Google Places with Hotpot – New Google Local Maps Interface

As I went to login to my Google Places account this morning, I arrived at a very different place than I normally do. A completely redesigned landing page with a big bold graphic and an invitation to “Discover Yours – Local recommendations powered by you and your friends” and a button asking me to Start Rating now with Hotpot. So Google has entered their offering into the local-check-in-review-social-community-ratings race.  Took them longer than the others, but here’s to hoping it’s better than the others (not like the Nexus One Google phone).

Screenshot of Google Places with HotpotWill Google Hot Pot (or Hotpot) incorporate Google’s mobile check-in app SCVNGR?  Probably.

And is the choice of the name really just a coincidence given the recent California legislature voted down, to legalize marijuana? Or is Google keyword stuffing?

You be the judge, but one thing is certain – Google maps has changed.

A Good Bad Google Maps Review?

Cliche’s.

It’s funny how much most people hate them and avoid their use, and yet they seem to be grounded on apparent truth. For example:

There’s no such thing as bad PR.

If you take a look at results for a Google Maps search I did recently for New York Movers, stop at the 4th listing down – for FlatRate Movers – you’ll notice they have an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Not too shabby.

Picture of Google Maps Reviews

But as you look closer you’ll notice:

WORST, MOST DISHONEST MOVERS IN HISTORY.

with the term MOVERS bolded because it’s relevant to the search.

Google doesn’t care what that reviewer is saying about FlatRate, even if it’s true. All the Goog cares about is that Continue reading “A Good Bad Google Maps Review?”

SEO Pirates Attack in Miami?

According to a recent post on SEM Sunday, someone’s idea of SEO has turned into piracy and business identity theft. In a search on Google Maps for Miami Hotels they came across a top result of Miami Moving and Movers.

Pirate Ship

(Begin Sarcasm Font) That doens’t seem odd to me because I know that when I do a search for Hotels what I really meant to search for was movers.  (End Sarcasm Font) Oh no wait, that’s not true at all.

Apparently, somebody from the Miami Moving and Movers company claimed the Hyatt Regency’s Miami listing on Google Continue reading “SEO Pirates Attack in Miami?”