries? 

Getting Started with Reddit Content Gap Analysis

Forums provide a valuable opportunity for businesses looking to market products and services online to get insight directly from their target demographic. With over 430 million monthly active users, Reddit contains communities (known as subreddits) on almost every topic imaginable. By analyzing the discussions happening within these subreddits, it’s easy to identify “content gaps” – also known as areas where there is consumer demand for information on a topic but a lack of adequate coverage of that topic elsewhere online.

For example, a financial advisor focused on retirement planning content might explore subreddits like:


A startup selling security cameras could analyze conversations in communities like:


Spend time browsing recent popular posts and highly upvoted comments within each subreddit under examination. Look for common questions, complaints, recommendations, frustrations, myths, misconceptions, concerns or simple knowledge gaps that come up repeatedly.

How Upvotes And Downvotes Help Pinpoint High-Demand Audience Knowledge Gaps

As an open platform, Reddit is vulnerable to spammers hoping to abuse it for backlinks, traffic or attention. However, allowing users to upvote or downvote posts organically filters higher quality content to the top while pushing irrelevant information, self-promotion or deliberately manipulative messaging down the page or getting it removed.

Reddit’s upvote/downvote system provides a democratized way for communities to self-moderate content quality and relevance. This safeguards against spam and creates visibility for marketers on the types of discussions that genuinely resonate with users.

This means the most upvoted content acts as a useful signal for the types of discussions Redditors find meaningful and engaging. The posts and comments with the most upvotes are ones hitting on authentic knowledge gaps, helpful advice or ideas aligned to community interests.

Conversely, downvoted content provides insight into types of messaging that comes across as inauthentic, promotional rather than educational or misaligned to the expectations of the community.

5 Keys to Effective Reddit Content Gap Discovery

Through an analytics-driven process here’s how brands can uncover and analyze these content gaps:

1. Subreddits With Minimal Content Volume

Some subreddits have a large subscriber base but relatively low content volume. This discrepancy can be a gap because it indicates that despite having a broad audience, the community is not actively participating or contributing.

Suggested Approach: To address this gap, we can analyze posting frequency, engagement metrics (such as upvotes and comments), and user behavior within these subreddits. Insights gained from this analysis can guide strategies to encourage more content creation and engagement.

  1. Trending Topics With Room For Additional Perspectives

Trending topics often dominate discussions but they may lack diverse viewpoints. When multiple users engage with a trending topic, there’s an opportunity to introduce fresh perspectives.

Suggested Approach: By monitoring trending topics, sentiment analysis and identifying influential users, we can uncover gaps in perspectives. Leveraging natural language processing (NLP) techniques, we can encourage users to share alternative viewpoints and enrich the conversation.

  1. Recurring Unanswered Questions

Some questions are repeatedly asked on platforms like Reddit, yet satisfactory answers remain elusive. These gaps indicate a need for better information dissemination.

Suggested Approach: We can track frequently asked questions, analyze existing responses and identify patterns. Machine learning models can help predict which questions are likely to remain unanswered, allowing moderators or community members to focus efforts on providing comprehensive answers.

  1. Issues Debated From Limited Angles

Certain topics are debated extensively but discussions may be one-sided or lack depth. This gap suggests that exploring different angles and considering diverse viewpoints could enhance understanding.

Suggested Approach: Text mining and sentiment analysis can reveal dominant narratives. By identifying underrepresented perspectives, we can encourage users to explore alternative viewpoints and foster more balanced discussions.

  1. Underserved Topic Interests And Curiosity Areas

Subgroups within larger communities often have passionate users with unique interests. These areas may be underserved due to limited content or visibility.

Suggested Approach: We can identify subreddits, analyze user behavior and discover gaps in content creation. Recommendations, personalized content and targeted outreach can help nurture these passionate communities.

Methods For Uncovering User Pain Points

It’s no mystery that to market effectively, brands should know how to target customer pain points. Can it be done by analyzing threads on Reddit? The answer is yes. 

One effective yet simple approach is to closely follow and participate in the subreddit dedicated to a brand’s products and services. Here, current users voluntarily convene to discuss their real-world experiences, including grievances and frustrations. By monitoring these conversations organically or directly asking questions, brands can authentically uncover shortcomings and problems. 

Reddit also allows brands to search beyond their own subsection to see how they are more broadly discussed across communities. Occasionally issues can gain traction virally before brands become aware, so keeping a pulse on wider mentions allows brands to proactively identify and address emerging issues. This could involve anything from software bugs to changes in business practices that alienated certain demographics. 

Brands can also glean insights by incentivizing feedback from Reddit’s diverse user base. Creative contest ideas, giveaways and promotional offers can spur users to share detailed critiques and feature requests that provide clarity around their unmet needs. 

While organic methods reveal pain points through passive listening, brands can also conduct active market research through surveys, interviews and more structured outreach facilitated by the platform. Altogether, monitoring public forums, searching broad discussions, incentivizing feedback and conducting formal research provide multifaceted approaches to fully understanding Reddit users’ frustrations and barriers. This enables better decision-making toward products and services that delight rather than disappoint customers.

How To Mine Long Tail Keywords On Public Forums

Long tail keywords are more specific, less competitive keywords and key phrases that are very relevant to a specific audience. Finding these keywords allows you to create highly targeted content.

While short head terms like “smartphones” may get a lot of search volume, the competition is intense. Longer phrases like “best smartphone for senior citizens” have lower search volume but are much more targeted and indicate a clear user intent.

