Is Google is trying to eliminate the need for small business to have a website?
I believe that if an SME is interested in using the web to generate company interest or business leads; they are going to need a website & this isn’t going to change any time soon. There’s a myriad of sites like this on the web. If anything Googles place pages or Facebook pages whichever you decide to use are only going to improve your online reputation; consolidating users trust in your online presence!
Most of the concern from SEO consultants is that Google is increasingly using the space on the first page for their own resources. Search for Internet marketing Manchester and the first thing you see is a map with lots of listings; surpassing the efforts of those companies who have worked hard for a prominent SERP! As if that blow wasn’t enough for SEO’ers it now appears that Google is inserting data from its Maps project into its natural listings.