Google acquires restaurant review brand Zagat
Google has reaffirmed its commitment to providing localised content to its audience, with the purchase of prominent restaurant review guide Zagat.
Writing on the Google blog, Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP local, maps and location services, says Zagat will be a cornerstone of Google’s local offering.
"Their surveys may be one of the earliest forms of UGC (user-generated content),” Mayer says, "gathering restaurant recommendations from friends, computing and distributing ratings before the internet as we know it today even existed.
"I’m incredibly excited to collaborate with Zagat to bring the power of Google search and Google maps to their products and users, and to bring their innovation, trusted reputation and weath of experience to our users.”
The company was listed for sale in 2008 for US$200 million, but was not sold. The founders, Tim and Nina Zagat, started the company over 30 years ago, and will stay in the business as co-chairs.
In an open letter to users, the former owners say they only made the decision to sell after discussions with Google bosses.
"After spending time with Google senior management discussing our mutual goals, we know they share our belief in user-generated content and our commitment to accuracy and fairness in providing users with the information needed to make smart decisions about where to eat, shop and travel.
"We believe this union is the right next step for our employees, our users and for our business, all of which will benefit from the additional resources and reach that Google provides.
"We are thrilled to see our baby placed in such good hands, and to start today as official 'Googlers'."