HotPot, yes, it sounds like a tasty dish I had for lunch one cold December day. Alas it is actually a new social platform introduced by Google making your opinions, and those of your friends the basis for local search results.
Imagine my surprise when while watching hulu, not at work of course, The ubiquitous ad that interrupts my television enjoyment is for Google HotPot. Now, it’s been years since I can remember actually seeing a Google ad not on Adowrds, so this must be good. So how does it work? Well, first you’ll need a Google Places account. Then the fun can begin.
Google puts it like this: “Every time you rate a place on Google, we get a better understanding of your likes and dislikes… Once we can discern your tastes, you’ll start to see recommendations in your search results of places chosen specially for you, with explanations of why you might like them.” That’s not all. Go ahead and add your friends to your Google places account.” When you add them as friends in Google Places, you’ll see their recommendations when you search for places on Google.”
What will this mean for your Local search effort? It means that now more than ever reviews, good reviews, are tantamount to having a successful local search model. It also means ORM (online reputation management) is even more important and even one bad review can completely derail your relevancy for local search.
More information on Hot Pot can be found HERE.