It all started when my uncle's web site was redesigned with flash. EVERYTHING was done in flash. The address, the phone number, directions, etc. Basically the site was invisible to search engines. I tried explaining to my uncle that search engines would not find anything to index and people googling him would no longer get any results. I told him that he should have the people who design his site put the basic information (address, phone, business name) in plain HTML so search engines could find it.
My uncle is not a techie and didn't fully understand what I was saying but he did contact the site designers. Apparently they didn't understand what I was asking either. Instead of pulling out crucial information they added a new index page to his site that lets people choose between a broadband (flash) or dial up (jsp) version. What the?? The JSP version of the site was no lighter than the flash version. Obviously the designers didn't have a clue either. At least search engines can crawl the JSP site but now there is twice as much to maintain.
Rather than try to convey technical requirements to teams unqualified to build web pages, I decided to build a site that would help other businesses like my uncles. If typing your business name and city does not give you the top result on Google, with a map to your business, your web site is not doing its job. I have a solution. I call it BizLocale.com.
Goto bizlocale.com and enter your business name, address and phone number and website address and see if your search results don't improve in the coming weeks. The bizlocale.com domain is new and google hasn't started crawling it actively but I hope that will change in the coming weeks. The site is still pretty rough and I have no proof that entries on this site will show with maps in google but I suspect they will.
BizLocale is also great if your name is not part of a business and people try to search for you. For example. John Doe works in a doctor's practice called Smith and Associates. On BizLocale he can create an entry for Smith and Associates with his name as a contact. This works great for all sorts of businesses and I see it as a useful tool for people who run businesses out of their house.
The bizlocale.com entry can be your only presence on the web and it should help. In addition to entering contact information there is a text area where you can describe your business and enter keywords. This could be all web presence you need. BizLocale is about empowering local search so having a fancy web site is not a requirement.