CNet: Does search engine’s power threaten Web’s independence?

My spin:Are search engines, namely Google, the “god’s of the ‘net”? What other options are there for businesses to use to market online – other than online advertising (fee based) and if they have problems getting indexed and listed on Google or some other large portal?
My suggestions:
a) it takes time, but establish direct links and referrals with other web sites
b) media mentions
c) similar to above but a different strategy, become a resource for big traffic “portals” or vortals (vertical industries)

CNet: Patrick Ahern has witnessed the power of Google–and the difficulties of trying to do business without it.
Data Recovery Group, where he is president, would typically come up around the fourth listing on Google’s popular search engine last year. Then in January, when Google removed the company from its listings without explanation, Data Recovery saw a 30 percent drop in business. (full story)