Friday, September 09, 2011

Google Acquires Zagat

So it’s confirmed: Google is taking over the world. And how do we know this? Yesterday on Google’s official blog, Google VP Marissa Mayer wrote:
So, today, I'm thrilled that Google has acquired Zagat. 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.
Zagat is, of course, the international restaurant and travel guide and today The Street posits why Google might want to do this:
Just integrating Zagat with Google's search engine carries great potential. Aside from seeing Zagat reviews pop up at the top of the page when users search for restaurants, Google might also choose to incorporate reviews into its Open Now search feature so users could find the best-rated stores in their area open at that moment.

Likewise, Google can build Zagat's ratings into its map feature so users could search for restaurants by location and filter the results by price, food quality, service and decor -- the four categories by which Zagat rates businesses. This would be particularly useful for those looking to pick out a restaurant on mobile phones.
Writing for Business Insider, Eric Clemons was less supportive of the purchase:
The Google Zagat acquisition has to be blocked, reversed, annulled, undone, or whatever the right word is, to protect consumers, to protect restaurant owners, and to protect competitors.
You can read more about Clemons’ concerns here.


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