Google will now serve up personalized results and business listings based on your friends recommendation. I am assuming at some point this new feature will be monetized & roll out in non-personalized search results, how Google will manage to pull that one off, I am not too sure about. But given the success of platforms such as Groupon, Google might implement a Groupon-like feature within Hotpot that could be reflect in regular search results.
Here is what Google said about the latest feature:
You can now enjoy Hotpot recommendations in your regular search results on Google.com. So say you’re looking for a restaurant in Barcelona. Go to Google and search [restaurant barcelona]. If a friend has rated a particular restaurant, you might see their rating and what they had to say about it—as well as their name and photo—directly beneath that restaurant’s listing. To see all recommendations by your friends, click “Places” on the lefthand side of the page, and choose “Friends only.” Remember, you’ll need to be logged in to your Google account in order to see recommendations. Seeing place recommendations based on your tastes and those of your friends across more Google searches will make results more relevant to you and maybe lead you to discover a new gem. If you don’t have Hotpot friends yet, you can invite them to share all the places they love with you by using the “Friends” tab on Hotpot.
Assuming that you search for “restaurants Barcelona”, the relevant search result page might look something like below. Notice the avatar and the rating of your “friend”.
Hotpot is becoming an important part of the Google ecosystem, it already has some SEO impact in terms of ranking signals.