tedster - 1:30 am on Dec 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
Many of these "Google properties" are made up of content contributed by websites - I'd say figure out how you can show up in these properties (Products, Places, Videos, Images, News, etc) because the trend is not likely to diminish. For instance, word is that Google recently hired a lot of support personnel for Places to help the SMB with issues they might be having.
These Google Properties are a lot easier for G to manage and control the gaming than "raw" organic listings. In many cases, that means you need your business to be there. And having a "brandable" domain makes more sense in that situation, I'd say.