EditorialGuy - 3:02 pm on Jul 28, 2013 (gmt 0)
Actually it is a rating service. That was the whole purpose behind its initial design, the updates and all the Animal Farm patches. Rather than just being an ordinary search engine, it rated sites based, initially, on the site's link authority.
But it isn't a business rating service. It's a site or page rating service, if you prefer the term "rating service" to "search engine."
I've never heard anyone seriously suggest that the 200+ factors in the Google organic-search algorithm include shipping speed, returns policies, restocking fees, customer-service hours, and similar "retail factors." Matt Cutts & Co. have been telling us to focus on building great content for users if we want to do well in Google Search. They haven't said anything about keeping merchandise in stock, providing tracking numbers, or being quick to ship.
If you want to do well in Google organic search, you need to publish original content of intrinsic value to users and attract freely-given links that Google can count as "votes." This is where most small e-commerce sites are at a disadvantage compared to megasites like Amazon.com or Booking.com. The latter are big enough to attract a critical mass of user-written reviews. (To be sure, not all user reviews are of equal quality, but some are useful--and in any case, they qualify as "content" in Google's eyes.) If your typical page just has a product description and an "Add to cart" button, you're going to be at a disadvantage.
The bottom line is pretty simple: If you want to rank well in a search engine that cares about page content, then write pages with content of intrinsic value--or pay someone to write those pages for you.