The web world has not even settled from recent Google Motorola acquisition, now another surprise purchase from search giant. Google today announced that it has acquired Zagat, an US restaurant review company to empower Google search and Google Maps. The acquisition of restaurant review empire Zagat provides Google a huge database of restaurant ratings to build up reviews on its local search offerings, and to compete against companies like Yelp.
The company Zagat was founded in 1979 by Tim and Nina Zagat , which became famous for its short restaurant guides based on millions of consumers-submitted ratings and reviews from more-than 100 cities, the firm uses the results to issue a numerical rating on a thirty-point scale.
“The Zagats have demonstrated their ability to innovate and to do so with tremendous insight,their surveys may be one of the earliest forms of UGC (user-generated content)–gathering restaurant recommendations from friends, computing and distributing ratings before the Internet as we know it today even existed,” said Marissa Mayer, Google VP of local, maps, and location services .
The Zagat homepage also shows that the company is excited about the sale, giving Google a perfect 30 out of 30 in all categories.
“We believe this union is the right next step for our employees, our users and for our business, all of which will benefit from the additional resources and reach that Google provides,” said Nina and Tim Zagat in their own post. ”Going forward, we will remain active in the business as co-Chairs, helping to make sure that the combination of Zagat’s and Google’s assets and capabilities will maximize our product quality and growth.”
Buying Zagat is a serious move in the right direction,In 2009 Google offered Yelp over $500 million to buy their crowdsourced local business reviews site. But the deal was failed, it’s not entirely clear whether Yelp walked away for the deal or if Google had second thoughts, but the deal fell through, leaving Google two years to watch the local space expand.Now Google is poised to crush Yelp with the help of zagat.