If you're a brick-and-mortar business owner, you should know exactly what pops up when someone searches for your business on Google. Ignoring Google could give your competitors a chance to hijack Google's information about your business.
While Google's massive online reach may seem all-knowing, its business listings are mostly user-created. The company lists businesses and their addresses according to local White Pages books, and then lets business owners "claim" their business's posting.
To prove you actually own a business, all you have to do is mail a letter. Anyone can do that, though.
How easy is it to falsify a real business's listing? After 40 years of business, a Washington, D.C., restaurant was shut down when someone changed the owner's business listing on Google to tell customers that he was closed on weekends.