Google announced that it is now adding results from Hotpot right in regular Google.com search results (with the local Google Places results it’s already putting there).
If you’re not familiar with Hotpot, launched late last year, this video pretty much sums it up:
The move was inevitable, and it’s available in 38 languages now, and it certainly makes search results more social. That is if you actually have friends using Hotpot. I’d say there’s a good chance you probably have more friends using Twitter, however, and they’re naturally talking about local businesses, restaurants, etc. That’s why I’m anticipating some kind of integration for the recently picked up fflick technology, which the company says is for YouTube, into search results.
In a recent article at Bloomberg BusinessWeek talking about Google’s mysterious "social layer" project, it said:
Two sources familiar with it, who asked not to be named because the project is not yet public, confirm that it is tentatively called Google +1 and that it is designed to cull data about relationships among users from current services such as Gmail and YouTube.Google will then let users share material through those connections, while using the information to make other products more social. Search results may be skewed toward pages that your friends found useful—for instance, a Google Maps query for nearby Italian restaurants could return one that was positively reviewed by someone you know. (emphasis added).
If Google tapped more than just its native Hotpot for delivering friends’ reviews of search results, it could be very powerful. What if you got results from friends on Twitter, Foursquare, and other check-in services? They did just add new ways to check in with Google Latitude.
For now, it’s just Hotpot though, so we won’t get too far ahead of ourselves. Either way, Google is more aggressively trying to deliver personalized recommendations. The review sites like Yelp, who are already critical of Google, are going to love this.