Google & HotPot: Google just invented PlaceRank

We all know PageRank … the product of the mythical Google algorithm that magically assigns each website and webpage a numerical quality score for certain searches. Now Google’s just added “PlaceRank.”

I’m using quotes because they haven’t announced it that way, but that’s essentially what it is. And it’s not all that new … local search companies have essentially been doing similar things for some time. TripAdvisor results, for instance, are ranked by location and recommendations.

The announcement is here, but you actually have to watch the movie to catch the important parts … so I’ve embedded it just below this post.

What Google’s just done is added an “like-ness” feature to the physical world. With HotPot, instead of telling customers that people who purchased X also purchased Y, Google will be telling you that since you loved Bob’s Burgers, you’ll probably also like Diane’s Doughnuts.

“Tell us about the place you know, to discover the places you’ll love.”

In other words, as you recommend places, you’re building Google’s database of not just what’s good in the ‘hood, so to speak … but also Google’s database of what you like. And not just what you like now, but perhaps even more importantly, what you’re likely to like in the future.

Interesting. And inevitable. And smart.

With this addition, Google has gone a little bit beyond what it’s done to date in local search. So far, it’s pretty much added features that everyone else already has. Now, it’s using the Google weapon of choice – the algorithm – to disrupt local search.

See the video announcement:

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Good grief. Like it wasn’t bad enough having Places shoved down our throats in Google results. What was wrong with being able to have a CHOICE over whether you wanted to see results from Places? All you had to do was click the “Map’ search option. Now we’ve no choice but to take these adulterated results. When will they cut the crap about this “improving the search experience”? It does nothing of the sort.