Report: Reddit signs AI content licensing deal with Google

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Report: Reddit signs AI content licensing deal with Google

Now we know – Google is the unnamed AI company that Reddit reached a content licensing deal with, Reuters reported.

Why we care. Reddit was already facing backlash among SEOs because Google appears to be favoring the platform in the Discussions and forums SERP feature. Reddit is even outranking original sources of content in some instances.

Now the question some people will naturally ask: did Reddit get all this valuable visibility in Google’s super-valuable search results because of, or partially due to this deal? Or is the heavy presence of Reddit in Google Search results an attempt at a correction following multiple stories about how searchers are appending Searches with “reddit”. (Or could both these things be partially true?)

The deal. Google is reportedly paying Reddit $6 million per year to train its artificial intelligence models (e.g., Gemini). However, neither Reddit nor Google have officially commented on the deal.

  • On Feb. 16, Bloomberg (subscription required) first reported that Reddit had reached a deal with “a large AI company.”

Making them pay. Reddit made it clear last April they wanted AI companies (e.g., Google, Microsoft, OpenAI) to pay for using its content. Well, now it appears Google is doing just that. Steve Huffman, founder and chief executive of Reddit, told the New York Times (subscription required):

  • “The Reddit corpus of data is really valuable. But we don’t need to give all of that value to some of the largest companies in the world for free.”

Rankings jump. Meanwhile, as Glenn Gabe posted on X, the number of URLs ranking in Google jumped from 22 million between last May and 41.1 million today, according to Semrush data:

  • “That’s a massive jump… i.e. It’s not just rankings that improved, it’s the pure number of pages ranking.”

Here’s Gabe’s full post:

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