Reddit: Your new online reputation challenge

After partnering with Google, Reddit has strengthened ties with OpenAI as well. What does this mean for your online reputation?

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Whenever big brands partner up, the digital landscape changes.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Why AI firms are eager to partner with Reddit.
  • How your online reputation can be affected when major platforms partner up.
  • How to leverage this new situation to your brand’s advantage.
  • Tips on how to monitor the impact your brand is making on Reddit.

When a growing discussion platform becomes AI platforms’ new best friend

While more and more sites see their content outranked by Reddit threads, the discussion platform has just announced its partnership with OpenAI.

Reddit’s popularity has increased significantly since early 2022, with a notable rise in organic visibility since 2023, as shown by Google Trends.

Google Trends, “reddit”, U.S.
Google Trends, “reddit”, U.S.

Reddit.coms Organic Visibility Via Ahrefs
Reddit.com’s organic visibility, via Ahrefs

In recent months, search has expanded beyond traditional search engines into generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Gemini, Copilot, Claude or Perplexity.

Generative AI gets better with context. As a result of the race for leadership in AI-powered search, platforms have a strong (and urgent) interest in using high-quality content as training material for their algorithms.

The new association between OpenAI and Reddit makes sense not just because Sam Altman, holding 8.7% of Reddit’s stock, is associated with OpenAI, but also because ChatGPT aims to evolve into a search engine.

Full access to Reddit’s threads provides a critical competitive advantage against upcoming competing platforms like Anthropic’s Claude, which confirms not having access to Reddit threads at this time:

Claude can't access Reddit

At the same time, Perplexity allows focusing specifically on Reddit when using the tool, but the data seems to be coming through Perplexity running a Google search.

Dig deeper: How the Google-Reddit partnership impacts brand management

What does this mean for a brand’s online reputation?

Generative AI talks about your brand

Although the LLM can generate completely new texts, specific text passages are often reproduced almost literally.

With Reddit being used as a source of training data, we might see this happen more frequently.

ChatGPT now performs real-time searches for some queries, but this will not always be an option. A pragmatic solution for LLMs trying to give a quick reply might be directly copying partial or complete answers from popular Reddit answers.

Branded searches and searches for a product or service are directly impacted by the LLM’s “perception” of a brand.

Perception can be understood here as the context in which the LLM was trained and whether that context was comprehensive enough, consistent, coherent, positive or negative.

AI tools often generate responses purely based on their training material, putting your brand’s reputation at risk, as this ChatGPT example shows:

ChatGPT brand reputation risks

Reddit’s upvoting system to the rescue

One reason Reddit is a great platform for large language models is its upvoting system. 

The platform is well-moderated, with specific guidelines for each subreddit. Answers other Reddit users value, frequently will get upvoted. Getting many upvotes correlates with a helpful answer – an indicator LLMs can efficiently process and use for more selective training and potentially quick responses.

What goes into a system impacts the output.

Reddit now feeds into Google’s and OpenAI’s language models. Both brands will happily take advantage of the often curated training data to reproduce good answers directly or pass them through their generative process to answer a user query.

Whether your brand, products or services are mentioned in such a response might strongly depend on your brand’s visibility and popularity on the platform and the sentiment around related messages.

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4 practical tips to leverage Reddit for online reputation management

Now that Reddit directly feeds into Google and OpenAI, it provides a great entry point to leverage for online reputation management (ORM).

Here are practical tips you can implement right now.

Tip 1: Keep a branded profile

AI just aims to connect the dots. Keeping a branded profile, ideally with your brand name in it, will help establish your brand on the platform.

Link to your Reddit profile from your website, About us page and other social media networks, and maybe some of your articles, so the connection is clear and the profile is seen as legit.

Tip 2: Obey the rules

Every platform has its rules, and if you have not been active on Reddit yet, it is essential to:

  • Find and subscribe to subreddits that are relevant to your brand and products or services.
  • Comply with any subreddit-specific guidelines to avoid getting banned.
  • Build an authentic presence leveraging your brand name.
  • Engage naturally in conversations where you can add value.

Tip 3: Share helpful tips and advice – or your brand as an option

While self-promotion is usually not well received on discussion boards, on Reddit you will frequently find people drop brand names and product names, sometimes even including a link. 

Brand mentions in the right context help language models understand more details about a brand and can help build trust.

When sharing advice, pay attention to making it rich in context, clear and actionable where possible. Using simple language will help neurolinguistic processing engines comprehend the sentence structure and identify the entities.

Helpful advice will facilitate more upvotes, establishing your response as one of the most trusted ones on that page – not a bad signal next to a branded user profile and potentially a message mentioning your brand.

Tip 4: Be strategic and consistent

Reddit has grown big enough to deserve its own strategy:

  • What exactly do you want to achieve by participating on Reddit?
  • What steps will you take on the platform to leverage it for your overall brand reputation goals?

Online reputation management requires consistency:

  • Be consistent! Google Alerts can help find Reddit threads relevant to your industry, your brand or your brand’s main representatives
  • Establish a routine of consistently participating in conversations related to your industry

How to track the impact

There are two simple ways to track your impact on Reddit: 

  • Brand monitoring.
  • Referral traffic.

Brand monitoring will help you track how often your brand is mentioned on the platform. Sentiment analysis will then let you know if the context is positive, neutral or negative.

If your website gets mentioned with its domain or URL, Reddit will suggest a clickable link.

When a visitor comes to your website through a link on Reddit, the traffic can be tracked in Google Analytics 4 under Referrals.

Embrace the facts

There have been many discussions about whether Reddit results should appear in Google searches. Now, we will also see them come up directly (or indirectly) in ChatGPT. 

It might be time to embrace the facts: Yet another platform has become a major player in the search and generative AI space. Leverage it to your brand’s advantage!


Contributing authors are invited to create content for Search Engine Land and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the search community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.


About the author

Gert Mellak
Contributor
Gert Mellak is an SEO professional, digital marketer, writer, and entrepreneur. As the founder of SEOLeverage.com, he has been applying his process-driven SEO methodology for many years, helping large corporations as well as local brick-and-mortar businesses with conversion-focused SEO. Gert is also the author of the book "Fix Your Online Reputation", and the creator of the ERICA SEO framework.

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