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Find the perfect hotel with the Hotel Finder experiment

From Google – Inside Search The Official Google Blog:

"Finding the right hotel can make or break your vacation, so with this in mind, we’re introducing Hotel Finder, a new experimental search tool specifically designed to help you find that perfect hotel. Google Hotel Finder makes it easy to narrow down the options…"

Read all the details at Google – Inside Search The Official Google Blog

Google Places With Hotpot launches on the iPhone

"Google Places With Hotpot allows you to search for locations nearby based on a number of categories like restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, ATMs and tourist attractions. As with services like Yelp, you’re able to see top-rated locations nearby, rating and reviewing directly from your phone."

Read the full article at www.hotelmarketing.com

Google Places blocked from using TripAdvisor reviews

"Now here is an interesting development – Google is no longer able to stream in reviews from TripAdvisor to Places pages after the user review giant blocked it.

TripAdvisor confirmed the move today in an email, stating that while it continues to evaluate recent changes to Google Places it believes the user does not benefit with the “experience of selecting the right hotel”.

“As a result, we have currently limited TripAdvisor content available on those pages,” an official says.

The only mention at this stage is of Google Places – but this could quite feasibly extend to Maps or elsewhere (an initial search found no TripAdvisor reviews on Google Maps).

TripAdvisor reviews of hotel properties, alongside reviews from other providers, were streamed in as part of bitesize summaries of individual reviews, with a link to follow in order to read the full review on the TripAdvisor site."

Read the whole article at www.tmooz.com

Facebook Deals Threatens Google Places, Foursquare, Gowalla

"Facebook isn't lavishing kisses on Foursquare, Gowalla, Google or any other company with a mind to compete in making money from local businesses with its new Facebook Deals service.

Facebook Deals connects U.S. consumers with local businesses via the Facebook Places check-in social service. iPhone users must install the Facebook for iPhone 3.3 application, touch "Places" and then "Check In."

Nearby stores participating in Facebook Deals will display a yellow icon. iPhone users can view the deal and check in to claim it, then show their phone to the cashier to receive the gift or discount. Starbuck's, McDonald's, Gap and some 20 other stores are currently enrolled in the Deals program.

Consumers who check-in via Deals get free or discounted goods, or have donations sent to charities. Businesses can lure both new and returning patrons, explained Tim Kendall, director of monetization for Facebook, during the Deals launch Nov. 3."

via www.eweek.com