Google Hotpot: New Local Recommendation Service
Adding to the myriad services it already provides, Google has officially unveiled Hotpot, a recommendation engine for local restaurants, businesses and places of interest.
If it sounds like Google simply released another Yelp , it's partially true. Hotpot is entering a crowded market of sites that recommend things based on location and customer ratings. But Google's vast database may also prove to be an advantage for Hotpot.
Google says there are three "main ingredients in the Hotpot recipe": Google Places, the places users like, and the places their friends like. Google Places already tracks reviews and details for 50 million places around the world, and adding in user-generated content can significantly expand the database.
Google uses its own algorithms as well as user reviews and recommendations to make relevant suggestions to users. A Hotpot app is expected to increase the number of reviews because people can rate an establishment from their phone while they're there.