Reddit Moderators Keep Removing Google Search Liaison's Responses

Apr 2, 2024 - 7:41 am 34 by
Filed Under Misc Google

Reddit Google Scrub

Reddit moderators in the SEO channel continue to remove the responses that Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison, is posting in response to some SEO and Google Search-related questions. It is somewhat comical to see this, because you'd think any forum would want an official Google representative to reply to their users questions.

For example, there is a thread on Reddit named How many bloggers will remove their TOC plugins? It specifically talks about Danny's comments on X about SEOs removing TOCs, table of contents, from their web pages.

Danny Sullivan posted a long reply, which I captured before it was removed, but it was removed. He then replied four more times and those were removed.

Here was his reply that was removed:

I addressed this in multiple replies out on X. Seems worth repeating here. The point of the post (the whole thing was here) was this:

"Any question you have about making content for Google will come back to this principle. 'Is this content that my visitors would find satisfying?' If the answer is yes, then do that, because that’s what Google wants."

That's it. As part of making this broad point, I listed some things I've seen people do because -- as I qualified in the things I listed -- it seems like they might be doing them because they somehow believed that having them would rank them better. Here's what I said about tables of contents:

Weird table-of-content things shoved at the top because who knows, along the way, somehow that became a thing I'm guessing people assume ranks you better

There's no inherent "SEO value" to us if you have -- or don't have -- a table of contents. Your readers might value it. If so, do it. But if you're doing it or any content thing because you think "this is the thing I heard second-hand, third-hand, whatever, is the thing that makes you rank better on Google," then you're entirely missing the point that what our ranking systems are trying to reward is content that is designed for what people like.

This also illustrates the difficulty in giving the guidance that SEOs want. They rightly complain that a statement like "Make pages for users, not for search engines" as we've done for two decades can seem too broad or simplistic. But then if we give examples with qualifications, the qualifications and broad goal can get tuned out in favor of people looking for the supposed specific ranking boost (as I explained here, see also here).

As I also said in the post, I don't work directly on creator guidance. I make suggestions based on feedback to people who work on various parts of Google Search about all types of things. It's the Search Central people who do the documentation. I've made some suggestions on how I hope that documentation might grow and maybe get clearer to move people away from the "checklist" approach that can sometimes happen. Maybe it'll get there.

I am honestly not sure why Reddit moderators continue to remove his replies in that thread:

Here is a screenshot of some of those removals and Danny's comment about them being removed:

Danny Sullivan Reddit Comments Removed

He wrote:

I left a comment clarifying some of this, which seemed helpful. That comment got removed by, I assume, the moderators (who I also messaged about it, and haven't heard back). I left a comment asking about the removal, and that now got removed.

The original poster in that thread replied:

I'm really sorry, Danny, but oh the irony of this is just too much!

While Google is flooding search results with Reddit, Reddit won't let you comment.

I have not seen a reply by a moderator on why the comments were removed.

Let's not forget, this Reddit community was overtaken by new moderators not long ago.

Forum discussion at Reddit.

Update at 3pm ET: Danny Sullivan posted more comments in the thread, they were not removed yet, here is a screenshot:

Reddit Danny Comments New


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