Google's Hotpot has gone global in 38 new languages and is now indexed on Google.com, while Google Latitude now has check-ins. Both signify the search engine's growing local efforts.
Fewer Google Web services have seen such an acceleration
of innovation as Google's local search strategy, and the company continued that
trend through the week of February.
local recommendation engine global, offering it in 38 new
languages and melding it in the regular search results on Google.com, and added
check-ins to its Google Latitude friend-finding app.
Those two actions appear on the surface as two separate software
developments, but they are tied together by common threads: Google Maps and the
company's desire to expand its purview in local search.
as a feature for its Google Places local listings service on Google
Maps in November, but expanded to its own Website
to let users rate restaurants, hotels, cafes and other businesses, and add
When users perform new searches, Google will serve
up personalized results, listing places based on tastes and friend
recommendations. The idea is to boost relevance of local search results as
people search from their desktop at home or mobile phone on-the-go.
Google has been steadily increasing the access points for
Hotpot, from Google Places to the Hotpot Website, Google Maps, a Maps for
Android widget and from the iPhone
Now users logged into their Google account can see Hotpot
recommendations in their regular search results on Google.com. So a user
looking for a restaurant in, say New York City, will see Hotpot recommendations
from friends as well as their name and
photo directly beneath that restaurant's listing.
Users can also see all recommendations by your friends by
clicking Places on the left-hand side of the page, and choosing the Friends
Formerly available only in English, Hotpot is available
in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian and Spanish, among