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Google Places & Google Hotpot Get Friendly

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We’ve all seen the listings for local businesses on Google, Yelp, or other sites where people can give recommendations or tear down the place with a swift click of the mouse. But how do you know you can trust the reviewers? Are they just a vindictive person who wants to give their ex-husband or wife who owns the business a cyber punch in the gut with a “colorful” bad review? Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe it’s a friend of the business owner giving a biased review.

Even if the reviews are honest, everyone’s taste in Indian food or frozen yogurt is different. So, why not find a way to personalize these recommendations?

That’s just what Google did with Hotpot, a local recommendation engine that is powered by you and people you know. And with the Hotpot rating app, you can rate business with ease. It also allows you to choose which people you want to invite to Hotpot – you get suggestions from your email address book.

While Hotpot can be found at Google.com/hotpot, you can now get recommendations when you perform your normal Google searches. For instance, when you search for a restaurant, there will be a list of suggestions at the top of the page in the Places section. If you have friends who have rated at of those businesses, their profile name, photo, rating and review can show up below the business name. Of course, you will have to be logged in to your Google account and have added these friends in order to see recommendations.

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