It may sound a little like the quip about which came first the egg or chicken, but there is some evidence to suggest search engines like Google may look at visitor number when determining how to rank a site.
This controversial view has to some extent been confirmed by Google in a statement where they are looking to promote pages to you which your ‘friends’ find interesting.
Although we can’t influence this directly we can look at other supporting techniques that can achieve the same thing.
Right from the days of the first web pages and the first incarnation of the Google search engine, Google has been looking at ways it can provide the user with exactly the information they want to access.
Knowing how powerful the first few results on Google are has caused a complete industry to be set up to work out how to get to the top of Google.
Each time Google comes up with a new fool proof method to combat spam, Spammer come up with a new method to fight back.
More recently Google has started to not only look at the pages you use but also those of your friends and people with the same interest.
The logic is simple, if a lot of people are looking at these pages, they must be pages of good information.
Of course Google does not just rely on this idea but its gaining more weight.
Google uses a number of systems to do this and these include actively tracking a user’s net footprint.
By actively looking at all aspects of promotion not only will we see a direct benefit, but it may also have a double effect due to this over riding idea that more visitors a site has, the more relevant it is.
While it is true that no one outside of Google knows the mechanism for determining rank in its search engine listing, we do know Google likes the top ten pages for a given phrase for a reason, and it is this fact we can use to formulate our strategy.
The reason for looking at the top ten as a whole is that it allows us to remove the ‘freak’ results of any one website.
We could look at any phrase but it makes sense to look at a popular term. It’s also important to note that the internet is a fluid place and analysis on one day and with one search engine can be different on another day on another engine.
Looking at the top ten results all the sites were amongst the top 2000 most popular sites on the web.
This is not surprising due to the nature of the search term and the sorts of websites that would be covering a world class event of its type.
What was interesting was that although all the sites had a vast amount of visitors, the most popular site of the top ten was not in the top position.
From this we can deduce that although visitor numbers may have an effect it certainly does not dictate the whole story.