Reddit’s blackout severely affected Google Search quality

Search results from private subreddits became inaccessible during the blackout

The recent Reddit blackout in response to the platform introducing a new charged premium access for third parties and users to access Reddit’s APIs reportedly didn’t fare well for Google Search.

As revealed in leaked audio of a Google meeting obtained by CNBC News, Google Search results took a significant hit during the blackout, considering that many users rely on adding “Reddit” as a suffix to their queries on all sorts of topics.

When some of the popular subreddits went private in response to Reddit charging companies for access to its API, search results from said subreddits became inaccessible. According to Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s senior vice president in charge of search, via the leaked audio, Google is working on ways to display helpful resources in Search results without users having to add “Reddit” to their inquiries.

“Many of you may wonder how we have a search team that’s iterating and building all this new stuff and yet somehow, users are still not quite happy,” Raghavan said. “We need to make users happy.”

The company also launched a new feature last week called Perspectives. Perspectives is a tab that showcases human-generated videos and written posts from apps like TikTok, Reddit, and Quora. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in the audio that users don’t want “blue links,” but “comprehensive answers” that can be found on sites like Reddit. The VP of engineering, HJ Kim, added that Perspectives is an attempt to push more of that content to the users.

Reddit, meanwhile, has seen its traffic return to normal after most subreddits ended their protest. However, some subreddits remained defiant after a leaked memo from CEO Steve Huffman indicated that the company would not change its API policy.

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Source: CNBC News