Google Buys Zagat

By Chuck Sudo in News on Sep 8, 2011 9:30PM

2011_9_8_zagat.jpg Google added to its collection of toys today with the announcement they purchased restaurant review giant Zagat.

The deal is a step forward in Google's shift towards being a content generator, shore up its services such as maps, location services and searches, and compete with user review sites like Yelp. Google Vice President Marissa Mayer said:

"Zagat has established a trusted and well-loved brand the world over, operating in 13 categories and more than 100 cities. 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. "

Huffington Post's Bianca Bosker breaks it down further:

"Zagat provides Google with much-needed, trustworthy content that can be used to fill out and differentiate Google's products, such as Google Places, which currently lists practical information about an establishment (address, hours, location) along with reviews from Google users, as well as third-party sites like Trip Advisor, Citysearch, Yelp and Zagat. Rather than directing searchers to these third-party sites, Google instead could foreseeably feature Zagat's ratings and reviews, which are highly regarded, in search results, in Google maps, and in mobile apps."

With their announcement of the purchase of Motorola Mobility last month, Google will also have a smartphone platform with which to stream all that user generate content, as well.