One of the first steps dental offices should take in increasing their online presence is to sign up for local business listings with the three major search engines.  Google’s Local Business Center has been renamed Google Places and is the most important listing of this kind.  Local business listings populate the Google Maps that are displayed when a search query includes a city name and business type.  Nobody quite knows what determines which businesses get priority placement on Google Maps, but having a complete Google Places profile and several patient reviews seems to help.   Yahoo! and Bing also have their own version of local business listings and a maps function.  The maps listings of all three of the major search engines typically appear after sponsored listings, but before natural (or organic) search result listings in major cities.