The epic battle between Google and Facebook continues! Mike posted yesterday about Facebook’s new email, which pits Facebook against Gmail. While Google Places’ new Hotpot isn’t making as big of waves in the blogosphere, it is still a jab by Google right back at Facebook (and Yelp, and Foursquare…etc).
Google is attempting to make Places more social with Hotpot, dubbed a “local recommendation engine” by Google. They also rolled out a Hotpot rating app for mobile devices, which should help encourage increased ratings.
Quick Takeaway: Google Local Search is becoming more and more important as Google continues to make it more prominent for searches with local intent. As organic results disappear from the SERPS, ranking in local is paramount for restaurants, hotels, and other locally focused businesses. We know that an important factor in determining local rankings is the number of reviews a business has, so encouraging customers to rate with Hotpot has the potential to create a steady stream of new ratings, especially for businesses that embrace it early.