One Part Google Places, One Part Social Media
Late Monday morning Google debuted Google Hotpot – described as a “local recommendation” site – which appears to be a blend of the well-known Google Places service with social media aspects. Google Hotpot allows users to rate and review local businesses, such as hotels and restaurant and then share their comments with friends.
Google Hotpot represents the company’s push towards attracting users who would otherwise visit sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor for ratings to stay on the search engine and find their answers there.
Once Hotpot “friends” leave reviews on local businesses, those ratings will then be eligible to show in the search engine result pages when a user searches a related term. An example might be if a user were to stay at a hotel in Santa Clara, CA and leave a review on their stay and what package they booked, that review will then show high in the results page when a friend of theirs searched for “santa clara hotel.”
This new addition to Google’s line of services offers a new opportunity and challenge for the hotel industry. By essentially opening the reviews section of Google Places open to all users, this will allow reviews to be collected faster and with greater transparency. Google’s entrance into the arena of shared reviews and local recommendations presents a fresh opportunity for users to continue to build and enhance their profiles within the Google network.
Contributed by Jonas Pauliukonis, Milestone Internet Marketing