At the BIA/Kelsey ILM East 2011 conference this morning, we heard from Lior Ron, the Group Product Manager for Google Places (including Maps and Hotpot).
A couple of interesting information points came out:
- Google Places contains 50M places around the world
- They felt they were missing “people” in the local equation and that’s why they launched Google Hotpot
- Hotpot is all about organizing the web around people and places and is a local recommendation engine.
- Hotpot now has generated more than 3M reviews and ratings (see this BIA/Kelsey post from last week for more data points)
Lior Ron said that Hotpot is not about Google building another silo or reviews site. It’s about collecting short signals to enable better ranking/relevancy. A few conference attendees were not convinced by that statement.