In a move to improve its local product offerings, Google has acquired Zagat, one of the leading online property in restaurant reviews. Zagat is widely known for its small guidebooks that offer reviews and recommendations on restaurants around the world.
“With Zagat, we gain a world-class team that has more experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry,” remarked Marissa Mayer, VP, Local, Maps and Location Services, in his post on The Official Google Blog.
Google had previously been in talks to acquire Yelp in late 2009, but those discussions fell apart and Yelp walked away from some $500 million. Since then, the relationship between Google and Yelp has been tenuous, as Google borrowed liberally from Yelp’s database of reviews to flesh out its Google Places pages. Google has toned down the practice in the last few months, and is now clearly looking to boost the number of reviews it can call its own using features like Hotpot and through deals.
Zagat was founded back in 1979, and in recent years the company has moved its reviews online as well, and it offers mobile applications for the top smartphone platforms. Much of their online content was locked behind a paywall for some time, but Zagat relaunched its website in Feburary to include far more free content.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.