September 8, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Google has traditionally relied on third parties to showcase reviews in Google Maps and Google Places. But with a strong push towards controlling its local products, it has become necessary for Google to have its own database of restaurant guides and reviews.
That’s why Google has acquired Zagat. Marissa Mayer, VP of Local, has announced the deal on the official Google blog. Terms were not disclosed, but Mayer confirmed that Google has acquired Zagat and will work to integrate the wealth of restaurant knowledge the company has gained over the past 32 years with the technology of Google.
A natural fit for such integration is Maps and Places. After its attempt to buy Yelp fell through, Google has been working hard with projects like Hotpot to encourage user-generated reviews of local eateries. Being able to include the thousands of restaurants Zagat knows will lead to better results when Android users try to find somewhere to eat.
This purchase may finally give Google complete ownership of its mobile search process. Users search on Google.com, get ratings and reviews from Google-owned content, and may even get deals or special promotions through Google Offers/Wallet. This should make Places a more informative product.
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. - Marissa Mayer