Google on Thursday announced their newest acquisition, the location-based review company Zagat. The deal, likely to be one of Google’s biggest buys to date will be integrated into Google services, giving users more information in search and other Google based programs.
Google VP Local, Maps and Location Services Marissa Mayer wrote on the company’s official blog:
“Moving forward, 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.”
With this newest maneuver Google not only receives a company that has embraced the location based space, taking on the likes of Foursquare, Yelp and Gowalla among others, but also a firm with 32 years of review experience which started as a printed guide to restaurants.
It will be interesting to see what Google does with the service, they attempted to compete more heavily in location based services back in 2005 when they acquired Dodgeball, a service they shut down, only to watch employee Dennis Crowley leave to start Foursquare, the most successful location based service platform to date.
Google also recently failed to bring the masses to their Foursquare competitor Latitude, while Hotspot, a recommendation engine which was integrated into Google Places hasn’t had much success either.
There’s no price tag on the buyout however with Zagat existing as long as they have while carrying a loyal following and a respected name in the industry, it was definitely not a cheap buy.
Do you think Google will help or hurt Zagat moving forward?