How Does Traffic Affect Rankings?

So did you know you can get top page Google placement without building any backlinks? How is that possible? The answer is traffic! I have noticed this happening a long time ago but it seems like Google is now putting more weight on traffic than ever before. I have actually talked about it before, but it’s really getting my attention now after some of my latest observations.

A lot of merchants probably noticed it already especially CB vendors 🙂 Funny how some of their 2-3 page sales pages rank for some highly competitive keywords without even trying. Why? Because they have large army of affiliates driving traffic. Traffic also gets you backlinks all by itself, so if you are selling something you should definitely take that into account.

It actually makes perfect sense. When your site gets a lot of traffic (I mean real human visitors) then most likely they might want to find your website later. Most of them will use Google to search for it and guess what? If they can’t find it it makes Google look bad. I have said that before actually, but lately it’s really making a huge impact. Google started following the social proof element and is watching where people actually hang out. If people that visit your site spend a few minutes to read what you have to say or click through pages then it makes you look really good in the eyes of search engines.

So I guess the perfect business model is to build a killer site that converts your visitors into readers, buyers, fans or whatever it is you want them to do and drive massive traffic to it without even worrying about backlinks at first. Your rankings will grow and so will natural backlinks to your site. The only problem with this business model is that it requires some start up capital. If you are going for highly competitive keyword phrases you need massive traffic of course. But the truth is if you got the content and you can make money along the way, then this could be well worth it.

My point is that traffic can get you rankings all by itself, but backlinks alone can’t (at least not long term). If you do get high rankings and people leave your site and your traffic goes down you lose your position quite fast. In the future I see traffic as the most important factor when it comes to ranking sites in the Google index.

Of course content is still king and plays the most important role. Without it you are not getting anywhere, so keep that in mind. I recommend that you read the post I made about creating value where I linked to Matt Mickiewicz’s interview. It should be a real eye opener for many people trying to build a business online.


2 thoughts on “How Does Traffic Affect Rankings?

  1. That’s very good observation. I think it’s true also, search engines should have really taken traffic into account when they are ranking pages.

  2. I would agree if the search engines were neutral and not manipulated for economic reasons. In short, if Adwords didn’t exist then traffic would be relevant. However, since it does, ranking is driven by $$$. For this reason, Google bases unpaid ranking on content and SEO. Bottom line, if you want to be page one Google the best way to get there is to pay for it.

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