Google Hotpot – Does it affect Australia?

Hotpot is Google’s new User Review system targeting search engine visitors rather than gathering reviews from other sources such as TripAdvisor for Hotel reviews.

Setting user reviews using Google Hotpot

A lot is changing in Search. Google has recently made some major changes to how information is displayed with huge emphasis on Local content generated through Google Places. Now, you’ll see that the map that was embedded into the first page of results has been moved to the left and the Places listings are now displayed with more details and user reviews.

This has now pushed the organic listing of websites down to the bottom of the page. That means your best efforts over the years to optimize your websites are no longer paying out as strongly as the work done within Google Places and the efforts made to confirm your locality details thru citation websites now control the top spots in search engine results.

(‘Citation Websites‘ are trusted directories that list a business name, address and phone number and thereby verify the truth of a listing in Google Places).

So, optimization of your Google Places pages are more important than ever and the monitoring of user reviews is also a major concern as Hotpot users apply comments that are bound to effect a users desire to click your listing and may well effect ranking in the future.

It is not clear yet how a business can make rebuttal comments for negative reviews. Certainly, one must have Google log in to make reviews – so they are not anonymous. Perhaps having your name attached to a review will limit malicious reviews, but who knows.

Certainly, this looks like an attempt by Google to keep up with changes that are being implemented through FaceBook where users will provide reviews and recommendations to their friends.

About Mark

Founder of Web Reservation Systems, focused on helping businesses in the Australian Accommodation travel sector get more value from Internet Marketing. Originally, we opened up in 2001 as a supplier of Front Office Software linked to Online Booking facilities. That allowed motels and hotels to add booking buttons to their websites as well as sell through Global Distribution Systems. You could say this was an early 'Channel Manager' because it allowed the property manager to simply control price and availability for a diverse array of wholesale and retails websites. Next, we started building websites to profile our customers (Australian Holiday Guide). That lead to building websites for customers as a favour. Now do about 80 websites a year using BurgundySky and Joomla. For small businesses I recommend using BurgundySky as it is very easy to start and manage. Joomla is also great, but harder to install and maintain for a small business. Our web design business is based in Byron Bay, NSW. Byron Bay is a great place to live and work. I have 2 kids (15 and 17) who are both born here and my wife, Shobhan Oliver) is a successful artist.
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One Response to Google Hotpot – Does it affect Australia?

  1. Pingback: Marissa Mayer talks about Google Maps 5, Contextual Discovery and other new directions for Local Search | Motel – Hotel Website Design

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