Google HotPot Was Always Sort of a Crock


Lior Ron announced today that Google is dumping the HotPot brand for its local reviews system and rolling it into Google Places. It’s a good move and I am guessing an indicator of more product coherence from GOOG as a result of Larry Page becoming CEO.

I was always confused by the HotPot brand. Most, if not all, local reviews sites don’t have separate brands for their review systems and their local listings database.

That said Hotpot has been on a roll generating over one million ratings per month according to Ron. I wouldn’t be surprised if this move increases the rate of reviews.

A long time ago when we were raising money for InsiderPages, a number of VC’s asked “Can’t Google just do this themselves?” Increasingly, the answer appears to be “yes”.

More thoughts from:

Mike Blumenthal
MG Siegler

Tags: Google · Google Maps · Google Place Pages · Google Place Search · Google Social Search · Online Reviews

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 idietcola // Apr 11, 2011 at 7:19 am

    its been a long time coming, but with the disaster that was Goog wave… i think it maybe for the best to roll into the one new system.

    thanks for the link and the info! i agree too – the number of reviews should increase

    is it making it easier to integrate maybe at code level?


  • 2 Jeffrey magner // Apr 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Great post. Hotpot was a mistake from the beginning. Creating “yet another brand” for business owners and reviewers to think about. “Google” is the brand that people trust and want to deal with. I sincerely wish for Google that they get one thing straight – consistency. First there was “reviews”, then there was “rate on hotpot” and now that little icon says “recommend on Google”! That’s way too much for most Googlers – they can’t keep up with the pace of evolution of all technology, much less the rebranding/relabeling every 6 months that Google has done. I talk to confused people all day long about this. Please – are we reviewing, rating, or recommending? thanks!

  • 3 Andrew Shotland // Apr 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm


  • 4 chris cobb // Apr 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    thanks for the info and for sharing it as well, keep it up:)

  • 5 Lee // Apr 12, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Nice post. Hotpot was a confusing brand, but given its functionality and how it rolls into the Places product, I wouldn’t call it a mistake.

  • 6 Jeremy C // Apr 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Hotpot was a very unique name, but i never understood why they just didn’t make it built into Places in stead of naming something totally different

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