Google Absorbs Zagat in Their Quest for World Domination

September 8th, 2011 by Search Influence Alumni

Google has had a busy year. The launch of “Facebook killer” Google+ surely had many of their available hands busy, but apparently not too busy to keep working on acquisitions: It was announced today that Google has purchased Zagat, the well-known publisher of restaurant and business ratings.

Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Local, Maps and Location Services for Google, shared in a Google blog post that she was “thrilled” to announce the acquisition. She says: “Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering—delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.”

Mayer also mentions that Google search and Google Maps will now be integrated into Zagat, making it an even more powerful tool.

Google clearly hopes to capitalize on the expertise of Zagat, which has been in the business of gathering and processing user-generated content for 32 years, long before Yelp! (and even the internet itself). Google has already tried to purchase Yelp! in the past, but this seems like a better bet by far, as Zagat carries the reputation of their name and pedigree and seem like a better match for what Google wants to achieve.

If Google was to consider the same route OpenTable is promoting and combine it with Zagat, they could be looking at one of the most powerful user generated tools out there — and one sure to elicit a powerful reaction from users. Yelp! allows me to look up user ratings and find an address on a restaurant, but what if I could also make a reservation from my phone, without having to wait on hold on a busy Friday night? It’s genius, and not only that, it’s what tech-savvy users are coming to expect.

What do you expect from Google’s latest acquisition? Do you think that Zagat will become bigger and better thanks to this buyout?