Google continues to introduce new modules. In mid-November, 2010, Google announced the release of “Hotpot”, a (yet another) recommendation engine for local businesses based on your own recommendations as well as that of your friends’ ratings. Hotpot is connected with Google’s Places, targeting local business owners to claim their business listings, verify information and engage with customers.
Google Hotpot can be a powerful consumer tool as it is part of a 50 million business listings database. You can sign in and then are prompted to search for a general theme and establish your location. The default search is “restaurants”. For the most accurate results, enter your city or town for better geo-targeting.
Similar to Yelp.com, Citysearch.com, and other rating sites, users can proactively rate the businesses they’ve patronized. Ratings are on a 5 star system — 5 stars being excellent and 1 star being terrible. As a user rates places, Google’s Hotpot determines other places the person may be interested in visiting.
Google has also created a Hotpot rating application so that users can quickly and easily rate and find friends while on their phones. The company also upgraded Google Maps on Android to allow users to input and view ratings on the go.