Google has been taking big steps in small-business marketing with the growth of its Google Places. Over the last year, it has introduced services that directly compete with online marketing powerhouses Yelp, Foursquare, Groupon and even Facebook. Lisa Barone says small-business owners can’t afford to ignore the steps Google is taking to extend its reach in local search. She encourages owners to claim their Google Places listing, ask customers to leave reviews and manage the comments that come in. Small Business Trends