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Google SEO: What Gives Businesses the Edge

Today’s Google algorithm is the most sophisticated and hard to read since Google launched seventeen years ago. The reason for its ever growing sophistication are many which we will not discuss here. But here is a list of things you need to know about Google in order to get your site ranked at the top of the search results.

Google Reviews

It’s been a few years since Google has dropped reviews from Yelp, Demand Force and other third party review providers. They now heavily depend on Google reviews. In 2014, the new Google algorithms were giving a bigger weight to the number of as well as the score of Google reviews.

In order to rank better on Google Places (Maps) you would have to focus on getting more reviews for your Google Plus account.

It’s never easy to get reviews and it gets more complicated when you are trying to improve your Yelp, Bing, Google and other third party reviews.

Here are some of our practical suggestions:

– Focus on Google and Yelp when it comes to your reviews (forget about the rest)
– Ask every happy client if they would leave you a review. Hand them a piece of paper with instructions and tell them how much you appreciate it.
– Have an email campaign to remind your clients to write you a review with clear and simple directions.

Website User-Friendliness

In 2014 Google started paying more attention to how user-friendly sites are. Indicators such as site load speed time, responsiveness, time people spend on each site, and the number of pages they visit became more important. In short your audience overall satisfaction helps your site rank better.

Website Responsiveness

Out of all the above, responsiveness of your site is the most important element in raking your site better with Google.

A responsive website is one which its layout (and not the content) changes based on the device and the monitor size it is being rendered on.

To develop responsive sites, programmers use HTML5 programing.


As before, adding fresh and unique content to your site on a regular basis is an indication of your site’s authority in the field. Write for your site at least once a month and more if you can.

Keyword-Rich Domains

We were expecting Google to drop the importance of keyword-rich domains in ranking algorithm, but it didn’t. In 2014 and beyond, keyword-rich domains play a significant role in having a site rank better for the specific keywords mentioned in the URL.


To our surprise, Google is now paying much less attention to backlinks than before 2014. The reason could be many things. Artificial methods to gain backlink popularity is the most important reason Google has backed away from putting too much weight on back-links.

Google SEO: What Gives Businesses the Edge was last modified: July 25th, 2019 by Ali Husayni
  • Reviews are so important. I don\’t choose a dentist unless he or she has reviews on Google, which is where I search first and foremost.

    Would contests be a good motivator for leaving reviews? Like, leave a review and be entered into a drawing for a prize? Or would that be unethical?

    • As long as you\’re not \”bribing\” someone for a good review, I do not see a problem with motivating your patients to leave you reviews on Google by a contest or similar awards. However, be aware that Google may not like it and if they find out (somehow), they could penalize a site entirely. They\’re somewhat very sensitive when it comes to reviews.

  • When I was looking for a new dentist for my daughters, these things described here were huge in making our final decision. One dentist I was trying to learn more about didn\’t even have a website! The dentist we chose had a beautifully designed website that was easy to navigate, links to her social media pages, and tons of great reviews. She\’s a much farther drive than I normally would have cared to make, but based on the work she put in to her online presence, she sold us!

    Becky 3 years ago
    • Very interesting experience. It is amazing how most of us do not appreciate the power of online marketing.