A business without a sign is not a business. A sign could mean many things in today's virtual world. I am speaking particularly about a sign on Google Maps. I just got back from a trip to the Hamptons, NY. I am setting up my first LocalbyLocals (Local Search Marketing) franchise in Long Island. (But that will be another post)
I started heavily relying on Google Maps on my smartphone to find close businesses. Unfortunately both places I was looking for did not show up -- An Asian Fusion Restaurant and a Liquor Store. We had to do it the old fashioned way and drive around. Now, that is not to say that there were not results for both searches. Even the smallest local business should be registering their site with Google Local, Yahoo Local, and MSN Local. These free registrations can act as your "sign" when people are searching on the local search products.
In the airport on the way back, I picked up the latest issue of Wired Magazine. I saw the big picture of Optimus Prime (Transformers) and thought it would make for good reading. I did not notice the article across the top of the page: Google Maps is changing the way we see the world (HyperLocal). It is a great article and I highly recommend reading it.