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Google Hotpot, intrusive or useful?

Published on 16th February 2011

You may not have heard of Google hotpot, but it’s linked closely to Google places and Google maps. What is it? Well Google hotpot offers reviews or recommendations based on your opinions, but it also tells Google what you like and dislike as an individual, slightly scary.

So why did Google want this information? The answer is simple, they want to place advertisements in front of you for products and services that they believe you’ll be interested in. On the Hotpot Place card they will even tell you why they are recommending this product or service.

Google Hotpot is simply display advertising in context the your tastes and interests.


Before you read on why not try Google Hotpot here and see what comes up in your area. I live in a small village called Lundin Links in Fife up in Scotland and although I didn’t think there were many businesses in my local area hotpot throws up some interesting hotels restaurants and service businesses that I would probably not have considered otherwise.

So the big debate is whether this is a useful service or whether you feel Google is holding information about you that you’re not comfortable about.

Be aware that Google doesn’t collect information about you unless you are logged in to your Google account while you are placing recommendations and opinions as well as surfing.

This is a difficult dilemma because most of us value an opinion or recommendation from somebody that we know and trust very highly, and many of my best purchases and experiences have been based upon recommendations from friends and family. So Google is now trying to emulate your social circle by giving us recommendations and opinions from people you don’t know. Does this ring a bell, the tussle between Google and Facebook over the next 18 months should be interesting to watch.

Hotpot is yet another indication of how seriously Google are taking the local search market. Hotpot reviews and recommendations are now included in your Google search so if you’re in a business where reviews have an impact on your sales revenue, then you would be wise to keep a close eye on the work Google is doing and the new applications seems to be introducing on a monthly basis.

We will be keeping a very close eye on what’s going on so if you’d like to keep updated why not follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn , or add this blog to your RSS feed.

If you have any comments or thoughts on my blog post I would really love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Categories: Google, Local Marketing, Social Media

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