Google Hotpot – New Local Search Function

The folk over at Google are releasing so many new features at the moment. Boost, the Google Arrow and Quick View are some we’ll cover in posts during the next few days but lets look at their latest addition to local business search – Google Hotpot.

http://www.google.com/hotpot – you will need a Google Account to login

Once you’ve logged in you will see the normal Google search bar but a very different presentation below it. The image in this post shows the search results for ‘redcliffe restaurant‘. Hotpot will allow you to easily rate businesses that you have visited or used in the past. When you click on the business it will take you through to the Google Places page for the business.

You can elect ‘not interested’ which will remove that business listing from your search results and so over time create search results that are personalised for you. Hotpot will also pull in recommended businesses from your Gmail contacts so that your search results will reflect feedback from your social group.

It might be a bit of a¬†gimmick but you have 10 ‘Best Ever’ awards that you can assign to businesses. Once you’ve used up your 10 then it looks like that is it.

OK – so what does this mean for your small business? It makes it even more important to go and claim your Google Places listing and populate it with as much detail and content as you can. Encourage customers to leave you feedback and trade reviews with other local business owners.

Hotpot will be compatible with Android mobile devices. The pundits are hailing this and other recent rollouts from Google as being aimed squarely at social media tools like Facebook Places and Foursquare