The steep rise of Hackernews in Google rankings

I had a weird experience today. I saw the forum Hackernews in my Google results, a forum that I often visit to learn about cool opensoure projects and internet news, but I never found it on google before. Did it benefit from Googles hidden gem update? This November update changes the ranking system to prioritize useful personal insights and experiences and it pays special attention to forums. Reddit and Quroa are known to have gained a lot of traffic from this.

I looked at the rankings for Hackernews with popular tools like sistrix and semrush in the UK and the US, because it only has content in english. And I found this: a 162% rise in visibilities in the ranking in the UK and a 75% increase in the US.

Visibility of

It is also noteworthy what it HN ranking for:

A comment is the top result for “where was gta made”. Hopefully “Philip-J-Fry” was honest.

A comment from desdiv is ranking #1 for the question “Monaco in italian”

Another article that ranks well for several keywords like “ruined my life” is GRAHAM PANTHER’s article, and HN also ranks well for brand-related KW, such as every question about the cost of youtube tv, where Google favours the post from thunderbong.

Also interesting is that Google is ranking HN Posts high for a special kind of Keywords like “libgen mirror” and “4chan”.

In general I am suprised for how much non tech related stuff HN is ranking in total.

Looking at the traffic and keyword ranking, it appears that HN is growing much faster in countries where English is not the main language than in the US.

The downsides of the attention

Many sites that benefited from the google gem update experienced a huge increase in spam. SEOs can now buy Reddit accounts, comments and upvotes to promote their sites. Google groups that reappeared through the update mostly have articles about free spins now and also Linkedin other social platforms are under attack by SEO spammers. So we can only hope that the new visibility won’t affect the wonderful HN too much.

The discussion on Hackernews about this post.

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