Are foot traffic and web traffic the new backlinks?

First of all, no Google update…again. Knowing Google, they’re probably doing it right now, as I speak. It will happen eventually, but no one has a clue when any longer.

I’ve been noticing something interesting in a lot of my clients’ sites when it comes to rankings, and it all comes down to a question of correlation versus causation. If two things are happening at about the same time, does one cause the other? I’m talking specifically about site traffic and Google crawling. I took a look at the numbers from a few sites and I’m finding some interesting movement.

I looked at one site that increased their activity after New Year’s Day, almost doubling their traffic. Their usage was up and their business was busier. At the same time, a view of Google Analytics showed that the number of pages crawled at the same time increased at just about the same rate. In addition, the ranking of every keyword phrase across the board rose in a similar curve. All three graphs showed similar, though not exact, rises.

This is happening all over in a number of different industries, giving us social proof that it works across the board. It seems as if an increase in your site’s traffic will encourage the Googlebot to crawl your site more often, which in turn will increase your rankings. The same boost you used to get from a good backlink can now, seemingly, be achieved with an increase in organic traffic.

I’m curious if it will hold for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day. If you’re in an industry like flowers, candy, restaurants or the like, check your numbers and see if you had a similar spike in pages crawled that match those of your traffic. If it follows this pattern, let me know.

For more information, visit the StewArt Media website.

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business  StewArt Media  has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.


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