|Google Hotpot moving to Places|
Yelp will yelp!
|Last November, we introduced Hotpot, our recommendation engine to help people discover great new places when they search on Google. It’s simple: Rate and review the places you know, add friends whose opinions you trust and we serve you up personalized recommendations based on those tastes. |
Since then, we’ve released an iPhone and Android app, integrated Hotpot recommendations into Google.com and Google Maps, expanded to more than 47 languages and enabled people to share their ratings and reviews to Twitter. While busy iterating on the product side, we’ve also launched marketing and community campaigns in five cities in the U.S.: Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; Las Vegas, Nev.; Madison, Wis.; and Charlotte, N.C.
Comments from The Register:
|Google's move should worry Yelp, whose business model rests entirely on providing the same service – customer reviews and business advertising. Yelp still has a significant following, with reviews of everything from restaurants to New York sex clubs, but being integrated into Google's search and supported by mass mailings of QG Codes and NFC stickers could well give Google Places the upper hand. |
This is yet another indication that Google is going to roll in the best of the web into its business profile.
Now Yelp will pay the price for not selling to Google. They will probably be pandalized soon, like other Google Local and Google shopping competitors were. Ask InsiderPages, TheFind, Buzzillions and others how are they doing. A line of code and there goes your competitor!
Of course it's algorithmic, not even a hint or a "man, those sites are..." to the search team :)
The Australian Yelp has a major TV advertising campaign encouraging business' to list with them online to get visibility on the "major search" engines.
Yelp's gone gone gone - spending money like that only accelerates the demise.
I'm glad that Google WISELY decided to kill the separate app and the name HotPot and merge it into it’s rightful place as an integrated feature of the core local product - Google Places.
No one is talking about how huge this is – but to me it speaks VOLUMES!
Have you seen how much energy and how many dollars G was putting into promoting HotPot including major “feet on the street” marketing campaigns in several cities?
I think it diverted SO MUCH energy and money AWAY from Google Places. Now all those campaigns will be talking Google Places instead and creating more awareness for the total local solution, not just HotPot.
For those of us that have been (not so) patiently waiting for Google to invest more resources to make Google Places work better, this is a hopeful signal that things could change.
Plus now that Bing Business Portal has been launched with many very basic features we've thought Google Places should have had all along, hopefully it will set the bar higher.
I'm a big believer in what Google Places can and SHOULD be and with all the positive changes Jeff Huber, the new SVP is making already, I'm hopeful a steady stream of improvements are on the way!
When I look for "blue widgets" I don't necessarily want page one to be plastered with places near my home. I might just be looking for a good website about, you know, blue widgets.
Places is proving extremely annoying in my case, I already know where stores are in my area. MAYBE if places was limited to mobile phones or something I'd give it two thumbs up but right now it's giving me repeated "grrrrr" feelings. I hope that doesn't get worse with Hotspot being folded into it.
A change i'd like to see: If I NEVER look for store locations online NEVER show me places. If I look for stores quite often show them in a less intrusive manner, I'll know where to go get the info. Right now it's an annoyance imo.
I continue to be glad that we have not got a lot invested local directories. I've set up several which work fine, for just a few bucks. None of them are making any money, they all are all used as link bait to keep the primary sites listed high.
I wonder about this regarding making money for Google. I guess if you have 50 million of them and each one makes a dollar a year, ...
As Google Places eclipses other websites designed to help find local businesses, will citations from those directories and other sources still be useful for Places rankings?