With the launch of Hotpot Google have turned search into an even more socially driven experience. Google places as well as latitude have shown us the power of localised search. Latitude with its ability to connect people through location and places through its ability to strengthen the visibility of user reviews to the searching public.
What Hotpot offers users is the ability to search based on the preference of friends and the reviews and ratings they have submitted. If I’m finding a restaurant in Oval, South London do I want to know what the feedback is of the thousands of people who have posted reviews or do I want to see what my trusted friends are saying? I think the latter, after all one mans gastro pub is another man’s watering hole. I trust my friends so I want to search out events, restaurants, shops and cinemas with the option to gain there valuable insight.
As businesses large and small clock on to the developments and opportunities within location based search offerings they will also come to realise that in order to compete in this space (which they will have to) they will need to engage with customers more online. Whether through social media, websites, email campaigns, or in-store initiatives it is becoming ever more vital to have processes and growing communities that are strong enough to engage customers and benefit a review model. If customers are not engaged they cannot be harnessed for new social initiatives such as Hotpot.