We are 39 days away from Christmas but Google decided to give local search lovers their Christmas present early, in the form of HotPot, a personalized rating and recommendation engine from the search giant.
While this is not the first type of rating/recommendation engine of its kind out there, i.e. Yelp, etc., the recently delivered HotPot is sure to be a big hit for local search enthusiasts out there. Who can argue that it’s a great way to get additional exposure for your brick and mortar location as well as within a web platform providing ratings and reviews? For those who yearn to build their review base on Google Places this is definitely a plus.
So what does this mean for you the business owner? If you haven’t read any of my previous local search related articles, again, make sure you have a Google Places listing. The next important element is to ensure that you include a relevant, brand-driven title as many searching in HotPot for you will obviously search your company name. Another local listing optimization element to remember is to provid a photo or photos for your listing. Without this Hotpot simply provides a gray box stating “camera shy!” Not a great first impression you agree?
While this will not likely have other sites with review and rating platforms such as Yelp, Urbanspoon and Facebook Places shaking in their boots just yet, it is no doubt a great supporting addition for Google Places. As well, it provides the functionality to see what your friends think of local places. If anything, this yet another recent move by Google to show that “Local” is the future.
BTW, thanks Google for the Christmas gift!
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