There’s been some thought that since Google knows a good bit about real-life user activity, such as when stores are busy, they might use that data to affect search rankings. At least for now, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Read more thoughts on this topic over on this post from Search Engine Roundtable.
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Since Google knows about real-life traffic to stores, do they use that info to affect local searches? While they certainly could, since the have the data, they insist they don’t and they have some solid reasoning.
Google’s John Mueller put out a few tweets to explain:
- don’t think that would make much sense — eg, nobody visits the Amazon office with the intent to buy something in person (though who knows, that might change over time too :
- For us, the local / Google my business / maps results are separate from organic search (not always tied to a website), so I don’t know how they’d be ranking those. Does having a lot of visitors mean it’s a good place? Maybe they just have free coffee for a day 🙂
If you’re a local business, there is a lot you can be doing to help your site rank better for those searches with local intent, but it seems for now that the traffic walking into your store doesn’t directly impact how well you appear in search.