Google Folds Hotpot Into Places

Five months ago, Google launched a local recommendation product called Hotpot and explained that Google Places was one of three main ingredients (along with “the places you like” and “the places your friends like”).  Now, the situation’s been reversed, as…

Google Latitude App Updated

Over at the Mobile Blog, Google announced updates to two different iPhone apps, Google Latitude and Google Places. Google Latitude, the app that lets you see your friend’s locations on a Google map and share where you are, has added…

Search Google For Just Businesses That Are Currently Open

Google has launched a feature for its iPhone and Android mobile search that lets you see results for only local businesses that are actually open at the time of the search. While this may not seem incredibly helpful during normal business hours, it marks a tremendous boost in relevancy for late night searches. 

Google Places with Hotpot App Released for iPhone

Google has launched Google Places with Hotpot for the iPhone. Given the iPhone’s pending availability to Verizon customers, this should provide a huge boost in use for Google’s recently launched local offering. Google Places with Hotpot has been available in Google Maps for Android, but now it’s a standalone iPhone app too. 

Google Brings New Level of Relevancy to Local

Google has combined local search with personalized search, and social search to make a potentially powerful new kind of Google result that should benefit both users and businesses. These results come from a new Google product called "Hotpot", a recommendation engine designed for integration with Google Places. 

Google Intros Place Search to Deliver Local Results More Efficiently

Google announced a new kind of search result called Place Search today. These results can be accessed from the new "Places" option in the left panel on Google search results pages, but unlike many of the other search options available in the panel, Google will actually return you these results for queries automatically, when it thinks you are looking for local information. 

Place Search results are marked with red pins, much like you’re used to seeing on Google Maps. 

Google Places Moves Forward With Pics Of Firms’ Interiors

Early this year, a rumor circulated that Google was exploring a concept called Google Store Views – basically a version of Street View that would photograph the interiors of businesses.  Now, pictures that were taken as part of a pilot program can be viewed on some companies’ Place pages.

Facebook Places, the Competition (Including Google) & Your Business

A great deal of attention has been put on what Facebook Places means for the future of other check-in apps. This discussion has been around as long as the rumors of Facebook launching a location feature, which have been swirling for quite some time.

Will you check in with Facebook Places?
 Let us know.

Yelp Wins: Less Search Visibility

It looks like Yelp may have gotten its wish – for Google not to use its data for Place Pages. It is still unclear to me how less search engine visibility is a good thing, but, Google Place Pages appear to have eliminated Yelp.