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.
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.