Here is a step-by-step process for mining long-tail Reddit keywords:

  1. Identify Subreddits In Your Niche 

The first step is finding the most relevant subreddits related to your business, industry or area of expertise. For example, if you sold smartphone accessories for seniors, some relevant subreddits may be:





Brainstorm all of the related subreddits and communities where your target audience is likely to be discussing relevant topics.

  1. Analyze Posts And Comments For Key Phrases 

Manually review hot posts and comments in your identified subreddits, taking note whenever you see industry terminology, key phrases and long tail variations.

For example, by skimming posts in r/AgingParents you may notice commenters discussing challenges like “finding smartphones with big buttons” or “best phones to prevent butt dialing.” Identify dozens of these long key phrases that indicate intent as you manually analyze page content.

  • Use Keyword Research Tools 

Take the key phrase variations you manually extracted and plug them into keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or Ahrefs. This will give you official search volume data and other metrics to validate which are truly viable long-tail opportunities worth targeting.

Prioritize keywords that have sufficient search volume and low competing web pages. Discard over-competitive keywords. For example, “Simple smartphones for arthritis” may have 3000 monthly searches and low competition, making it very viable.

  • Group Long Tail Keywords For Effective Content Silo Structure

Organize and categorize your keyword list group related long tail keywords around certain themes, issues or product features. For example, you may group keywords related to smartphone display size, memory & storage needs, arthritis & accessibility, etc. This allows you to identify clusters of keywords around certain categories to create content around.

With a thoroughly researched list of long tail keywords from Reddit, you can now create content like blog posts and videos optimized and laser-targeted to rank for these specific keywords. Use the keywords in headings, subheadings, meta descriptions and content. Track ranking progress with tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush to see if you gain any rankings over time.

The benefit of Reddit keyword mining is tapping into what people are actively discussing in your industry. This process allows you to build highly relevant content for ready audiences.


How To Conduct Competitor Content Benchmarking On Reddit


Competitor content benchmarking involves analyzing what your competitors are publishing around a particular topic by seeing what content of theirs gets mentioned or linked to on Reddit. The goal is to uncover content gaps – areas that your rivals are neglecting or underserving with their content efforts. You can then produce comprehensive content around those topics to better meet audience needs.

The first step is choosing relevant subreddits that host discussions around your content area. For example, if you published content around SaaS marketing, some good subreddits would be r/SaaS, r/marketing and r/contentmarketing.

Once you identify good subreddits, use Reddit’s built-in search function to search for mentions of your competitor’s brand names, website domain names or authors. See what content from their sites gets submitted or discussed in the subreddit. Pay attention to:

  1. What specific content/posts get linked frequently
  2. What users say about the submitted content
  3. What users complain is missing or lackluster

You can also search for your broader main keywords and phrases and analyze competitor content shares that way.

Catalog the competitor posts that get submitted often; the most shared ones are likely their pillar/core content. Make a list of those pieces and topics covered.

Also, take note of user critiques and areas they want more information on. Those are signs of content gaps. As you compile your findings, look for topics that your rivals don’t cover deeply based on what users are looking for. Check if you have existing content on those subjects or if they represent fresh content opportunities.

Prioritize topics with solid search volume and demand but a lack of adequate existing content. Those gaps present opportunities to build comprehensive answers to open questions compared to your competitors’ efforts.

Transforming Conversation Analysis Into Actionable Content Strategies

With priority content gaps identified from surveying Reddit forum discussions, the next step is developing practical content strategies and production pipelines to address those gaps. Brainstorm various content formats, such as:

  1. Explainers: Clear, concise pieces that simplify complex topics.
  2. Tips Lists: Bite-sized advice or hacks.
  3. Buying Guides: Detailed recommendations for purchasing decisions.
  4. Interviews: Conversations with experts or industry insiders.
  5. Reviews: In-depth assessments of products or services.
  6. Comparisons: Side-by-side evaluations.
  7. News Coverage: Timely updates on relevant topics.

For instance, a frequently-asked but seldom-satisfactorily-answered basic question becomes the foundation for an explainer piece or FAQ to assist newcomers. An overview article or comparison guide covering essential purchasing considerations within a complex product category could provide direction to consumers struggling to decide.

You can utilize the essence of Reddit commentary itself to deduce suitable angles, detail levels, article lengths, multimedia requirements, optimal tones and other attributes tailored to serve target forum members effectively. Create content designs specifically catering to groups demonstrating demand rather than generic visitors.

You may also establish workflows to continually uncover and prioritize emerging content gaps requiring attention. Assign gap-centered content to creators based on their expertise areas. Integrate Reddit analysis into overall systems for strategically developing inventories of search-friendly articles, explainers, FAQs and other resources.

But of course, don’t forget to actively participate in discussions by providing useful input informed by gaps discovered during observation. While not overt advertising, this community-building engagement can organically increase brand familiarity and guide more Redditors to your content over time as an authoritative information source.


Search algorithms are increasingly favoring genuine user discussions over templated marketing content. Brands that rely on search traffic now face a choice:

Adapt or falter.

Begin participating in relevant online forums and discussions. Provide value to these interest-based communities through thoughtful content and conversations. Embrace the human voice.

Is your content marketing failing to gain traction while competitors improve rankings?

Schedule a free content strategy audit from Three Girls Media. Our team specializes in the exact mix of empathetic marketing and SEO that today’s Google algorithm demands. Within 1 week you’ll have an actionable content plan tailored for long-term growth, including how to leverage online community engagement for sustainable success. Call us at 408-218-2391.

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