Google’s Zagat Acquisition – What It Means for Search Marketers?

Zagat, one of the pioneers in user-generated content who provided a platform to write and publish reviews for restaurants has now been acquired by Google.

In spite of being a pioneer, Zagat couldn’t survive amidst the other startups like Yelp. But well, Google saw the potential in owning this user-generated content website which goes well with it’s Google Places services.

Google had already removed all third party content from Places pages and now it will publish only reviews from Zagat. So what it means for Search Marketers?

  • Local restaurants who are already using Zagat, well this is really good news for them. Those that are not using Zagat, this is the time to get some reviews there as now these reviews would be displayed on Google Places. Encourage the customers to write reviews on Zagat. I personally feel that with Google’s name attached to Zagat, popularity of Yelp and Urbanspoon would be reduced.
  • Considering the strong credibility Google holds, Zagat’s reviews will now become more important. These reviews would be fed into Google Search, Google Places and even possibly Google’s Hotel Finder.
  • Zagat also has  a strong presence in mobiles with its review app available for almost all the handsets. With Zagat’s review app and Google’s localized search, we could see potentially a very useful application.

With the combination of Zagat’s reviews, Google Plus and local search, Google can deliver personalized recommendations of hotels based on the user’s preferences.

One of the point made by Zagat is that their reviews are different from the other review websites. They claim that the reviews are of higher quality than the ones published by its competitors as they are written by verified users and reviewed by their staff members.

With a company like Google who keeps pressing for quality content, this deal is a very thoughtful and useful one. After social networking, hotel reviews, only time will tell what Google has planned next….

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