Sunday Morning SEO: Improve Your Rankings by Increasing Your Traffic

Sugarrae published an interesting study on her blog a couple months ago. It’s entitled You Don’t Need SEO to Rank in Google. It basically shows that increasing your traffic can help your rankings. Usually we think of it backwards. We do SEO to increase our traffic, but if you have a knack for attracting visitors without doing SEO, your rankings will improve as a by product.

In the study, Sugarrae wrote about an experiment she did with Tweetwasters, one of her sites. Tweetwasters went viral right after it was launched.  It received a lot of traffic in the next couple of hours.  When she checked some factors search experts use to evaluate a site’s ability to rank, she saw that Tweetwasters had the characteristics of authority site.  For example, the site outranked authority sites that wrote about it including her own site, Digg, and TechCrunch.  Also, she had a couple hundred pages indexed and the word tweetwasters was no longer considered a misspelling by Google.

She did not do any SEO so the cause of her rankings had to be the traffic.

The study is may be too technical if you don’t have a lot of SEO experience.  But here’s the gist: Google has made traffic a big factor in their search algorithm. It did not use to be that way.  I think Google made this change to be relevant since social media has become a huge force on the internet.

Sugarrae writes:

My nofollowed link from Twitter is more valuable to me than my dofollow link from TechCrunch because it sends me traffic on a regular basis that sends the right signals to Google while bringing actual human beings to my site.

So, what’s the takeaway? Well, if you do SEO and also figure out ways to get traffic without search engines, you have a huge advantage over other sites that just focus on doing SEO.


  1. says

    So basically what you are saying that google looks at the bounce rates and the time that someone spend on the site. If your bounce rate is low but your time on site is high, the obviously your providing good content for your user, so your rankings will improve accordingly.

  2. says

    Not sure about that. It’s an ages old myth that Google looks at the actual traffic to determine rankings. We have no proof of that until now. What’s more logical is that Google analyzes Twitter links and trends to pass value.

  3. says


    I’m not sure about bounce rates but you’re probably right that Google can check bounce rates with many people using Google Analytics. However, Sugarrae is talking about raw traffic numbers. In this comment, she says that Google has access to a good sample size of traffic stats since many people have the Google toolbar installed on their browser.

  4. says

    Yeah..By driving more traffic to our site ll definitely increase page rank of our site. Do follow right ways to increase web traffic, dont use black hat seo methods for promotion.

  5. says

    I know exactly what she is saying. One of my other sites has had no SEO done at all but I add content regularly and more importantly, people stay on my site when they visit and read an average of 6 posts (probably due to my magazine layout)I now rank on Google page 1 for about 5 of my targeted terms.

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