Bloggers Cheer Google's Zagat Acquisition

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Yesterday, Zagat Survey and Google announced the giant search engine company had acquired Zagat for an undisclosed price. Zagat Survey aggregates the opinions of more than 350,000 people around the world into guides to restaurants, nightlife, hotels, and other attractions. Google will use the Zagat reviews and ratings as it expands its local offerings.

Zagat Rated

On the official Google blog, Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Local, Maps and Location Services, expressed her excitement about the purchase, and explained why she considers the two companies such a perfect fit:

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. Their iconic pocket-sized guides with paragraphs summarizing and “snippeting” sentiment were “mobile” before “mobile” involved electronics.

Adriana Lee of TechnoBuffalo cheered on behalf of tech-savvy foodies:

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Zagat fan, so the news that Google acquired Zagat Survey thrills me to no end. Despite being a crowd-sourced model, foodies know that the reviews are spot-on, unlike a lot of others user-review resources. And now, under the auspices of Google, it’s a sure bet they’ll be able to inform an even broader audience.

In his post on 9to5Google.com, Seth Weintraub explains why he thinks this was a particularly strategic move on Google's part:

That is an interesting play which I’m pretty sure no one was expecting. It gives Google a huge foothold in local and will certainly put Yelp, Open Table and company on the defensive and will also fit in nicely with its Offers service.

What do you think of the news of this acquisition? Will it make you more or less likely to turn to Google for reviews and opinions of local restaurants and other travel and entertainment destinations? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories. She is also the Food Section Editor for BlogHer.

Image Credit: quinn.anya on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.

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