Google and Zagat Join Forces

By: Michele Wolfson

The little burgundy book called Zagat Survey has been a foodie staple for over three decades, guiding diners on where to find the best places to eat in about 100 countries. It has been reported that Google recently spent $151 million to procure Zagat Survey LLC, to be part of $1.44 billion worth of acquisitions under its belt in 2011 and it's only October.

Now the world's largest Internet server will use Zagat as "an in-house review database to pull from, potentially resulting in a drop in Google-driven traffic to competitors like Yelp and OpenTable" according to Forbes Magazine. Since Google was forced by Yelp and other review sites to remove restaurant evaluations from Google Places, this new purchase could help replace its current reviews with something more craving.

Before the days of looking up restaurant reviews on the Internet, Zagat's assessment is what we relied on for information about food, decor, service, price and infamous quotations that depicted both shining and less-than-attractive qualities restaurants have to offer. When I first moved to New York City seven years ago, I didn't leave my house without my handy-dandy Zagat guide in my purse and I have discovered many wonderful eateries, marking the beginning of my status as the "go-to-gal" for restaurant recommendations in Manhattan.

What makes Zagat's food rating system stand out from the others is their fact-checking approach to reviewing a restaurant. Zagat's has a system that uses hundreds of thousands of surveys to combine for their restaurant ratings instead of basing their reviews on one person's opinion. Zagat reviewers also don't patronize at a C-rated restaurant. This is a perk for Google because their viewers can rest assured that they aren't going to come across a review about a restaurant that the department of sanitation deemed as subpar.

The combined forces of Zagat and Google will not only provide reputable restaurant reviews; they will also offer an outlet to rebut and dispute reviews that are felt to be unjust. Restaurants that are reviewed by Zagat on Google should look into Google Offers, which provides amazing deals in order to attract patrons to enjoy an experience for an outstanding price.  The pairing of Zagat reviews with Google Offers will hopefully fork over accurate information and good deals to the general public.

Photo: ZagatBuzz

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