Thursday, September 08, 2011

Biting on more local ads, Google is buying Zagat

Pushing deeper into local advertising territory -- and so Gannett's markets -- Google just announced that it's buying Zagat Survey, the New York company best known for its consumer-driven restaurant reviews.

Zagat guides also rate hotels, nightlife, shopping, zoos, music, movies, theaters, golf courses and airlines. The guides are sold in book form, as software for personal digital assistants and mobile phones, and by paid subscription on the Web.

In a new post on Google's official blog, local business Vice President Marissa Mayer writes: "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."

The deal moves Google even more squarely in competition with other consumer sites such as Yelp, which the search giant nearly bought for about $500 million in late 2009, before reportedly walking away.

About Zagat
From its website: "Started as a hobby in 1979, Zagat Survey is now the world's leading provider of consumer survey-based information on where to eat, drink, stay & play worldwide. With ratings and reviews based on the opinions of over 350,000 surveyors from around the globe, Zagat Survey has become the world's most trusted source to help consumers make informed decisions about restaurants, nightspots, hotels, attractions and other leisure activities."


  1. Maybe Gannett can hope and pray that Google buys THEM next!!!

    Then again, Google doesn't seem to want to tie too many anchors around its neck.....

  2. 2:38--This is actually not as far-fetched an idea as it might sound, and you are not the first to suggest it. I do not expect it to happen, but the case can be made.

  3. Remember how Google and Yahoo! used to insist that they were not content companies or producers? Well, in the wreckage of the news industry, they're buying up. Quality does not matter, but ad ties do. So long, journalism, it's been nice to know you.


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