Google launched a new dimension to local search this week with Hotpot. It’s a “recommendation engine” that makes it easy for users to rate and review businesses right from their Google profiles instead of having to go to the business’s place page. It’s basically Google’s answer to services like Yelp.
In the long run, this will make Google’s local search results more relevant by showing the more popular businesses to users. What this means to business owners is yet to be seen.