Let’s put the controversy around Google using user signals and user behavior within a site on the side. Does Google use real-life user behavior and real-life user signals as ranking factors? Like does Google track location data and rank a site that gets more foot traffic better in the search results?

So a store like Walmart versus a store that is a small mom and pop store – does Google look and say, well, we see so many people going to Walmart daily, we should rank their web site better?

John Mueller from Google actually answered that question saying no, it doesn’t make sense for Google to use that data. He used Amazon as evidence, saying, Amazon gets no foot traffic, so they should rank them poorly because of it?

Here is the conversation:

This is not necessarily how Google ranks the local results, but John is not part of the Google local team. I am not sure if Google uses foot traffic for ranking in the local results. I know they do track it and show you how busy some places are in the local panel, but there also, I am not sure if it makes sense to rank busier stores higher in the local results.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Original Source