Google gains local business advertising boost by absorbing Zagat


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Google has snatched up Zagat, the restaurant ratings guide, in an effort to provide even more original content to its millions of users around the globe, and to take a bigger step into the increasing online review service marketplace that generates billions in advertising dollars.

The search engine giant, based in Mountain View, California, is hopeful that the ratings and reviews on Zagat will help it to break into local commerce, a market where Google has yet to find stable footing. Google’s new acquisition provides it with instant review access, while immediately becoming competition to other popular review sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and CitySearch.

By adding Zagat to its massive list of buy-outs, Google will be able to gain access to significant advertising revenue generation through small neighborhood businesses. For nearly 30 years, Zagat’s signature burgundy pocket guides have been a standard in the restaurant industry. With this pre-established foundation, Google feels that Zagat is the ideal partner for bringing in a tremendous amount of additional local information for its search results.

According to senior analyst Greg Sterling, from Opus Research, Google is working to attempt to connect the offline world with the online universe. He explained that the internet is used by consumers “to guide their purchase decisions in the real world. Google sees that opportunity as larger than e-commerce. And reviews are an essential part of that.”

Though it was originally designed to review restaurants, Zagat now also provides reviews for other categories such as shops, nightclubs, and golf courses. Now it will be providing those reviews to Google.

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