At the recent Kahenacon conference held recently, an ex-Google employee claimed that Google is apparently assigning more value to links that send traffic. And Google measures all of this using the Google Chrome web browser, not Google Analytics.
Google Chrome sends a lot of data over to Google when you use it, so it makes sense that Google will give more weight to a link that they know is being clicked more often.
I am actually not surprised by this, I have suspected that Google has been using click data for a while now.
This is the first time we have (potential) confirmation that they're giving more weight to links in this way.