Follow Along

RSS Feed Join Us on Twitter On Facebook

Get Engaged


Featured Article

Google Updates Social SearchGoogle Updates Social SearchThere was a post earlier today from Google stating that they're ramping up the social elements in the SERPs....

Latest Comments

Related Reading

Latest Articles

Did Google ease off Panda and the tighten thin content manual penalty?Did Google ease off Panda...
Earlier this week there was a confirmation from Google about a recent Panda update....
Is Technorati feeling the Google heat?Is Technorati feeling the Google...
Ok, so yesterday I was reporting about some potential red flags in the world...
Digital Marketing Weekly - Issue 4Digital Marketing Weekly - Issue...
Linked to last week's Google I/O event in San Francisco there is a lot of...

Our Sponsors


Latest Search Videos

Join Us

Hotpot Ain't so Hot.... Yet!
Written by Terry Van Horne
Thursday, 18 November 2010 08:54

Hotpot is a local recommendation engine powered by you and your friends. With Hotpot, we’re making local search results for places on Google more personal, relevant and trustworthy.

Hotpot is layering reviews and ratings over the Google Places data and leverages Android's 200,000 new phones a day with an app to do Mobile reviews etc. Apps are what makes these hyper Local/Geo services go! I have been successful in using several Google Search and Map APIs so I've been very interested in the Google Places API from the day it was announced.

These are possibly the means by which Google finally "gets" Social traction and further solidifies its' Mobile Ad dominance gained by purchasing AdMob.

Google HotPot


How Googlepot Works

Google Places 50 million places around the world for which we have rich details.

Google Places has details for 50 million places around the world and yet this program still isn't getting traction. Part of the problem starts with the hassle of you having to add yet another profile to Google. This seems appropriate since this provides an anonymous profile for your reviews. Yeah ... but it's yet another Google profile and way to track you! That said appropriate or not this will be yet another impediment to growth.

Google HotPot

(lol Dave is his own friend, nice.)

The thing is I put myself and some local clients in a Google Places predecessor but never did anything to promote it or take any action to get reviews or ratings. The reason for that is simple... I don't compete with cowboys when I know the sheriff is bringing a begun to break up the gunfight!

When you rate places you like, we’ll tell you about other related places you’ll love.

So... if I'm a business do I really want to tell my customers about other places they won't just like... they'll love them! Geez this might discourage businesses from seeking/soliciting reviews and ratings. It's obvious that "the Google" wants "Yelp like" reviewers that they could conceivably crawl other reviews/comments/status updates by the reviewer for a shadow index.

Bill Slawski's post "How Google may Manage Reputations for Reviewers and Raters" is very interesting discussion of a recent patent in that the process described seems it might be partially what we are seeing in play with the use of these reviewers. Could they be like a seedlist for a crawl.

Share your ratings with your friends and see the places they’ve recommended.

Note that this uses your Google profile Friends (to some extent) who for me the closest is about 1 1/2 hr. drive. So kinda' doubt we'll be recommending restaurants for each other unless they are coming to Toronto. Google's reluctance to leverage other Social Networks for friend connections doesn't seem like a very smart move.

Bill Slawski

Google just doesn't get that no one wants their Standalone Social Networks because they aren't that much better or are worse than what they are trying to displace. Ruud's post on Search Engine People made some excellent points on how this seems to be a theme among all Google Social endeavors.


The SEO Perspective

Place Search results will begin appearing automatically on Google when we predict you’re looking for local information. In addition, you’ll find a new link for “Places” in the left-hand panel of the search results page so you can switch to these results whenever you want.

One thing we must also consider is there have been a spate of new search initiatives at the query level ie: Instant Search and Previews a new Local Products and the first Local change that's currently in play. IMO, this is the prelude to a new era in Local Search.

The days of the cowboys ruling the Local Search roost are behind us opening the way for those of us who stayed away because we didn't want to waste clients money on things that won't last. If Google takes this as a primary verification of legitimate listings then Hotpot, despite the ridiculous name, may gain some traction.

Terry Van Horne -

Terry is an old school SEO/IM geek that works out of International Website Builders and the founder of - You can also hook up with him on Twitter. It seems he's become a regular here on the Trail... so I wanted to, once more, give a great big THANKs to T for hanging out and sharing his experiences.

You can also hook up via


More articles by this author

The Art of Google Link BuildingThe Art of Google Link Building
The aftermath of the Over Optimization Penalty which is Googleze...
Is Google Really De-indexing Free Directories?Is Google Really De-indexing Free Directories?
Today Barry Schwartz reported on a WebmasterWorld thread in which...
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 November 2010 08:58

Add comment

Security code

Getting Around the Site

Home - all the latest on SNC
SEO - our collection of SEO articles
Technical SEO - for the geeks
Latest News - latest news in search
Analytics - measure up and convert
RSS Rack - feeds from around the industry
Search - looking for something specific?
Authors - Author Login
SEO Training - Our sister site
Contact Us - get in touch with SNC

What's New?

All content and images copyright Search News Central 2014
SNC is a Verve Developments production, the Forensic SEO Specialists- where Gypsies roam.