This one might be surprising to some, but is very simple. The amount of traffic your website gets is not a ranking factor to Google.
For more, check out the full post over on the Search Engine Roundable blog.
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This may be one of the most prevailing myths out there, but Google dispels with no mincing of words. When asked if traffic to a site is considered as a ranking factor, Google responded with:
“No, traffic to a website isn’t a ranking factor. If you’re starting to get relevant traffic & users love your site, that’s a good start though!”
As with most things, it’s a bit more nuanced than that. While I completely agree that getting more traffic in and of itself isn’t a ranking factor, it likely is an indication of other things that are ranking factors.
The easiest example to consider is that if a bunch of sites are linking to you and you’re getting a bunch of traffic, your rankings will likely improve because of those links.
Conversely, if you go viral on social media and you’re getting a lot of traffic, that could well lead to other sites talking about you (and building links), which will have a positive impact on your rankings.
Simply getting a lot of traffic to your site won’t help you rank better, but it’s certainly a good thing and could have benefits beyond the immediate traffic gains.